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Consolidation bill dies in the House

Photo by Brian Giandelone

Photo by Brian Giandelone

As promised, Senator Freddie Powell Sims did push Senate Bill 538 through the Senate Committee for State and Local Government Operations and out onto the floor of the Senate for a vote where it passed April 21, according to the clerk of the Senate.

The bill then moved over into the Georgia House of Representatives where it was read twice and was en route to the House committee on local legislation when the session expired at midnight.

Had the bill passed, the proposed charter for a new government would've moved to the U.S. Justice Department for approval before likely heading to the voters in November as a referendum.

Sims, who was under pressure from those on both sides of the issue, promised local officials last year when House Bill 800 -- which also called for a referendum on consolidation -- was adopted by the House that she would stall the bill in the senate until local leaders could piece together their own consolidation charter and send it to Atlanta.

After months of discussion and debate, both the city and county commissions held a vote to determine whether to send a charter to the capitol. The city passed their measure while the county did not.