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Wednesday, February 24, 2010 - 11:36am

Lawmakers Mull New Plan To Fund Transportation

The Governor’s transportation funding plan got its first round of scrutiny from lawmakers today. A subcommittee reviewed the bill that would let voters of each of the 12 transportation districts decide whether they want a one percent sales tax for projects in their areas.

Ninety percent of the money would go to fund projects that would have to pass muster with a statewide plan created by a state official appointed by the governor. The other ten percent could be used for other projects like paving dirt roads.

Governor Perdue’s Floor Leader Republican Jim Cole told the committee to make it work all counties must participate.

"No county or region is an island," says Cole, "so we if we’re all going to be in it together to move Georgia forward then we don’t need individuals islands of people not participating."

Cole says he's confident the bill will pass this session, but ironing out the details will take some time.

“We’ve got to take a 40,000 foot look at moving freight, people, jobs, economic development and we’re trying to balance that with the needs of Jasper county that needs dirt roads paved… so it’s a balancing act.”

Among lawmakers concerns... how to get voter support for the projects, and the how the bill would change the way federal money is distributed in the state.

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