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State lawmakers give updates on session
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State Sen. Steve Gooch and State Rep. Amos Amerson highlighted key issues and gave brief updates on the 2012 Legislative Session during the Dawson County Republican Party's April meeting.

The state's budget was a hot topic for both April 24 with Gooch pushing for a zero-based budget that he says can save the state billions of dollars.

"It's going to take about 10 years. It's not easy. It costs money, but I guarantee you, we'll save billions over the next 10 years because it can work," he said. "It's going to take a commitment from the state, from the bureaucrats, from the department heads and other elected officials."

The secretary of state and the commissioner of agriculture are currently using zero-based budgeting.

"And they've already seen results," Gooch said.

Amerson encouraged attendees to compare Georgia lawmakers with the federal government's handling of budgets.

"The thing you find out in the federal government is they blame it on the president. It's always the president's budget, no matter how much they change it," Amerson said.

"The state of Georgia is different. The governor proposes the budget and the legislators review it. We never say it's Sonny Perdue's budget, or Nathan Deal's budget. It belongs to us and we are proud of the budget when we put it together."

Amerson said he was also proud to report that 8.8 percent more people are working across Georgia than they were a year ago.