mlee@macon.comFebruary 23, 2013 

ATLANTA -- Payne City is the latest example of the old saying that every vote counts. Because the 200-resident city within Macon rejected consolidation in a 9 to 7 vote, a key legislator is closing a door to Payne’s merger with Macon and Bibb.

On Saturday, state Rep. James Beverly, D-Macon, announced he will not sign Senate Bill 28, the measure that formally dissolves Payne into the Macon-Bibb consolidation.

“Democracy prevailed,” said Beverly. “The people of that particular locale have as much right as anyone else,” to vote on their political fate, he said, adding that even if it had been a one-vote margin, he would do the same thing.

His decision puts a roadblock in the way of SB 28. It would have passed through committee and the House floor as a mere formality if he and Payne’s other representative, state Rep. Nikki Randall, D-Macon, both signed.

The bill could still pass before the annual legislative session ends, likely by early April. But it will require some House member to take the orphan bill and maneuver it through a committee and a floor vote.

The bill has already passed the Senate.

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