Rumblings from the Capitol today are coming from Democrats who believe assistance to MARTA in the form of relaxing the 50/50 required ratio of capital to operating expenses has been stripped from any transportation reform compromise.
The trouble apparently began when Rep. Stacey Abrams had the temerity to question the germaneness of the Senate substitution of HB 1055 – commonly known as the “don’t call them taxes we’re just increasing ‘fees’ bill.”
Abrams, with a degree from Yale Law School, apparently overstepped her boundaries as a member of the minority party to question a deal cut by majority leadership on silly technical grounds like rules. And as such, say the Dems, MARTA will pay the price.
I have not had the opportunity to ask any of the Republican leaders if this is true, partially true/partially posturing, or if MARTA relief is still in play in their eyes. Regardless, with only four shopping days left to buy your favorite legislator/legislation, I remain convinced that a workable plan to move transportation forward (finally) in this state, and specifically, in the Atlanta region, is a must. And a realistic role and funding model for MARTA must be part of that plan.