DOT problems discussed at GOP meeting
By Kelly Frizzell
Three Georgia legislators agreed Monday that both Republicans and Democrats worked together to pass the state budget legislation during session this year. “It was one of the easiest years we’ve had putting the budget together,” said Senator Johnny Grant at the Republican Party meeting Monday night.
Representative Bob Smith said that the budget was passed by both houses with only five or six dissenting votes. He also reported the passage of effective economic development, reservoir and energy bills.
The legislators also addressed problems with the Department of Transportation. The Senate adopted a resolution urging the DOT to develop a statewide transportation plan, according to Representative Doug Holt. The bill was a response to the DOT’s inability to follow through with plans due to overlapping projects.
“The DOT was operating out there on [its] own,” said Holt.
Now, the DOT faces “realignment” with what it is able to promise and what citizens actually want, he said. The problems caused by the DOT led to the passage of the Transparency in Government Act by the Senate, which Holt says will implement stronger audits and better control.
The bill will also enforce the creation of a website by 2010 that will allow users to easily search the state’s budget, individual agencies and financial information in order to determine how tax money is being spent. Grant also defended Governor Sonny Perdue’s administration, saying that Perdue is an “excellent manager.”
“We’re the third best managed state in the nation,” said Grant. “Georgia is better managed and in better shape than it was a few years ago.” The next Republican Party meeting will be held May 19 at the Georgia Outdoor News office.