SR 821: What It Is and What It Means For You (Updated)

(Editor’s note: SR 821 is now known as Referendum #3 on the 2010 General Election Ballot)

The Georgia Department of Transportation website offers a thorough review of Senate Resolution 821, which addresses how GDOT budgets for multiyear transportation projects.  The bill places a question on the November general election ballot that asks voters to amend the Georgia Constitution. The question will read as follows:

“Shall the constitution of Georgia be amended so as to allow the Georgia Department of Transportation to enter into multiyear construction agreements without requiring appropriations in the current fiscal year for the total amount of payments that would be due under the entire agreement so as to reduce long-term construction costs paid by the state?”

As of now, GDOT can move forward on entering a multiyear contract only if enough cash is on hand to fund the entire expense of that contract. This has resulted in increased project delays for transportation projects statewide. In the past, multiyear contracts could be paid for in installments over multiple fiscal years. To put it in perspective, imagine how difficult it would be to make large purchases such as a house or a new car if you were restricted to making said purchases only in full with personal savings!

A “yes” vote on the question would allow GDOT to enter and pay for multiyear contracts on an installment plan basis.

A “no” vote on the question would continue to prohibit  GDOT from entering multiyear contracts without the total funds on hand.

For more information on this important issue, please see the Referendum #3 info center.

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