SB183

Georgians Celebrate First Victory against Permanent Tolls, SRTA Credit to Private Parties (SB183)

celebrate pic 2

PRESS RELEASE
Contact: Garland Favorito
Phone: 404-664-4044
March 17, 2017

Georgians Celebrate First Victory against Permanent Tolls Extension of Credit to Private Parties also struck down

ATLANTA GA – Citizens activists are cautiously celebrating their first victory today in a battle to prevent Georgia from becoming a permanent toll road state. On Thursday, the House Transportation Committee voted to strip the permanent toll road language from the highly controversial SB183. The committee also voted to further revise the bill language so that the State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA) could not extend credit directly to private organizations and individuals, another controversial point. The new, amended bill also appears to close a loophole that may have allowed tolls on existing road capacity.

Citizens had spoken out against another clause that removed the competitive bid requirement however, that clause was included in the committee substitute bill that was passed Thursday. Proponents argued that the original language was consistent with current Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) procedures that allow “value engineering” in lieu of competitive bidding.

The original SB183 sailed through the Senate by a 50-1 vote before hitting a brick wall of vocal activists who discovered the bill content as it reached the House Transportation Committee. A rubber stamp of approval was expected for Sen. Brandon Beach’s bill in the committee since it was co-sponsored by three of Gov. Nathan Deal’s floor leaders.

However, committee members significantly altered the bill before passing it Thursday, much to the pleasure of attendees who had unanimously spoken against the bill in the first hearing on March 9. Those attendees were particularly complimentary towards Committee Chairman Kevin Tanner who they felt made a concerted effort to understand the bill, listen to their concerns and find common ground to make the legislation as palatable as possible for all viewpoints.

The revised bill now moves to the Rules Committee where it will likely receive passage to the House floor for a vote. Georgians cannot relax if the House votes to pass the measure. Once SB183 passes the House, the House and Senate versions will be sent to a Joint Committee that will decide which version should be adopted. That committee could discard the House version and send the Senate version to the House for a floor vote.

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Action Alert SB 183: No Public Debt Financing Private Gain

SB183

ACTION ALERT: Attend the GA House Transportation Committee Hearing

Thursday 3/16, 1:00 PM
614 Coverdell Legislative Office Bldg., Room 506
Atlanta, GA 30334

The people of Georgia must show up in strength to defeat #SB183 the “For Whom the Road Tolls” bill. The Governor’s bill proposes the State of Georgia to loan private parties moneys out of taxpayer funds, AT RISK, to build and operate unlimited numbers of toll roads all throughout the state, and for these private concessionaires to collect tolls in perpetuity, even after the state loans are paid off. The people need to show up and stand against the crony-capitalist exploitation of the Georgia Taxpayer.

Read SB183

Section 2 allows SRTA to extend credit to private individuals and organizations
Section 3 legalizes permanent toll roads in Georgia.
Section 3 allows mandatory tolls to be imposed on Georgia roads in the same manner as implemented in states like New Jersey and Florida. It also allows tolls to be placed on existing road capacity.
If you can’t attend in person, please call the committee members and let them know how you feel about the state loaning money to private corporations and tolls in perpetuity.

HOUSE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE MEMBERS
(click link for representative website and contact info)

Tanner, Kevin Chairman
Watson, Sam Vice Chairman
Epps, Bubber Secretary
Ballinger, Mandi L. Member
Benton, Tommy Member
Burns, Jon G. Member
Carson, John Member
Coomer, Christian Member
Corbett, John Member
Cox, Clay Member
Deffenbaugh, John Member
Dempsey, Katie M. Member
Frye, Spencer Member
Gardner, Pat Member
Gilliard, Carl Wayne Member
Hanson, Meagan Member
Harrell, Brett Member
Hitchens, Bill Member
Jones, Sheila Member
Jones, Vernon Member
McCall, Tom Member
Newton, Mark Member
Nimmer, Chad Member
Prince, Brian Member
Rutledge, Dale Member
Rynders, Ed Member
Setzler, Ed Member
Taylor, Darlene K. Member
Taylor, Tom Member
Waites, Keisha Member
Williams, Al Member

P.S. Please forward to your lists and share/tweet on social media.

Action Alert by Field Searcy with In Defense of Liberty.TV

SB183 Testimony – March 9, 2017
House Transportation Committee

SB183: STATE LEGISLATURE TRYING TO ELIMINATE SEALED BIDS & EVADE PUBLIC SCRUTINY BY GIVING TAXPAYER MONEY TO OTHER ENTITIES TO DO WORK

SB183: STATE LEGISLATURE TRYING TO ELIMINATE SEALED BIDS & EVADE PUBLIC SCRUTINY BY GIVING TAXPAYER MONEY TO OTHER ENTITIES TO DO WORK

Posted on March 9, 2017

March 9, 2017
Hearing on SB183 March 9, 2017 at 2PM
https://livestream.com/accounts/19771738/events/6811894/videos/151342386

catherine bernard

The following information was sent from Catherine Bernard, a lawyer and political activist. This information shows you how desperately we need to drain the Georgia swamp!

“…to preserve [the people's] independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.” -Thomas Jefferson

Dear Friends,

With a Republican-controlled state legislature and Republican officials occupying all executive offices in Georgia, you’d think we might get some fiscally conservative policies. This legislative session continues to show how wrong that expectation would be. Other than a few targeted tax breaks for wealthy special interests, like yacht owners and Delta, the 2017 legislative session has been new taxes, more taxes, regulations, and scariest of all – new powers to borrow and lend public money.

Today at 2:00 p.m., in Room 506 of the Coverdell Legislative Office Building at the Capitol, the House Transportation Committee will hear testimony onSB183. Most of the coverage of this bill so far has focused on how it would create permanent mandatory toll roads, but that’s only part of the issue. What’s even more dangerous are the provisions eliminating the public competitive bid and sealed bid process requirements for State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA) projects, combined with the massive new grants of power to SRTA: to extend credit and make loans to any type of entity, to incorporate multiple non-profit corporations as subsidiaries of SRTA, and to expand the definition of “self-liquidating project” to include not just projects by cities and counties, but by any “person, firm, corporation, limited liability company, or other type of entity”. I.e., they can take your money and give it to literally whoever they want to, and they might even do it through private corporations set up to evade public scrutiny.

The permanent mandatory toll road part is pretty bad too. Georgia law only authorizes the state to charge a toll until the road construction project is fully paid for, e.g. GA 400, where tolls were collected from 1993 to 2013 (and even then, it took dedicated citizen activists holding the government to its promise). Changing this would be a big deal, deserving of much more public debate than we’ve seen on this important topic.
Send an email to the Committee chair, Rep. Kevin Tanner, and the bill sponsor, Sen. Brandon Beach, letting them know what you think of this bill.Email Rep. Tanner Email Sen. Beach Or give them a call: 404.656.3947 and 404.463.1378

Good news on the no-knock search warrant bill, though: I showed up at the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing ready to testify against SB94, but the bill sponsor didn’t show up and it was removed from the agenda. Since it didn’t pass the Senate before Crossover Day, technically it’s dead for the session – but this legislation has already been revived too many times, so I’m keeping a close eye on it.

Thanks for engaging with these important issues, so that together we can make our political world more reasonable and thoughtful.

Warm regards,
Catherine
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TWG
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