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Proposal calls for new Georgia Constitution
Rep. Larry O'Neal, R-Bonaire, speaks from the well of the Georgia House in Atlanta, as he answers questions from the floor during debate Friday Jan. 30, 2009 on HB 143, which fully funds this year the homeowners tax relief grants to the tune of more than $420 million. It would save homeowners $200 to $300 on their tax bills.(AP Photo/Journal & Constitution, Kimberly Smith)
ATLANTA - Georgia could have its first constitutional convention since 1877 under a proposal introduced by a group of House Republicans.
    State Rep. Bob Smith, R-Watkinsville, said Monday the convention would focus on overhauling Georgia’s tax policy. But he said ‘‘every tax, every thing’’ would be on the table, including a complete rewrite of Georgia’s constitution.
    Smith said he and other Republicans are growing increasingly frustrated at gridlock in the Georgia Legislature over tax-cutting measures. He said state lawmakers should ‘‘already be doing this, but it appears we’re not — so let’s put everything on the table, and let taxpayers sit on the front row.’’
    His bill calls for a statewide referendum allowing a convention and then a special election of 56 delegates.
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