“I think it’s a good measure, a measure that we’ve talked about for several years,” said State Rep. David Knight, who voted for the measure.
He said there needs to be another source of funding to sustain the growth of Georgia’s transportation infrastructure and with it, the state’s economy.
Knight said the proposed Atlanta-Macon passenger rail line is of particular importance to Griffin. The TSPLOST can be used to fund the project. He said he worked with the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, the Georgia Department of Transportation and the officer of the governor to ensure the TSPLOST could fund rail.
“There is a component in this bill for rail and maintenance operations,” he said.
When asked why the measure would be up for a vote in 2012 but not in the November election, he said there needed to be adequate time for planning and project selection.
“I’ve long thought it’s a good idea to let people raise their own taxes,” said State Rep. John Yates, who voted for it.
He is disappointed the people of Georgia will not be able to vote on the bill as soon as he would like. He said if the voters pass it, he is confident it will be able to do its job.
“I’m happy we got the bill passed after three years of effort,” said State Sen. John Douglas. “Spalding will be one of the larger counties in your district and should be able to have significant influence on transportation projects in that area.”
“I think it’s a good step in the right direction for what we’re trying to do for transportation issues in Georgia,” said State Sen. Ronnie Chance, who also voted for the measure.
He said everyone recognizes the state has transportation problems. The bill has been in the works for several years now and he is glad it passed this session, especially with the budget being a major issue. He emphasized its regional approach and said it was right for Spalding County.
Bert Brantley, Perdue’s director of communications, said the governor will review the bill after the end of the legislative session Thursday.
The bill is based on Perdue’s original bill and the governor’s office has been very involved in its passage. He said as long as there are no surprises, Perdue will sign it by June 8.