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15 February 2012

State Senators Revisit Trauma Care Funding with a Pair of Constitutional Amendments

Two years ago, Georgians were asked to approve an additional $10 fee on their annual car registration to fund trauma care.

The trauma care constitutional amendment came about after a 2007 legislative study committee reported Georgia in "a trauma care crisis." Among the committee's recommendations was a dedicated trauma care fee derived from motor vehicle registrations.

Even though the trauma care amendment cleared the General Assembly with wide bipartisan majorities, Georgia voters rejected the proposal 52.6% "No" votes to 47.4% "Yes" votes.

Those referendum results, however, have not deterred a group of Georgia Senators from trying again.

Two proposed constitutional amendments, Senate Resolution 140 and Senate Resolution 845, revisits the issue of trauma funding in this state.

S.R. 140, sponsored by a group of Senators led by Greg Goggans, takes $10 from Georgians' annual car registration fees and allocates the money to trauma care. The difference in S.R. 140 and the 2010 trauma care amendment is that the 2010 amendment imposed an additional fee, while S.R. 140 earmarks $10 from money already paid.

S.R. 845, sponsored by Senator Jeff Mullis (R - Chickamauga) and Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R - Woodstock), dedicates revenues collected from the sale of fireworks to funding trauma care and firefighter services.

If either bill, S.R. 140 or S.R. 845, passes the legislature, they would require approval from the voters in November before becoming law.