Tag Archives: Governor Nathan Deal

Time for Georgia to recommit to water conservation and regional plans

By Guest Columnist LAUREN JOY, an associate attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center

In 2011, many Atlantans were relieved by the court determination that water supply was an authorized purpose of Lake Lanier. Despite this “win” for Atlanta in the Tri-State Water Wars, we must continue to treat water supply as an ongoing and important issue for Atlanta and the state.

The “Water Wars” are far from over, and the best step we can take to secure and sustain our state’s water supplies is to improve our statewide water planning efforts.
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Despite lower bonding limits, new Atlanta Falcons stadium would receive same amount of hotel-motel taxes

It’s time to set the record straight.

Reducing the bonding capacity on the proposed $1 billion Atlanta Falcons stadium from $300 million to $200 million will not impact the amount of taxes that will be invested in the project.

The amount of hotel-motel taxes that would be invested in the project was determined nearly three years ago when the General Assembly agreed to extend the hotel-motel tax collected in the City of Atlanta and in unincorporated Fulton County.
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Governor reduces bond package; Metro Atlanta avoids slowdown

The depth of the recession in Georgia is evident in the dwindling amount of money the state plans to borrow to improve its infrastructure.

The bond sum proposed in 2007 was $914 million. The current bond proposal is almost 22 percent lower, at just over $713 million, in the budget recommendation for 2014 presented by Gov. Nathan Deal. Metro Atlanta’s slice of the pie increased by 16 percent in snapshots of the years 2007 and 2014.

The comparison of two budget years hardly represents a comprehensive analysis of state investment. It does provide a glimpse of the state’s investment dashboard and outlook during the lingering downturn that officially started in late 2007.
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‘No mob, no coup, no insurrection,’ but not quite ‘We, the people’ either

We, the people have had a grand wallow of binding ourselves together over the past few days, from the tribal frenzy of the NFL playoffs to the lofty visions of togetherness celebrated on the King Holiday, to the second inauguration of Barack H. Obama, president of the United States.

The difficulty some still have in swallowing the last clause of the preceding sentence gave U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, by now the South’s longest-serving and most seasoned political leader, a tricky assignment Monday. As co-chair of the inauguration committee, he was the only Republican to speak at the swearing-in ceremony.

Alexander seemed to be speaking directly to his party’s most disaffected when he recalled the words of his fellow Tennessean Alex Haley: “Find the good, and praise it,” repeating the admonishment twice more for emphasis in a two-minute speech.
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Xpress bus service funded in Gov. Deal’s proposed FY 2014 budget

The Xpress bus service operated by GRTA will continue to operate through at least June 2014 if the Legislature leaves intact the operating funds recommended by Gov. Nathan Deal in his budget proposal for FY 2014.

Deal also made history by including Xpress funding in the state’s annual budget, rather than its supplemental budget. That’s significant because eliminating money from programs that are included in the annual budget has, historically, been much more difficult than eliminating funding that was provided in the amended budget, or supplemental budget, the Legislature adopts in the middle of a fiscal year.

Deal provided $8.1 million for Xpress operations in the budget he unveiled Thursday. The money would offset the loss of local and federal funds, according to the line item in the governor’s budget.
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