Governor Perdue and Speaker Richardson took two issues off the table for the 2006 Session of the Legislature: statutory spending caps and funding schools via sales tax.
Both the spending limits and sales-tax-for-schools proposals would have required approval from voters as well as the Legislature, making them potentially controversial topics for the campaign trail in a year when Perdue and all 236 legislators will stand for re-election.
Political observers said the GOP decision suggests the 2006 Legislature will stick with topics not likely to offend large numbers of voters.
“In an election year, you want to be with the tried and true, not with the controversial and risky,” said Kerwin Swint, professor of political science at Kennesaw State University.
It’s probably a good idea to table the school sales tax proposal as it seemed to lack support, but, I think it’s a mistake to not make capping State spending an issue in next year’s election. As Peach Pundit readers will remember, I support such a measure and have urged the Governor and the GOP to run on this issue. Georgia voters need assurances that a GOP governing majority will not spend like drunken sailors. Our friends in Washington have not given the voters any comfort on that issue.