Perdue signs state budget

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ATLANTA - Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue has signed into law an $18.6 billion budget that slashes spending for state agencies but uses federal stimulus dollars to avoid painful cuts to Medicaid and education.

Perdue OK'd the spending plan Wednesday, the deadline for him to sign or veto bills that passed in this year's legislative session.

The governor used his line item veto power to strip about $200,000 from the budget. That's far less than the $14.2 million he hacked from last year's spending plan.

The budget covers the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Georgia's budget woes show no signs of improving anytime soon. State money managers say tax collections for April were down 20.6 percent from the same month the year before.

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