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Democrats, who are in the minority in the House and the Senate, said the state is missing out on millions of dollars in federal aid because it is failing to adequately fund road, rail and other infrastructure improvements.

Valdosta Democrat, argued Thursday that for the last eight years Georgia's leadership had "led us on a road to nowhere."

Both proposals are constitutional amendments, so they would require two thirds approval in the House and the Senate. They would then require voter approval at the ballot box.

One proposal would allow counties to band together and ask voters to hike the state sales tax by one cent to pay for transportation. The proposal is similar to a GOP backed plan that has failed to win approval the last two years.

"That's roughly the equivalent of 3,000 teachers' salaries," he said.

"It is encouraging to see the Democrats' demonstration of bipartisan support for the Georgia Senate's pending transportation measure that we passed in 2009. We remain very open to work with them on viable transportation solutions for every Georgian," Hill said.

Stoner said his bill calls for a constitutional amendment to go before voters this fall, asking them to approve a process that allows local governments to approve transportation projects that would directly impact their local communities. If voters to approve the constitutional amendment, the 10 county metro Atlanta region would come up with a list of road projects, asking voters in that region to approve a one cent on the dollar special purpose local option sales tax or T SPLOST, to fund the projects. Counties would decide on the front end whether they wanted to participate or not in the tax. Once they elected to participate and the referendum was called, the entire multi county region would be locked into paying the tax to fund the projects were voters to approve the referendum, he said.

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"This is almost identical to the plan the Senate Republicans have under consideration today. We hope they will join us in passing the legislation that already exists," Rogers said.

be well spent.

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Yet state Sen. Tim Golden, a Air Max 2016 Classic

"It is embarrassing," Porter said.

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"We haven't shown any commitment to invest in transportation, particularly in rail," Stoner said.

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The second part of the legislation dedicates the fourth penny of sales tax generated from motor fuel to transportation purchases.

Brantley disputed Democrats' argument that Perdue hasn't been aggressive enough on transportation funding. Perdue focused last year on cleaning up management at the DOT, insisting that before he Nike Air Max 2017 Footlocker

Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R Woodstock) spoke positively about Stoner's legislation.

Without a dedicated source of funding for transportation the federal government will not step in to help, Stoner said.

Stoner compared the situation to where Atlanta and Birmingham were in the 1950s. At that time Atlanta opted to expand its airport and took off, while Birmingham stagnated. Georgia stands at another critical turning point now and could be left behind by Charlotte if it doesn't show a commitment to investing in transportation, he said.

Perdue has also included $300 million in bonding for state transportation projects in his budget for the next fiscal year.

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During their press conference, House Minority Leader DuBose Porter said last week North Carolina received $600 million, while Florida received $1.25 billion from the federal government for high speed rail, even though those states are led by Republicans. Yet Georgia only received $750,000 for a couple of "feasibility studies."

Democrats lambaste Perdue introduce transportation plan

ATLANTA Unveiling their proposal to solve Georgia's traffic problems on Thursday, state Sen. Doug Stoner (D Smyrna) and his Democratic colleagues ripped Gov. Sonny Perdue for being "missing in action" on the transportation issue during his tenure.

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Stoner, what have you done for your district? What have you done to bring any business Nike Air Max Women Leopard industry to the Smyrna area? Smyrna (YOUR CITY) is practically deserted! No shops, no stores, no entertainment, no quality grocery stores,poor schools, low house values, too much deteriorating apartments. etc., etc. Nothing happening in Smyrna, but erection of chain link fencing around vacant lots! When are you guys gonna figure out a transient, illegal population DOES NOT bring economic prosperity quality of life to our cities neighborhoods! Before you think you have any answers to the states transportation problems,. how 'bout cleaning your own backyard, including South Cobb Drive the problems Smyrna will have as soon as the Macland Rd. Connector opens!

State Sen. Judson Hill (R east Cobb) said transportation is not a partisan issue.

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The state currently collects a 7.5 cent tax on every gallon of gasoline purchased to fund the Department of Transportation. It also collects a four percent tax on the total cost of the gasoline purchase. Three of those four pennies goes to the Department of Transportation. The fourth goes to the state's general fund. When the state raised the tax from three to four pennies in 1989, it did not earmark where that fourth penny had to go. Currently that fourth penny raises $137 million. Stoner's legislation would designate the fourth penny be spent on transportation expenses. By having that dedicated $137 million source of revenue for transportation, the state would be able to leverage federal funding for transportation projects, he said.

Perdue spokesman Bert Brantley said dedicating that additional penny to transportation would strip about $137 million away from the state treasury.

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