With only days remaining in the General Assembly session, the fate of transportation funding is once again on life support.
Governor Sonny Perdue’s idea for a mechanism to fund regional transportation projects with a penny tax did not pass the House in time. That’s because of friction over the so-called ‘opt-out’ provision. A push by mainly rural lawmakers would allow county governments to say ‘no’ during the project-planning process.
Governor Perdue rejects such an opt-out, because he says voters--not their local governments--should decide on the projects.
But Republican Senate Pro Tem Tommie Williams says local communities need to have a voice before the ballot box.
“We just want the counties to have a say. You can call it an opt-in or an opt-out, but my position is having half the counties say ‘we’re alright with this, let’s move forward.”
Williams says the Governor’s transportation funding idea is still alive . It’s been attached to a Senate measure that passed last year.