ATLANTA – Georgia House spokesman David Ralston remains committed to ensuring that the federal government does not curtail the US $ 350 billion bailout plan intended for state and local governments.
In a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen Thursday, Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, cited the language of the $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill passed this week, which prohibits states from granting aid “either directly or indirectly ”. Compensation for reductions in net tax revenue.
Thursday’s letter followed similarly worded letters the speaker sent Wednesday to President Joe Biden and members of the Georgian Congress delegation.
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The American bailout plan that Biden signed on Thursday now threatens two bills before the General Assembly, Ralston wrote.
One of the measures would allow Georgians a $ 140 million tax cut by increasing the standard state income tax deduction. The other would extend a tax credit for families adopting a foster child.
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“As finance minister, it will be left to your department to interpret this law and issue rules and regulations,” the spokesman wrote. “I pray you will protect states by improving the effects of this flawed law and by respecting our right to good housekeeping.”
In the letter, Ralston cited an editorial in the Wall Street Journal criticizing the provision as a potential violation of the US Supreme Court’s “anti-commandering” doctrine, which prohibits Congress from using federal funds to coerce states .
“Even if the ban on tax cuts does not meet the legal compulsory test of the court, it is still a tremendous affront to constitutional federalism,” wrote the newspaper’s editors.
The auxiliary bill includes $ 8.1 billion for Georgia. The state will receive $ 4.6 billion of this directly, while the remainder will go to local governments.
Georgia’s two Democratic US Senators voted for the legislation, as did all six Democrats in the state’s US house delegation. All eight Republicans in the delegation were against it.