Lt. Governor Casey Cagle Announces DOT Reform Bills

February 6, 2008

(Atlanta, GA) – Lt. Governor Casey Cagle announced today that his four DOT reform bills will be filed in the Senate this week.

“Since Commissioner Abraham took the helm at the DOT, she has uncovered example after example of waste and inefficiency.  These bills are designed to cement the reforms that Commissioner Abraham has already set into motion and to assure that our state dollars are well spent,” said Lt. Governor Casey Cagle. “It is imperative that DOT is held accountable and responsible for keeping its house in order first, then we can aggressively move forward with a statewide transportation management plan that will result in the greatest return on our investment.”

“I applaud Lt. Governor Cagle for his leadership on this issue and believe now is the time we take the steps necessary to bring reform to the DOT.  I look forward to quickly moving this through the Senate and working with my House colleagues on this issue,” said Senator Jeff Mullis.

“Transportation is an issue that affects all Georgians and has a lasting impact on our future as the economic development leader of the south,” said Senator Doug Stoner.

“It is imperative today that we get the most out of our current transportation dollars.  These measures represent much-needed steps towards ensuring that our transportation system is as efficient as possible,” said Senator Chip Pearson.

“As the joint study committee discussed, we need to give the Department of Transportation the tools it needs to do the job that we are asking of it.   I appreciate the Lt. Governor for leading on this issue,” said Senator Tommie Williams.

Two of the process reform bills were introduced today in the Senate by Senators Tommie Williams and Doug Stoner.  The other two bills, sponsored by Senators Jeff Mullis and Chip Pearson, will be introduced tomorrow. The bills are:

  • DOT Reporting Requirements, will be introduced tomorrow and carried by Senator Jeff Mullis.  The bill will require the DOT Commissioner to set benchmarks for each phase of the construction process and to report annually to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the House on the status of each project over $10 million compared to those benchmarks.  Project status will also have to be posted on the department’s website.  A rigorous value engineering standard will be applied to each project over $10 million in order to ensure that projects are being completed in the most cost effective way possible.  The DOT will report annually on the cost savings achieved through the value engineering process.

 

  • Design Build, S.B. 410, will be carried by Senator Tommie Williams. The bill will remove the statutory cap on design-build DOT projects, which is an alternative to the traditional method of road design and construction.  Currently, no more than 15% of DOT projects can be of a design-build nature.  Lifting this cap will give the Department greater use of innovative techniques which can lower costs and get projects completed more quickly.

 

  • Creation of a Community Improvement District (CID) Fund, S.B. 411, will be carried by Senator Doug Stoner.  The fund will be set up and managed by the
    State Road
     and Tollway Authority, who will determine the criteria for selection of projects and award the grants.  CIDs can apply for matching grants through this fund to help pay for projects in their area that are intended to relieve congestion.       

 

  • Fine Limitation, will be introduced tomorrow and carried by Senator Chip Pearson. The bill will prohibit the EPD from fining Georgia’s DOT for erosion violations.  The EPD will still be able to enforce stop-work orders, but the current process of one branch of government fining another branch of government is not a wise use of taxpayer dollars.