GFDW Transportation Update July 2016
Your Transportation Dollars at Work
Last year, Governor Nathan Deal passed the Transportation Funding Act of 2015/ House Bill 170. The Georgia Transportation bill is expected to generate $900 million in annual, dedicated transportation funding. One year later, your transportation dollars are hard at work improving Georgia roads and bridges. Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT) has awarded 55 contracts for statewide construction and maintenance projects totaling over $171.3 million for projects that include bridge repair and replacement, street resurfacing and mobility improvement. Visit the Georgia Project List to see a list of improvement projects.
Our position is that this bill provides significant improvements for the entire state that will enable economic growth. However, it does little to ease the congestion in the metro area as very little focus in on public transportation. To see projects for your county visit the project list on the GDOT Travel Smart site at www.garoads.com.
While this bill has already passed, there is opportunity for you to voice your opinion on local projects as one key part to the bill is to allow counties and cities to levy an excise tax up to 3 cents each (6 cents total) for local transportation projects, by approval of county commission or city council.
Metro Area Residents Can Still Voice Your Opinion
Fulton County Chairman John H. Eaves and the mayors of 13 cities have signed an Intergovernmental Agreement that clears a hurdle for a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Transportation purposes to go before voters.
Voters outside the city of Atlanta would consider a 0.75¢ sales tax that would authorize transportation projects like roads, bridges, sidewalks, traffic signals, and more. The projects will be recommended by the community. Each Fulton County city, as well as unincorporated Fulton, will have the chance to select projects that are important to that community.
Voters inside the city of Atlanta will have the chance to consider two different sales taxes. One would be 0.5¢ and would be designated for MARTA and transit in general and the other 0.5¢ sales tax would be allocated for transportation projects (T-SPLOST), for a total of 1.0 cent in the City of Atlanta.
Visit MARTA and TSPLOST Referenda page for more information.
Gwinnett County is also in on the referendum – Gwinnett County SPLOST Press Release
Please check with your local county for additional information.
Medicaid Expansion should be a priority for the State of Georgia as over 300,000 Georgians are without healthcare. But, after six years of the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) having taken effect, Georgia has consistently refused to expand Medicaid. Without federal money, Georgia officials have had to pump millions of state dollars into the health system to meet exploding costs, meanwhile Rural Hospitals and facilities have closed due to lack of funding.
Georgia’s Healthcare system is in “Crisis” mode.
Healthcare is not a Democrat or Republican issue, it is an American issue and everyone is deserving of access to affordable and reliable healthcare. With that being said, we are excited to see that changes may be in effect for the upcoming Legislative session in 2017. Please continue to reach out to your State Representatives to let them know you are in favor of expanding healthcare access to uninsured Georgians either through Medicaid Expansion or a proven model of Healthcare expansion. Collective voices on both sides of the aisle will make the difference to ensure that all Georgians have healthcare coverage.
In June of 2015 Georgia Federation of Democratic Women committed to work towards educating the citizens of Georgia about the constitutional Amendment on the ballot in November which would allow the state to take over public schools which are deemed “failing” by the state. The coalition consists of over 30 organizations including the National Education Association, Georgia Association of Educators, the State Parent/Teacher Association, NAACP, Concerned Black Clergy, American and Georgia Federation of Teachers, Professional Organization of Georgia Educators, Rise Up Georgia, Pro Georgia, Public Education Matters, and many more including GFDW. During the past year we have been making presentations about the Amendment all over the state. It is working! The Georgia School Board Association has come out against this as have several local school boards. We are getting more and more publicity from the media and we will have a website for the coalition on-line soon. Maureen Downey of the AJC has published several articles about this issue just in the past 2 weeks (http://getschooled.blog.myajc.com/)
Members of the GFDW Education Committee have been working all around the state to help keep this amendment from passing. You can help spread the word in your communities by either making presentations yourself (we can provide materials for you) or by calling me to see if I or someone from the coalition can come to your group to make the presentation. Our coalition website www.keepgeorgiaschoolslocal.org will be ready by July 20. You can also go to the Georgia PTA Website and use their toolkit for more information (http://www.georgiapta.org/issues-action/opportunity-school-district-legislation/). Also, the Georgia School Board Association has a toolkit available at (http://gsba.com/advocacy-communications/osd-toolkit/).
For more information, contact the Education Committee Chairs, Bette Holland at 706-265-4570 or via email: email@example.com.
Check your voter registration status, find out how to vote by mail, find your elected officials and much more on our Voting Info page.
Do you know who your local state legislators are? They are the men and women elected to make and govern laws for the State of Georgia. Get to know them!
Click on the following to locate “your” state legislators: http://openstates.org/find_
Want to attend Senate or House committee meetings? During these meetings Committee members delve into the study of bills. They also hear from legislators that introduce, favor or oppose a bill. Citizens are also allowed to speak at these committee meetings.
Still want to attend? Committee meeting dates can be found here (dates are subject to change):
Senate Committee Meetings: http://calendar.legis.ga.gov/
House committee meetings: http://calendar.
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