By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Transportation plans stuck in neutral
House, Senate at odds over new authority, sales tax plans
Placeholder Image

A Hall County state lawmaker says the House of Representatives is struggling with a proposed change in the state’s transportation administration.

Rep. Carl Rogers, R-Gainesville, who sits on the House Transportation Committee, said a bill passed by the Senate that weakens the current State Transportation Board and creates an authority to oversee road projects is on a bumpy road in the House.

"There is some push-back," Rogers said.

"We, on the House side, would like to be able to ratify the secretary of transportation and allow the Senate to do the same."

Gov. Sonny Perdue has asked to be able to appoint a secretary of transportation as the state’s lead official on roads. Authority members would be appointed by the governor, the lieutenant governor and the speaker of the House.

Rogers said the House has discussed appointing the authority by districts, as is currently done on the transportation board.

"We’ve probably had 10 amendments to this bill," Rogers said.

The lawmaker said that despite the long committee debate, which will continue again today, the bill eventually will reach the House floor with major changes from the Senate version.

"If it comes to the floor, I’m not sure there are 91 votes to pass it," Rogers said, referring to the required number of votes for a bill to be approved.

Rogers said the House also is standing by its desire for a statewide sales tax for transportation.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and the Senate favors a local option sales tax proposal that would be voted on by one or more counties in a region.

Rogers said Cagle has indicated he was standing firm.

"I think he’ll stay where he’s at on the regional bill," Rogers said.

Meanwhile, Rogers has introduced a bill that cuts the number of members on the Gainesville Redevelopment Authority from 18 to nine.

Rogers said the bill was drafted by attorneys for the authority and was approved in a resolution by the City Council.

The legislature was in recess on Tuesday and convenes today for day 36 of the 40-day session.

Regional events