Government

More News | | | Editor

Budget to dominate Georgia legislative session

Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 11:13 AM
Last updated Friday, Dec. 6, 2013 1:30 AM
  • Follow Government

A leader in Georgia’s Sen­ate said the budget will dominate the upcoming legislative session, with little else “ambitious” to come up from elected officials.

Back | Next
Georgia Rep. Barbara Sims speaks at the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce's annual pre-legislative session breakfast Thursday morning in Augusta.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
Georgia Rep. Barbara Sims speaks at the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce's annual pre-legislative session breakfast Thursday morning in Augusta.

“Beyond the budget, I don’t know that there’s going to be a very ambitious agenda at all,” said Sen. David Shafer, the president pro tempore of the Senate.

The Duluth Republican was the featured speaker Thurs­day at the Augusta Me­tro Chamber of Commerce pre-legislative breakfast at the Augusta Convention Center.

Rep. Wayne Howard, D-Augusta, said the session would be one of the quickest, predicting it would end in March.

“We’ll probably not deal with a lot of bills outside of appropriations and doing some unfinished business,” Howard said.

Shafer said there’s been an improvement in state revenue, but it is not considered to be a windfall.

“We’ve had some tough years. We passed a budget in 2007 that would have spent $21 billion, and several years ago we passed a budget that only spent $15.5 billion,” Shafer said.

The budget approved in the last session was $19.9 billion, up from $19.3 billion a year earlier.

Shafer said the state government is better off smaller than $21 billion because it forced leaders to focus on “what government ought to do.”

“And a lot of the people who complained about the cuts don’t want to talk about how we got to $21 billion to begin with,” Shafer said. “In 1992, the population of Georgia was 5.9 million people. The budget for state government was $5.9 billion.”

Shafer said that 15 years later, the breakdown went from $1,000 per person to almost $2,500 per person for state government in the $21 billion budget.

“During this period of explosive government spending, which somehow managed to ignore the infrastructure needs of the state … all that money was plowed into social services for which we have very little to show,” Shafer said.

In the first chamber legislative breakfast since his death, members of the Au­gus­ta delegation continued to eulogize Quincy Murphy, who died in August, and welcomed Brian Prince to the fold. Prince was elected Tuesday in a runoff to fill Mur­phy’s House District 127 seat.

“Quincy will be missed by all of us. He was a very close friend of mine. It is going to be hard to go back to session and look at that seat,” said Rep. Gloria Frazier, D-Hephzibah. “It is going to take time. He was a valuable asset to this community.”

Comments (3) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
dichotomy
37416
Points
dichotomy 12/05/13 - 12:50 pm
1
0
"Shafer said there’s been an

"Shafer said there’s been an improvement in state revenue, but it is not considered to be a windfall."

No problem. Pull out last year's budget, shave everything 2% or 3%, do not approve any new spending, and we will be in pretty good shape next year. Just remember....the word "budget" means that you do not spend more than you make. In the case of politicians it means do not spend more than you TAKE and you are already TAKING way too much.

bubbasauce
24260
Points
bubbasauce 12/06/13 - 03:39 am
0
0
Dichotomy for President!

Dichotomy for President!

geecheeriverman
4514
Points
geecheeriverman 12/06/13 - 05:13 am
0
0
Social Services

Social Services for which we have little to show. Wanna bet that crowd will be the most vocal again this year.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Ex-superintendent to write of miraculous recovery

Taking his doctor's advice, former Richmond County school superintendent Frank Roberson has nearly finished writing a 150-page book about his remarkable recovery from brain trauma.
Search Augusta jobs