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Governor Signs State Budget
Friday, 13 March 2009

March 13--Today Governor Sonny Perdue signed into law House Bill 118, the state’s Amended Fiscal Year 2009 budget. The amended budget signed by the Governor stands at $18.9 billion.

“This is a budget that focuses on the core services of government,” said Governor Perdue. “We have made effective use of federal stimulus dollars and the state’s rainy day fund, which we worked so hard to build up, to lessen the impact of this economic downturn and plan for next year’s budget. Through sound management by our agency leaders and wise decisions by lawmakers, Georgia will endure a challenging economy and emerge ready to prosper.”

Governor Perdue has taken a number of steps to ensure the FY 2009 budget does not spend more than the state will collect. A year ago, Governor Perdue reduced the revenue estimate for the budget by $245 million to begin preparations for the slowing economy. In August, amid continuing revenue declines, the Governor announced six percent reductions in state agencies except for education and some health care programs.

In February, Governor Perdue again reduced the revenue estimate by another $450 million. A total of $2.6 billion, well over 10 percent of the original $21.1 billion budget, has been cut from the spending plan. Those cuts have been softened by strategic use of the state’s rainy day reserve fund and the recognition of funding from the federal stimulus package.

The budget maintains critical services in public safety, healthcare, and education, and includes the pay raises for teachers that were granted at the beginning of this school year.  The budget also maintains Georgia’s strong infrastructure in education, transportation, and economic development and takes advantage of the state’s AAA bond rating to save the state $10.5 million through lower construction costs.  The AFY09 budget includes $428 million in Homeowner Tax Relief Grants for this year, as required by House Bill 143, which the Governor signed in February.


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