MARTA rail effort dies without a Senate floor vote

I just got off the phone with state Sen. Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta, who told me that SB 313, the bill that would authorize MARTA to pursue a massive $8 billion expansion up through north Fulton County and east to Emory University, failed to make the Senate Rules Committee calendar and won't receive a Crossover Day vote on Monday.

"It's dead," said a clearly shaken Beach. "I put a lot of effort in that."

We're still trying to pin exactly why it wasn't the green light, but one factor may have been brought to light on Wednesday, by House Speaker pro tem Jan Jones, R-Milton, in an interview on GPB's "The Lawmakers."

While Beach was the author, Jones said she was concerned that six GOP senators whose districts touch the north Fulton region were against it.

Coalition to Advance Atlanta President Nick Juliano issued the following statement:

“Studies have shown dramatic support across the metro region for this bill, including a majority of North Fulton residents and Republican primary voters. By denying residents the opportunity to voice their opinions at the ballot box, opponents of transit expansion are continuing to kick the can down the road on this critical issue at a time in which we need real policy solutions rather than the politics of gridlock and rejection.

“Our residents deserve a vote, and our coalition will be spending the coming months continuing to build grassroots support for expanding transit and making metro Atlanta the best place it can be to live, work, and play.”

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About the Author

Jim Galloway
Jim Galloway
Jim Galloway is a three-decade veteran of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution who writes the Political Insider blog and column.