The Budget Battle

One, two, three, four I declare a Budget War.

Senate leaders set up what could be a lengthy fight with the House this morning by producing a mid-year budget that cuts out local projects, funding for the KIA car plant, and some of Gov. Sonny Perdue’s top priorities.

Among the casualties in the $700 million mid-year spending plan produced by the Senate is Perdue’s “Go Fish Georgia” fishing tourism program and his push for $50 million to buy land for conservation.

The Senate version of the budget that runs through June 30 includes $81 million more for the financially ailing PeachCare health insurance program for children of the working poor, and $6.2 million to keep the public defenders system afloat. It has $164 million to pay to educate the extra children who started school in Georgia last fall, $11 million in emergency funding for tornado-damaged Americus, $181 million to pay off debt on money borrowed for construction projects, and about $20 million for reserves.

What it doesn’t contain is tens of millions of dollars for other projects promoted by Perdue and House leaders.

Seriously, it does put this stuff off only till July, but do we really want the mid-year budget used for pork instead of necessary spending?

And I have a question: do we really need to spend $13,000,000.00 to convince people to come fish in Georgia?

11 comments

  1. Bull Moose says:

    The Go Fish program is a huge waste of money given the serious problems with Peach Care, overcrowding and the lack of text books in schools, and the problems with transportation funding.

    In good times, I could understand promoting fishing, but given the tight nature of the budget, $13 million for such a purpose is a waste of money.

  2. joshdondich says:

    The GO Fish Program is unecessary, we have other concerns like overcrowding of public schools, lack of solutions for transportation. Why did the Senate cut out the Kia Plant. That creates high paying jobs . We need more auto plants here in Georgia.

  3. bowersville says:

    Was the funding for the Georgia State Patrol left out of the Supplemental? The AJC article wasn’t clear on this.

  4. Chris says:

    The GoFish initiative is one of the Governor’s best ideas since the NASCAR Museum. Not only will it spur tourism, but it will help control the rabid catfish problem plaguing south west Georgia. It will create more high paying jobs in Georgia than a car named after “Killed In Action”.

    This is a project that liberals and conservatives can get behind and if anything should get more funding in the supplemental budget.

  5. IndyInjun says:

    LEADERSHIP would mean addressing the unfunded liability for retiree health benefits, which is said (according to a report in the Augusta Chronicle) to be $20 billion. New accounting rules require that said liability be disclosed now by the state.

    The trouble is that the pols are kicking this massive financial problem down the road instead of addressing it.

    Who can blame them, for it either means offending the powerful state employees who have real power at election time OR

    The other option is to increase taxes on the rest of us, some of whom have to ante up 20% a year increases for our own insurance (which already includes a HUGE cost of caring for uninsured), to pay for the employees’ insurance. Such has the makings of a revolt.

    The legislature just sails on its merry way, doling out surplus funds for pork projects while refusing to tackle this problem.

    Using the term ‘leadership’ in conjunction with the party hierarchy is downright laughable.

  6. joshdondich says:

    The GO Fish Initiative is a noble idea for North Georgia heck even The whole state of Minnesota would benefit from a progam like that because there are 10 times more lakes in MN then in GA, but with a ice fishing initiative. The GO Fish Intitaive should not be the main priority. Peachcare and bringing Higher Paying jobs like the KIA Plant should be the priorities.

  7. tribalecho says:

    Real clean water. Something worth spending money on and something to brag about. Then the fishing just comes naturally.

    Land conservation should be a winner but when it comes to real estate it’s sorta hard to trust when the verifying comes so much later.

  8. StevePerkins says:

    Sorry Farris, but with all the odd opinions that get expressed in the political sphere, you have to be far less subtle for most people to catch on to an April 1st gag. EVERY day is April Fool’s Day here!

  9. Bull Moose says:

    Well, while we’re on the subject, how about the unfunded mandates being passed along from the state to the counties. Perhaps if the state carried its fair share on things such as prison reimbursements, local property taxes wouldn’t have to be so high.

  10. Federalist says:

    Why didn’t Sonny buy the Oaky Woods with that $50 million he wants to use on the GO Fish program? Screw the KIA plant, it is only a few jobs, and will not contribute much long term economic growth in Georgia, and will not employ that many people. Georgia needs to find new industries for our citizens to work in, not the same industries with more locations. There is a Democrat running in the 10th, James Marlow, who has a good plan for bringing growth and employment to Georgia…something to do with computers and technology. Bull Moose, excellent point. The State is not holding up to its end of many programs, hypocritically I will add.

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