Last day to veto legislation

Sonny Perdue has been wielding his pen over the last few days:

Gov. Sonny Perdue used his veto pen Wednesday to slash about $141 million in spending and kill 41 bills passed during the legislative session.

Perdue signed the $20.2 billion budget for fiscal 2008, which begins July 1, into law. It includes 3 percent cost-of-living raises for about 200,000 teachers and state workers, $40 million for land conservation and $19 million for the governor’s fishing tourism program called “Go Fish Georgia.”

But before doing that, he cut out $123 million in construction debt and $18 million in local projects.

Among the veto victims was the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame in Augusta, a pet project of House Appropriations Chairman Ben Harbin (R-Evans). The state has spent about $7 million on the project during the past decade, but a Hall of Fame was never built.

Today was the last day for the Governor to veto any legislation. In Georgia when if the Governor fails to veto a bill within 40 days of legislature’s adjournment, it automatically becomes law. There is no pocket veto in Georgia.

While I like the idea of $141 million in vetoed spending, it didn’t come about honestly. It came about because Sonny Perdue had his feelings hurt when the House overrode his veto and when they refused to work out a compromise. It would have been nice if Perdue would actually do something out of principle for once…just once.

13 comments

  1. Bill Kecskes says:

    I’m proud of Governor Perdue for cutting the budget by $141 million. I’m sorry he didn’t veto more. It’s a positive start though.

    I’m also very sorry the Governor chose to veto SB 15. That was a mistake.

    Back to the good news:

    $142 million held back in HB 94 plus
    $141 million held back in HB 95 means the hardworking overtaxed citizens of Georgia are due a refund of $283 million! I want my share!

  2. LongTimeListener says:

    Wow… “Perdue” and “principle” in the same sentence. That’s something I never thought I’d see.

  3. LeftofCenter says:

    While I am no supporter of Perdue, it seems to me that he did veto tons of pet projects. I have no issue with that. I don’t think it is retribution, it is the right decision. The reality is HB95 was full of pork. Many of his vetoes struck the language and allows the agency to spend the funding on higher priorities

  4. Jason Pye says:

    He did veto tons of projects, but it was out of revenge, not any sort of principle of fiscal conservatism or limited government.

  5. IndyInjun says:

    Bill Kecskes,

    You broke my absurdity meter. You are mad that the governor vetoed your $20 to $25 tax refund, but you care not that John Linder dumped a $27,000 unfunded liability on your head.

    Linder has done you 1250 times the damage as Perdue, but you castigate Sonny?

    These days one can only shake one’s head and laugh.

  6. Bill Kecskes says:

    While I’m pleased the Governor vetoed $141 million, I’m more concerned about the following language used by the Governor to “veto” numerous specific projects because while specific projects are vetoed; the money stays within the department or agency and is directed for other purposes.

    I respectfully think the Governor is “over-stepping” his executive authority in doing this:

    “Certain language contained in this appropriation bill is included for informational purposes and thus does not constitute an appropriation. Because the language is not an appropriation, it is non-binding, and the Governor may authorize the agencies to utilize those funds in accordance with the overall purpose of the appropriation and within the general law authority of the agency. Passages of non-binding information language to disregard are included below.
    Non-Binding Information Language to Disregard:”

    Two quick examples:

    $2,000,000 for a parking garage in Gainesville is vetoed but the money is redirected for other purposes.
    $721,000 for renovation of five specific DFACS offices is vetoed but the $721,000 is redirected for other purposes.

    I think a Supreme Court ruling delineating the fine line between the General Assembly’s “appropriation” authority and the Governor’s “Executive Authority” is desperately needed.

    PS. Indy Injun – e-mail me at [email protected]
    and tell me why I should be upset with John Linder. Thanks.

  7. RuralDem says:

    “It would have been nice if Perdue would actually do something out of principle for once…just once.”

    I still stand by my long-held belief that Perdue is NOT a Republican, he’s just anti-Democrat.

    There’s a major difference, at least in my mind.

  8. IndyInjun says:

    “I should add, the term “fiscally irresponsible” gets used in Washington to attack or defend various pieces of legislation or political positions. I only wish, however, that was the case in describing this bill. Unfortunately, IF THERE EVER WAS A CASE OF TRUE FISCAL IRRESPONSIBILITY EMBODIED IN A BILL – THIS WOULD BE THE ONE.” – the late Charlie Norwood, writing about the Medicare Drug Bill.

    Linder voted for it. The mid range estimate of the cost is $8trillion. With 300 million in the USA, this puts the per capita cost at $27,000.

    Linder campaigned then and now on fiscal responsibility.

    Instead he VOTED to break the bank.

    BTW, good move on vetoing the money for the Gold HOF. It should never have been funded.

  9. LeftofCenter says:

    Bill–

    It is my understanding that the GA has the power to appropriate but the Gov has the power to spend. Agency heads are at his discretion, so essentially he can direct them to spend on higher priorities.

    One of the mishaps of program budgetting is that the Gov lost the ability to line item veto things in particular programs.

  10. Romegaguy says:

    How did the funding for a library and some parks in Paulding County survive the line item veto?

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