Legislative Update January 23, 2010 – Budget Week

January 23, 2010

This past week was focused on the annual budget hearings with all the agency heads and the full appropriations committee. This is my first year on the Appropriations Committee, so I am eager to jump in and start learning about the process.

Here’s the skinny on the budget:

Governor Perdue released his amended budget proposal for 2010 and for Fiscal Year 2011. The Fiscal Year 2010 Amended Budget figure released was reduced to $17.4 billion , from an original budget of $18.6 billion. This includes between an eight and nine percent cut on most state agencies . Three additional furlough days for all state employees has been requested by the Governor in the amended recommendations. An option for the individual school boards across the state is the choice to offset the furloughs by either using surpluses or cutting the budget in other areas.

The Fiscal Year 2011 estimated revenue figure is projected at $18.2 billion . T he Governor’s budget is the recommendation for how the incoming revenue will be appropriated; however, legislators ultimately decide funding for the state agencies, programs, and services and the Governor’s budget is used as a guide in the decision making process.

This past week my bill banning texting while driving, HB 938, http://www.legis.state.ga.us/legis/2009_10/sum/hb938.htm , garnered quite a bit of attention all over the state.

To see the press conference (it is breath-taking video!!), go to:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXNe71gloU8 .

Check out one of the media reports from Atlanta at http://www.cbsatlanta.com/video/22275967/index.html . I would love to hear from you about your thoughts as well.

Consolidation of Macon and Bibb County continues to be my major local focus. Very soon, I am hoping there will be information available to all of you that will answer many of your questions about this very difficult, but much needed, transition for our local governments. Stay tuned.

Transportation funding and Property Tax Reform will be a major focus as well the Session. In coming issues, I will address the solutions that I believe may be forthcoming in both these critical issues.

Thank you for the privilege to serve as your State Representative. I hope you will always contact me with issues that are important to you.

You can reach me by email at rmsceo@aol.com , or join my personal facebook site at Allen Peake, or my campaign facebook site at State Representative Allen Peake, or follow me on twitter.