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Sunday, February 10, 2013 - 6:00am

MARTA Budget Restrictions May Loosen Up

The governing body of metro Atlanta's transit agency would change and some budget restrictions would be lifted under new legislation.

Republican Rep. Mike Jacobs of Brookhaven filed a bill Friday that would reduce the size of the MARTA board from 18 to 13 members. It would give GOP Gov. Nathan Deal the ability to appoint one member and require that others come from designated parts of Fulton and DeKalb counties.

The bill would eliminate rules that allow MARTA to spend only around half of its budget on operating costs. Critics have long contended that rule financially crimps the transit system.

The bill has measures that will be unpopular with labor unions, including requirements to outsource support jobs and barring freed up funds from being spent on employee compensation.

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