Welfare Watch - May 14, 2009 - Governor Perdue Signs $18.6 Billion Fiscal Year 2010 Budget
From the Office of the Governor
ATLANTA - Governor Sonny Perdue today announced that HB119 - General appropriations; State Fiscal Year July 1, 2009 - June 30, 2010 the state's FY 2010 budget, has been signed into law. The FY10 budget year begins July 1, 2009.
"Cutting the budget has forced a number of difficult decisions, but we have managed the state in a thoughtful, conservative way to ensure Georgians are receiving value for their tax dollars," said Governor Perdue. "We have maintained triple-a bond ratings, saving the state tens of millions of dollars, and funded our top priorities to ensure the basic responsibilities of state government are being met."
The $18.6 billion FY10 budget is $2.5 billion less than the original FY 09 budget passed during the 2008 session of the Georgia General Assembly. Governor Perdue began reducing agency spending in the FY09 budget last summer, and submitted significant budget cuts in both the Amended FY09 and FY10 budgets to the legislature in January. The Governor revised the revenue estimate during the session, accounting for further reductions in tax collections and the availability of stimulus funding in certain state programs.
The FY10 budget includes $23 million for trauma funding, the first consistent funding of state�s trauma network approved. Increased fines on dangerous driving behaviors will finance the first sustainable source of funds for trauma in the state budget. Major reforms of state government passed this year, including the transformation of the Department of Human Resources, the creation of an Aviation Authority, and the first major alteration to the way that the Department of Transportation does business in decades � all are revenue neutral and will result in better service for taxpayers.
The Governor also signed 13 bills this year that either extend current tax exemptions or provide additional tax savings to citizens and businesses in Georgia. Many of these bills were already evaluated and calculated into the FY2010 revenue estimate.
Governor Perdue also issued three line-item vetoes and 12 agency directives to ignore intent language included in the budget. The budget is an appropriations act, not general law, and therefore intent language is non-binding. As the language is non-binding, the Governor may authorize agencies to utilize funds subject to non-binding intent language in accordance with the overall purpose of the appropriation and within their general law authority. Vetoed items and messages regarding non-binding information language to disregard are included below.
Line-Item Vetoes by the Governor
Section 33, pertaining to the Department of Natural Resources, page 222, line 507.1 and 507.100:
The General Assembly appropriated $25,000 in state general funds for the Georgia State Games Commission. State funding for this program is not justified, as the intention of this funding is inconsistent with the mission of the program. Therefore, I veto this appropriation.
Section 50, pertaining to State of Georgia General Obligation Debt Sinking Fund, page 316, line 397.261 BOND:
This language authorizes the appropriation of $22,700 in debt service to finance projects and facilities for the Herty Foundation, specifically for the Herty Advanced Materials Development Center to design and construct a covered biofuels testing facility through the issuance of $250,000 in 20-year bonds. The State of Georgia issued $2,000,000 in bonds for the Herty Foundation to fund renovations and equipment of which remains a balance of $900,000. Of this balance, $250,000 can be redirected to fund the design and construction of the testing facility. The need for this appropriation, therefore, is not evident at this time. Therefore, I veto this language (page 316, line 397.261) in the provisions relative to Section 50 State of Georgia General Obligation Debt Sinking Fund and the state general funds of $22,700.
Section 50, pertaining to State of Georgia General Obligation Debt Sinking Fund, page 320, line 397.605 BOND:
This language authorizes the appropriation of $145,280 in debt service to finance projects and facilities for the University System of Georgia, Board of Regents, specifically to acquire and renovate strategic property for Darton College in Albany, Dougherty County through the issuance of $1,600,000 in 20-year bonds. The Albany Museum of Art is housed on this property. Due to current economic conditions, the museum will remain at this location, which will delay sale of the property to Darton College. Therefore, I veto this language (page 317, line 397.605) in the provisions relative to Section 50 State of Georgia General Obligation Debt Sinking Fund and the state general funds of $145,280.
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