Cagle Statement Regarding TSPLOST Negotiations

April 1, 2008

(Atlanta, GA) – Lt. Governor Casey Cagle released the following statement regarding the ongoing TSPLOST negotiations:

“We must focus our efforts on transportation funding on presenting the voters with a straightforward and understandable ballot question.    It does not matter whether the legislature passes an amendment if it goes on to be rejected at the ballot box.  Further, a failed attempt to address transportation funding this year will cripple future efforts to do so for years or decades.  Georgia cannot afford a disaster of this magnitude. 

“We cannot court defeat at the polls by taking such unprecedented steps as giving taxing authority to non-governmental organizations, or forcing voters in a county to support a tax increase even if they vote by a majority against it twice.  Nor should we selectively provide permanent exemptions for specific industries in the constitutional amendment instead of doing so by statute.

“The Senate conferees have presented a proposal that allows for a common sense two-step process.   It puts a very straightforward constitutional amendment before voters this November, and requires the legislature to provide a specific plan to implement that amendment next year.  Our plan is achievable, realistic, and effective.  It also requires the legislature to flesh out the implementation mechanism by statute instead of making snap decisions in the final week of the legislative session. 

“The Senate has made an offer and we invite the House to respond.  This is a negotiating process, and should not be a venue for the two chambers to squabble.  I believe the House conferees will work in good faith and look forward to seeing specific alternatives from them.  We remain ready to consider any option that is achievable, realistic, and effective until the last moment of this session.”