Legislators are plotting against Perdue:
A week after Gov. Sonny Perdue slashed the state budget they approved, frustrated House and Senate leaders quietly got together at a St. Simons Island resort to consider taking a drastic and historic step: calling themselves back into a special session.
Once leaders of the Republican majority had gone over their options, they called in a few Democrats to test their interest.
“I think the sentiment in the House is strong — and I think it’s strong in the Senate, too,” said House Rules Chairman Earl Ehrhart (R-Powder Springs), who attended one meeting of top House and Senate leaders. “Their loyalty was rewarded with a knife in the back from the governor.”
However, senators were angered both by Perdue’s May 30 veto of 41 bills and his decision to strike language put into the state’s $20.2 billion budget directing how money should be spent. By doing so, Perdue essentially told state agencies they can ignore the directions of lawmakers. Some legislators felt the move was an attempt to make the General Assembly powerless to decide how state money is spent.
“There are some larger issues that need to addressed about the balance of power and the constitutional right of the Legislature to participate as an equal partner in the process,” Johnson said.
Ehrhart said calling a special session “is really the only avenue we have if we want to be relevant in the appropriations process as a Legislature.”