Thursday, February 5, 2009

Transportation Funding Hits Roadblock in General Assembly

The State Senate this week passed a regional transportation funding bill that would allow groups of counties to band together and vote on whether they want a penny tax for their own transportation needs.

The idea, however, is running into problems in the State House. House Majority Leader Jerry Keen said today that his chamber prefers funding that would benefit all of Georgia’s transportation needs.

“We’ve been saying from the beginning we need a statewide transportation plan and initiative. Transportation’s just not fixing congestion in Atlanta.”

Keen says smaller counties don’t have enough of a revenue base to get enough money for roads in their area. The Atlanta business community is lobbying hard for the regional Senate approach because it would be the fastest way to improve metro Atlanta gridlock that, they say, hurts business in the state.

-By Susanna Capelouto

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