State Rep. Keisha Waites (D-Atlanta)
ATLANTA Legislation has been pre-filed to create a transportation authority that could bring bus service and commuter rail to part of the Southern Crescent.
State Rep. Keisha Waites (D-Atlanta) has pre-filed House Bill 6, which would create the “Piedmont Altamaha Transit Authority,” which would oversee transportation from the College Park and Forest Park areas to Macon.
“The authority is created for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, completing, developing, owning, operating, and maintaining a high-speed intercity and urban rail, tram, and bus transit system in the Counties of Bibb, Butts, Clayton, Henry and Monroe,” the legislation states.
If the legislation, which is co-sponsored by State Rep. Sandra Scott (D-Rex) and State Rep.-elect Valencia Stovall, who will represent the Riverdale area, would be a means to create the Atlanta-to-Macon commuter rail line that transit proponents have been pushing for years. It would also bring local bus service back to Clayton County for the first time since the Clayton County Board of Commissioners shut down the C-Tran bus service in 2010.
The bill is one 15 pieces of legislation Waites has submitted during the state House of Representatives’ pre-filing period. She is the only member of the Clayton County Legislative Delegation who has pre-filed any legislation.
Waites also filed a piece of local legislation to set the number of Forest Park City Council members needed to call a special meeting, remove the city manager, department head and council member, or to override the mayor’s veto, at three council members. Stovall is co-sponsoring the legislation.
Forest Park officials have sought to get that approved since 2010. City Manager John Parker said the city’s charter was changed to reduce the number of council members several years ago, but other parts of the charter were not changed to reflect the smaller size of the city council.
“It’s just a housekeeping measure,” Parker said.
Since it is a piece of local legislation, the majority of Clayton County’s seven representatives and two senators must sponsor it in each chamber of the General Assembly under state law. It was introduced during the 2011 legislative session, but never got far.
Waites has also pre-filed a piece of legislation that would set new requirements for school system policies that deal with “unloading children under 8 years of age from a school bus.”
Other pieces of legislation pre-filed by Waites cover: Drug-free zones; restraints used on female inmates at penal institutions; age requirements for education; citizens’ oversight of redistricting; sentencing of defendants found guilty of “crimes involving bias or prejudice;” public school funding; reporting of bullying incidents in schools; rights of blind students; farm-to-school programs; medicare and medicaid programs at the Georgia State War Veterans’ Home; income tax credits for volunteer firefighters and school dropout deterrents.