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Wednesday, March 31, 2010 - 8:39pm

Transportation Bill Passage Uncertain For Session

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.