Based on state revenues, Georgia's government is 25 percent smaller than it was two and a half years ago. In order to meet the demands of our state's growing population, we are finding ways to do more with less. To that end, the Budget Task Force released their recommendations to the Senate this week on new ways to cut state spending.
When we are looking at all the red ink in the FY 2010 Budget, it is very difficult to find ways of dispensing hope. In spite of the difficulties, I'll try my best.
For those who can't come to Atlanta to see first-hand how the state legislature operates, I'd like to take this opportunity to explain how business works under the Gold Dome.
To cope with a sluggish economy and plummeting revenues, Georgia's state government needs a major lifestyle change. We're putting our budget on a lean diet of essential spending by concentrating funding in the vital areas of government; such as education, public safety and transportation.
Passing a responsible, balanced state budget that meets the needs of all Georgians is the House's greatest responsibility and number one priority.
Trying to come up with a balanced budget for FY 2011 that requires another $1.2 billion cut is like riding on the back of a tiger. One slip and you are lunch for the tiger.
By now a lot of you know that most members of the General Assembly are taking a two-week recess while the rest of us work on the FY 2011 Budget.
Halfway through session, the Senate and House have passed a Fiscal Year 2010 Amended budget that takes us to July 1 and has been reduced to $15.5 billion.
In (Real story on Gov. Perdue's performance pay for teachers, Feb. 17, 2010), we at the Georgia Association of Educators (GAE), felt compelled to set the record straight for your readership. Rep. Amos Amerson's contention that we spread "pay myths" is incorrect.
I applaud the school boards in the 9th Georgia House District for making the same tough decisions that we at the capitol have been coping with. We have tried to cut the least from those who are the most vulnerable; still, some people and organizations can't seem to accept or deal with today's reality.
Greetings from your 400 North Board of Realtors.
Georgia consumers and businesses stand to benefit from two bills that have already received final passage by the full legislature this session. Banking customers in good standing, notably businesses and homeowners, now have a greater chance of getting their loans renewed.
Technology has improved and personal protective equipment and apparatus are safer, while building codes are better, but we are still losing 100 or more firefighters and around 2,000 civilians a year to fire.
The "no texting while driving" legislation (HB 944) had its first hearing last week. I want to thank Sally Sorohan for coming to the Capitol and testifying on behalf of the bill. Thanks also to all of you who have sent e-mails, written letters and made phone calls.
Georgia's current property tax system places unnecessary financial burdens on families and individuals who are already struggling to survive in this grim economy.
Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year. It is a time to spend with family and friends and to celebrate the birth of our savior. It is also a time to reflect back over the past year and to begin to plan for the year ahead. This season I have taken time to look back over my first term serving as your State Representative.