Perdue expends little ink in approving 2010 budget

Just three line items totaling less than $200,000 in the 2010 state budget met with Gov. Sonny Perdue’s displeasure. 

Perdue on Wednesday signed the $18.6 billion spending plan, but unlike in past years, he found little to quibble with in doing so. 

The budget that now becomes law for the year beginning July 1 is $2.5 billion less than the 2009 budget passed during the 2008 session of the General Assembly. 

“Cutting the budget has forced a number of difficult decisions, but we have managed the state in a thoughtful, conservative way to ensure Georgians are receiving value for their tax dollars,” Perdue said in a statement.

The budget includes $23 million for trauma funding and more than $1.3 billion in federal stimulus money to fill holes for Medicaid and other programs. It avoids new health insurance premium increases for 225,000 teachers and state employees 

Overall, the budget features more than $1 billion in year-to-year cuts as well as $1.2 billion in borrowing for construction projects, mostly for schools and libraries. 

Here are the items vetoed:

– $25,000 in general funds for the Georgia State Games Commission. “State funding for this program is not justified, as the intention of this funding is inconsistent with the mission of the program,” Perdue said. 

– $22,700 in debt service for the Herty Foundation, specifically for the Herty Advanced Materials Development Center to design and construct a covered biofuels testing facilities through the sale of bonds. The state already issued $2 million in bonds for the center and there is a $900,000 balance still in the Center’s account. 

– $145,280 in debt service for the University System of Georgia to acquire a museum that isn’t for sale. Lawmakers approved $1.6 million in bonds for Darton College in Albany to purchase the local museum of art. The only problem was the museum wasn’t for sale.

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