ATLANTA — The Latest on activity inside the Georgia Capitol as lawmakers run up against a key legislative deadline Wednesday (all times local):
The Georgia Senate has passed a proposal that would establish a new regional transit authority called the ATL.
That authority would be responsible for overseeing transit expansion in the metro Atlanta region.
The measure, passed by a vote of 51-4 on Wednesday, mirrors a bill passed by the House earlier in the day, though substantial differences exist between the two.
Under both plans, existing public transportation providers in the Atlanta region — including MARTA — would maintain some operational autonomy, but the entire system would be rebranded ATL by 2023.
One main difference between the two bills is how each handles funding.
The House version calls for a statewide fee of 50 cents for all rides in a taxi or car-hailing service such as Uber, while the Senate bill does not include such a tax.
Metro Atlanta commuters could soon be riding the ATL to work under a proposal passed by the Georgia House.
The measure would establish a regional transit authority_called the ATL_that would be responsible for creating a plan to tackle Atlanta’s mounting transit concerns and approve access to new sources of transit funding.
Under the plan, existing providers — including MARTA — would maintain some operational autonomy, but the entire system would be rebranded ATL by 2023.
The proposal initially included provisions that would allow for the creation of a “special service district” in Southern parts of Cobb county that could enter into contracts for transit services independent of the rest of the county.
That portion of the bill was stripped just before its passage by an amendment introduced by Rep. Earl Ehrhart of Powder Springs, who is part of the Cobb delegation.
The Georgia House has passed a measure that would require lobbyists working in the Capitol to abide by the same sexual harassment policy as lawmakers.
The proposal, passed unanimously on Wednesday, would require lobbyists to sign on to the General Assembly’s sexual harassment policy as a condition of their registration. It also outlines sanctions the General Assembly could impose on lobbyists that violate the policy, including revocation of their credentials and fines.
Leaders of the Georgia House and Senate earlier this month adopted an expanded sexual harassment policy for the legislature.