Members of the Georgia House of Representatives this week struck back at Delta Airlines and decided not to renew a jet fuel tax credit that they bestow upon the company.
The vote, however, was merely symbolic. Delta still has the tax credit.
That’s because members of the Georgia State Senate did not have an opportunity to vote on the matter for this year’s legislative session, which is now over.
“Since the Senate did not take up the Delta fuel tax, it is on hold until next year’s session,” said State Rep. Charlice Byrd (R-Woodstock).
State Rep. Josh Bonner (R-Fayetteville) told The Georgia Star News Friday that legislators expect to meet for a special session later this year to discuss reapportionment and redistricting.
“But we will not be able to pick up any [other] business during that time,” Bonner said.
Delta Airlines have officials heavily criticized Georgia’s new voter integrity law, Senate Bill 202. As reported last week, this new voter reform law requires, among other things, voter ID on all absentee ballots and secured drop boxes around the clock.
Byrd and Bonner said they both voted not to renew Delta’s jet fuel tax credit.
“It has a lot to do, from my point of view, with the Delta CEO [Ed Bastian]coming out against our great state of Georgia,”Byrd said.
“He sat in on hearings [on this bill] and never said a peep that he was against any of what we were doing. But, after the governor signed it, he made the decision to step forward.”
Bonner, meanwhile, said Bastian got “holier-than-thou” when it was too late.
“Corporations like that definitely need to be wary of how they meddle into our policy-making,” Bonner said.
Bonner also said that his district “has a higher concentration of Delta employees than anywhere in the state.”
“I can guarantee you based on the feedback I have gotten from my constituents that Ed Bastian does not represent his employees,” Bonner said.
Officials at Delta Airlines have not returned The Star News’ repeated requests for comment this week.
Byrd said Delta should “sell tickets and leave everybody else alone and don’t bring politics into it.” Bonner said that all he and others want the airline to do “is take us to where it says [we’re going] on that ticket that we buy.”
As reported Friday, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has repeatedly defended SB 202. He said the controversy over the law is “a manufactured crisis” and that the law makes it easy to vote but hard to cheat.
As reported Monday, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel defended Georgia SB 202, which Democrats nationwide have described as a form of voter suppression. She said “Democrats are peddling a false narrative in order to dismantle our elections processes, and the Georgia election reforms expose that lie because the bill actually EXPANDS voting opportunities.”
Delta Airlines, according to its website, requires its passengers prove they are who they say they are and present a government-issued ID.
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