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Revenues Lagging, Special Session Possible
Wednesday, 27 May 2009

May 27--  The Georgia legislature may have to reconvene this summer as state revenues continue to lag.

Senate President Pro Tem Tommie Williams of Lyons got the news Wednesday morning that revenues this Spring are down nearly 25 percent.

"We still have a few hundred million dollars in reserve, but we have a $750 million problem.  My thinking is we're going to be about $400 million short by July 1st which means the Governor will have to make additional cuts.  Then in the 2010 budget which begins July 1st, we'll have that problem to fix in the following budget.  I'm not sure if we'll have to go back in to fix that problem or if the Governor can make the systemic changes that will follow into 2010," he says.

Senator Williams says the cuts which have already been made to balance the state budget don't leave much more to cut without hurting basic services. He mentioned educator furloughs and a shorter school year as an option.

"At the end of the day, we're going to have additional cuts and they will be more painful because we've already gotten rid of what could be considered waste or things we could do without.  Now it's down to education and corrections and those fundamental services we have to provide to our citizens," he reports.

Because the budget shortfalls continue to grow, Senator Williams believes the Governor may need help from lawmakers in a special session. "He has some liberty, but frankly I don't know that he wants to take as much as required to fill a $400 million hole without us, and I don't think he should," he said.

Click Here to Hear Senator Williams



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