As we mentioned last week Governor Deal vetoed HB456, the Sunset Bill. Many of us were disappointed because we think this is a good bill that will help make Georgia’s government more efficient and effective for Georgia taxpayers.
This morning I spoke with Rep. Chuck Martin (R-Alpharetta) who Chairs the Budget and Fiscal Affairs Oversight committee. He worked hard to get this bill passed with bi-partisan support and was on the Conference Committee that worked out this final details that insured it’s passage.
Like Chuck, I support Governor Deal and think he’s doing a great job as Governor, but we disagree with the Governor on this issue. Friends do that sometimes. I post Chuck’s comments on HB456 with his permission and in the spirit of continuing the debate. I hope we can come back next year and implement this with Governor Deal’s support.
Here is what Rep. Martin sent me.
First, let me say I supported candidate Nathan Deal and I support Governor Nathan Deal. I believe the Governor is making many of the right moves for our state during these economic times and look forward to continuing to work with he and his office.
That said, the veto of HB 456, “The Georgia Government Accountability Act”, a/k/a, “The Sunset Bill”, was in my opinion a mistake.
HB 456 could have led to the elimination of unneeded and underserving state agencies and departments. Similar measures have worked well in other states such as Texas. HB456 passed the Georgia House with only 18 votes against. HB 456 had true bi-partisan
support including the leadership in both parties. In the Senate HB 456 passed with only 8 votes against.
The veto was based, according to a statement by the governor’s office, on the cost of the implementation. I believe vetoing the bill on this basis was misguided, here is why:
Approximate State Revenues for Fiscal Year 2012: $18,500,000,000.00
Staff’s estimated cost of elimination of HB 456: $7,000,000.00*
* This uses staff’s high in the estimate figure; I personally do not believe the additional annual cost would be near that amount.
So, cost of implementation would use .0378% (.000378) of state revenues with the potential of saving taxpayers’ money.
Let’s examine that cost when presented in terms of a Georgia family.
Let’s say a family makes $40,000 per year and they spent .0378% of their income to make sure they are getting a good value for their spending. In that case, the Georgia family would spend $15.14 per year, $.29 per week, $.04 per day to get a financial
Now ask yourself, if you make $40,000 per year would you spent $.04 per day, four cents per day, to insure you were getting a value for the money you spent – I think most Georgia families would say yes, I would and I will.
In fact, I expect the Georgia General Assembly will continue to keep this front and center in 2013 and until it becomes law in Georgia.
Representative Chuck Martin, R-Alpharetta
Budget and Fiscal Affairs Oversight, Chairman