Monday, February 1, 2010

A Transportation Blunder?

Although you can't read the story without penetrating the paywall, you can see from Insider Advantage's homepage that Dick Pettys thinks the state Transportation Board's action to reinstate accrual accounting may be a sizable miscalculation.
Now I haven't read Pettys' story either, but some conversations I had last week (before the other shoe dropped on the state's mental health system issues) led me to the same perception.
I don't gather that many under the Gold Dome disagree with the desired outcome, but it is the way the Board is going about doing it.
Chuck Clay, a former state Senate minority leader and current lobbyist for one of Georgia's largest transportation contractors C.W. Matthews, said the state's leadership cannot delay in finding a way around this constitutional question because it wants to argue about why it happened in the first place.
"We cannot jeopardize this because we are getting into a dispute," he said. "For the good of Georgia—not GDOT, the Governor or the legislature—please let these people sit down and get behind the effort [to resolve this issue]. Because once that [federal roads] money goes to Alabama, Tennessee and South Carolina, it cannot go back to Georgia. It is not simply sitting in an envelope in Washington with Georgia’s name written onto it."
I had seen this earlier Friday, and Clay mentioned it when we talked. There is a Senate Resolution to place a referendum on the ballot to amend the state constitution to allow the practice of signing multi-year transportation contracts without having the entire cost of the project in the treasury at the time.
This seems like the best thing, but on an issue like this, I imagine it's going to take quite a get-out-the-vote effort for people to mash yes on this one.

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