Wednesday, November 11, 2009

16. The Transparent Fee Bill

     Thank you to the many local governmental agencies who contributed to the article (which can be read in our web news feeds) in the AJC, “State uses funds anyplace it wants,” illustrating the deceptive practices in Georgia’s fee disbursement.      Telling Georgians that fees will go one place then using them in another is wrong. It is one of the reasons I voted against last year’s budget. It is the reason why I sponsored HR293, the “transparent fee” bill, which would stop this deceptive practice. Once again, Georgia’s elected Republican leadership let this bill die in committee so they could continue to use the money where they wanted it, not where the people wanted it.       I believe in a simple political philosophy – tell the people the truth. It works everytime.      The fees should be used where the people were told they would be used – end of story. If, and in this economy when, you have a budget shortfall elsewhere, use priority budgeting, copy other states’ successful programs, or even eliminate a fishpond, but never lie to the public about what you are doing with their money. When there is a problem in the budget, tell the people the truth, and the people will tell you what they want.  It is called representative government. People elect you; you represent them.  It has worked for me for 27 years and it is how I will work for you as your next governor.