Sen. Jeff Mullis, (R-Chickamauga) the lead negotiator, offered to use a penny from the four-cent gas tax to fund statewide road projects to the tune of $165 million annually. That was a concession to the House, which wants a statewide penny sales tax for transportation funding. The Senate prefers a regional approach.
But House negotiators, led by Rep. Vance Smith (R-Pine Mountain) balked, arguing that money already had been promised for mass transit.
Mullis started speaking, calmly, at 3:38 p.m. By 3:50 p.m., an agitated Mullis was poking papers on the table and insisting the House was not hearing him. He leaned into his microphone and said sarcastically, “Is my mic on?”
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