Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Georgia's New Transportation Plan Could Violate Civil Rights, Critics Charge

By John Sepulvado

Some Democratic Senators are concerned a transportation plan could reduce minority input into road projects.

Governor Sonny Perdue is pushing a plan that would strip the constitutionally created Department of Transportation and turn it over to a new state agency. New board members would be selected by the speaker, the Governor and the Lt. Governor.

Democratic State Senator Kasim Reed of Atlanta says the plan may require Justice Department approval as it could be a violation of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
"You’re going to shift the majority of the power of that body and place it somewhere else and there’s a very good chance you could have no minority participation in any way. "
Critics of the system say the Department of Transportation board members, which are elected by state legislators according to congressional district, need to be replaced in order to complete projects quickly.

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