Friday, 23 January 2015 21:42

Legislative Update - January 23, 2015

Legislative Schedule
The Georgia General Assembly was in recess this week as joint meetings of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees convened to hear state agency heads discuss Governor Deal's $21.8B state budget proposal in more detail.

The legislature will reconvene Monday, January 26 for legislative day 5 and will work through Thursday, January 29.

FY 2016 State Budget Proposal
The Governor's FY 2016 proposed budget heavily focuses around enhancements in the areas of education, health care and criminal justice reform. Links to both the amended FY 2015 and FY 2016 budgets can be found HERE.

Transportation Infrastructure Funding
Transportation infrastructure funding remains a priority for the statewide business community during the 2015 session. Georgia's transportation funding system continues to decline, as the Georgia Department of Transportation(GDOT)'s 2014 budget restricted resurfacing to a meager 2% of state's road network, resulting in an average 50-year cycle for maintenance. As Governor Nathan Deal referenced in his State of the State address, a road that is paved the day one graduates from high school won't be repaved until that same person is on Social Security.

GDOT has done a tremendous job in recent years completing projects within both schedule and budget. However, without new sources of funding, new projects will be virtually impossible to execute, affecting the state's economic vitality, mobility, and safety. The Joint Study Committee on Critical Transportation Infrastructure Funding was unequivocal in their evaluation that a minimum of $1.5 billion in new investment is needed to stabilize our current system of funding and maintaining our roads and bridges. Additionally, the committee recommended finding a separate, permanent funding stream for Georgia's statewide network of 128 transit systems.

Lawmakers need to hear from business leaders that transportation infrastructure needs are paramount and key to the continued economic viability of our state. Please click here to find your Georgia legislators' contact information to let them know that you care about funding for our state's transportation infrastructure.