Perdue outlines stimulus package

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ATHENS, Ga. -- Gov. Sonny Perdue announced Tuesday that he will propose his own stimulus package for the state that will be funded by borrowing as a way to create jobs during the recession.

He made the announcement during a speech to legislators meeting at the University of Georgia for a conference on the key issues they'll face when the General Assembly convenes Jan. 12.

There will be further cuts in state spending for day-to-day operations and services, he warned. Though he didn't give details, he told lawmakers they will get a budget recommendation plan from him that trims nearly every area of government.

For his stimulus package, he intends to sell bonds for transportation and the construction of schools and other projects. He declined to detail specifics, or even offer a total dollar figure, but he said he would keep the tally well below the state constitution's limit on bond payments, which is capped at 10 percent of the budget.

"It will have two effects : It will put people to work, but it will also be for things that, over the life cycle of that asset, will be used to stimulate the economy and provide more for the state," he said.

He met with bond traders and rating agencies last month in New York and came back assured that they agreed with him about the wisdom of his plan.

President-elect Obama has announced plans for distributing federal funds to states for construction projects as part of his own stimulus strategy.

Georgia Transportation Commissioner Gena Evans said earlier Tuesday that she had given the Obama staff a list of projects of mostly maintenance and repair jobs that could be begun within 30 days totalling $300 million and another list topping $3.4 billion that could be started in 180 days. But lackluster tax collections prevent Georgia from matching 20 percent of the federal funds as Mr. Obama proposed.

"We can't afford the match, and neither can the other states," she said.

Tax-collection figures released while Mr. Perdue was speaking showed a 1.4 percent increase in November compared to the same month last year. But he noted that collections for the fiscal year to date are 1.3 percent below last year, with a greater slide coming.

Mr. Perdue will present his budget recommendations to the Legislature in mid-January, but they must go to the printer within days.

"The worst may not be in, and when you have a balanced-budget state, you have to be really concerned about getting it right," he said.

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dickworth1
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dickworth1 12/10/08 - 03:48 am
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I would be very careful with
Unpublished

I would be very careful with accepting any federal funding, because it will come with a lot of federal regulations and
the feds will have control over the states. Money is not free,
it will cost Georgians in more ways than one. Be very careful!

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