Friday, March 27, 2009

House Committee Rejects Gov. Perdue's Transportation Plan

The House Transportation Committee today said "no" to a plan unveiled earlier this year by Governor Sonny Perdue for remaking transportation in Georgia.

When the Governor introduced Senate Bill 200, he said he wanted to dismantle the Georgia Department of Transportation, create a new state agency, realign transportation construction responsibilities and fold the DOT into the appropriations process.

The much leaner plan approved by the committee today does only the last. It ensures the DOT, like every other state agency, must face the General Assemby when budget time rolls around. But the bill, among other things, keeps the existing DOT in place as lead transportation construction agency and keeps GRTA and SERTA operating.

Republican Representative David Ralston describes the measure approved today as a balance between the two legislative bodies.

"I think what it does is allow us to reach a compromise on a bill we can get passed. And it still retains the ability for the General Assembly to appropriate funds."

In previous committee meetings, some House members expressed concern that the original bill stripped the General Assembly of its power to elect board members.

But amendments made today keep that procedure in place.

"There was some concern amongst some members about doing that, I think. And some people were a little reluctant to do that and create a new authority and create a board having that relationship," says Ralston.

The measure will make its way back to the Senate where members will likely disagree with the changes. That will force the bill into a conference committee, where lawmakers from both chambers will try to hash out their differences.

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1 comment:

    Here in America,
    We are not SAFE!!!
    The inspection system stinks!!!
    The Department of Building & Safety and The Department of Health Service do not do their job correctly and constantly break the law!

    About 2,000 000 people are injured and 20,000 deaths occur each year!!!
    These are the results of the Building & Safety and Health Department work!!!

    I want this text to be true and sincere, a void of my private emotions. It is hard however to calm your self when we talk about human suffering, wounds, disability and often even death. My name is Chris Kalinowski, a Polish immigrant for 20 years now. Slowly I began to explore this new country and slowly it began to fascinate me more and more. I sacrificed my whole adult life to my family and work. About five years ago, in this country, I got to know new technology that helps securing slippery surfaces and it completely fascinated me. Helping people and thus helping support my own family. After a few months of work, I came to see my country in a different light. Never did I realize that this country could be so internally unregulated. No one seems to know anything, want to know anything or simply has no power to make a decision or be held responsible. All contact with people who should know better and react accordingly were different.
    My Anti Slip Protection business was created to help people. Unfortunately, not many Americans understand how big this problem really is. It is astounding how such an amazing country, known to all people of our world, can lack so much when it comes to safety of their own citizens. Once, I contacted the Building Safety Department and the Department of Health Services in a number of USA cities. When I asked the inspector about code resistance I was told to wait while he checked the information on the computer, then admitting that he does not know, he gave me a number of another inspector. When I called that inspector, he never returned my calls or responded to any messages I left. Another inspector, after reading my ad, contacted me in person. He was clearly interested in my business but told me that he was not in the position to make the decisions. Building Safety and Department of Health Services did not check slip resistance; they passed slippery floors as safe! The 2007 California Building Code is very specific as to which surfaces are required to be slip resistant. I only have one question; do the Building Safety and Health Departments really do their job? If so, then why do we still have accidents?
    About 2,000 000 people injuries and 20,000 deaths occur each year!!! These are the results of Building Safety and Health Department work!!!

    I drive around my city looking for buildings with slippery surfaces every day. I found one and talked with the manager and explained the purpose of my business and the need for my anti-slip service. The manager’s response was “We just had the city inspection and everything is in order.” I checked the floors slip resistance and the floor was way below the required minimum of 0.6(SCOF). In another place, I met an inspector from Building and Safety Department on the job side and I asked him a question: “What will you do if you slip and fall in this building?” His answer was, “I will sue the company or whoever owns this building.” Building inspections do not include the testing of slippery surfaces and I feel it is a shamefully neglected category in our country. A lot of the building and business owners with dangerous floors hide themselves behind their accident insurance policies. Some use my service after the accidents happen. When I asked if they consider my services for their other buildings they answer that no one fell there yet and no one sued them there. I always leave restless from these kinds of places knowing that any child who doesn’t know any better, or a senior citizen, pregnant woman, mailman or even yourself. After visiting one of the local District Schools, where kids fall in the restrooms and locker rooms on the slippery floors, I was given the answer: “We do realize that our floors should be safe, especially in washrooms, but unfortunately we have no money for that.” Slippery floor treatment costs less than any slip/fall accident!
    There are some cases where building and business owners simply don’t know that they can do something about slippery surfaces and that’s when we see the yellow signs warning us about dangerous floors.
    If you are a business owner and pass the final inspection from Building and Safety or Health Department Services, and after that, if you have a problem with a slip and fall accident, the departments are fully responsible for the accident.
    Every now and then I also see the cases of fake accidents. There are cases of con artists that use the law to get money from our insurance policies. This country is a home to thousands of attorneys specializing in slip and fall accidents waiting for an accident to happen. The insurance companies pay for our accidents, but cannot return our health!
    It is also easy to prevent and eliminate regular and fake slip and fall accidents just by using Anti Slip Protection. Some of the money from my business I use for commercial but it is not nearly enough compared to what has to be done for the safety of our city and our entire country.
    It is encouraging, however, that some companies like YMCA, recognize this threat and use my service, for which I thank them. So I encourage everyone’s co-operation, especially anyone who wants to do everything in their power to make us feel safer in our great country, on our slippery floors.
    Chris Kalinowski Santa Monica, CA 310-428-2395