Travis Fain at the Macon Telegraph has written the definitive look at what’s going to happen this legislative session. The short answer is: no one, even the legislators, really know.
Republican leaders have said they want to cut taxes, but there’s also a push for education and health-care reforms with unknown price tags. The state needs a new plan to fund state employee retiree benefits, which will mean setting aside more money in future years – but not necessarily this year.
There’s talk of radically changing the way road projects are funded, particularly since the Georgia Department of Transportation is reporting a funding shortfall totaling billions.
There’s an even more ambitious plan to overhaul the tax system in general by replacing the state income tax with a sales tax. But the prospect of doing that as some of these new costs come into view makes plenty of lawmakers nervous.
I’m hearing more and more that other than healthcare issues that must be addressed, this session is probably going to be a hodgepodge of miscellaneous issues from taxes, to Senator Johnson’s bill on special education, to taxes, etc.
Oh, and there are several pre-filed bills on cell phones while driving. Look for those to not get passed.