Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Grady Bills

I was going to write something on the Grady bills today but in a strange twist of fate, I'm very ill. So, instead I will direct you to the blog of the primary sponsor Sen. David Shafer (R-Duluth) for details.

Just a few comments from me.

Senate Resolution 722 creates a Grady Oversight Committee. First proposed in 1999 by then Senator David Scott, legislative oversight has been persistently opposed by those who run Grady.
The language of this resolution is drawn directly from MARTOC, the legislative oversight committee for MARTA. The entities are very analagous. Both MARTA and Grady are huge metropolitan institutions which receive no funding from the state - although that may change for Grady.

MARTOC still generates discomfort among some since MARTA remains the only major public transportation system in the country without any state funding. However, even critics have to acknowledge having the white hot light of higher scrutiny on the struggling system resulted in improvement including a revenue surplus in 2006.

The second resolution involves conflicts of interest.

Senate Bill 353 the Public Hospital Integrity Act, prevents those with a financial tie to either Grady or a major vendor of Grady from serving in a governing capacity for the hospital. This bill will help make sure that Grady’s board gives its loyalty to Grady as an institution and not to those who do business with Grady. Senator David Adelman, Vicent Fort and Kasim Reed are among the Democrats who cosponsored the bill.
The most frequent reaction to this bill is "it isn't already there?" No, unbelievably it isn't. But also note the co-sponsors include vociferous "privatization" critic Sen. Vincent Fort. The coalition is beginning to come together.

Finally, this week Sen. Shafer will sponsor resolutions regarding the sustainability of Grady. Although appropriations originate in the House, no doubt these will in some way address the $55 million Governor Perdue wants dedicated to a state-wide trauma network.

Sen. Shafer communicates to the Drift that this legislation should alleviate the concerns of those suspicious of oversight without funding as well as create a plan for Grady to become self-sustaining.


South Fulton Guy said...

Since we're talking about inequities, it sure would be nice for the state and other counties to share the tax burden that Dekalb and Fulton bear for both MARTA and Grady.

As much as the legislature micro-managed Fulton County's Governance to "rescue" North Fulton from taxpayer abuses, you'd think they'd share the burden at the very least for their North Fulton constituents if not for all of those footing the bill.

The reality is these institutions serve folks metro wide of all shades and hues. Imagine the impact metro-wide if there were no MARTA or Grady.

I am not counting on the legislature to do anything about it this year either. Georgia ought to be ashamed.

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