Archive for July, 2009

9,300 state workers already furloughed in new fiscal year

New figures show about 9,300 state employees have taken or are scheduled to take furloughs already this fiscal year, which began last week. Another 120 either have been or will be laid off.

And that’s before Gov. Sonny Perdue is expected to order more spending cuts. Those figures don’t include the massive University System, which has more than 40,000 employees and is seeing layoffs as well.

Figures obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution show roughly 32,000 state employees had to take days off without pay during fiscal 2009 because of the state’s budget crisis. That’s about half of the non-University System employees in state government. Another 350 workers were laid off during fiscal 2009, which ended June 30.

The figures don’t include University System staffers because they were not immediately available. But Georgia State University announced in May it was laying off 30 staffers.

The number of furloughs and layoffs this fiscal year will likely grow, and probably soon. …

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State of the race(s): Deal, Baker set the tone

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.[poll id="5"]The 2010 campaign for governor just had a flash point, or several of them, in the dog days of summer, a year from the partisan primaries.

With all of the candidates now filing their required campaign finance forms with the State Ethics Commission, the leaders at this point in the long campaign are Republican Nathan Deal, a veteran member of the U.S. House, and Democratic Attorney General Thurbert Baker. But beyond the top money men, a more important story could be brewing below.

Deal outpaced all candidates by raising nearly $980,000 in this filing period, which covers the first six months of the year. Baker, meanwhile, reported more than $700,000 raised.

It was not immediately clear, however, how much of Baker’s haul came from money he had already raised for a re-election bid before joining the race for governor. His finance report for his AG’s account, however, shows that he refunded about $20,000 in …

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Update: Baker leads all Dems

Running thread on Tuesday’s filings of campaign finance reports by candidates for the top statewide offices:

Update 7 a.m. Wednesday:: Attorney General Thurbert Baker leads all Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls with more than $700,000 raised in the first half of 2009 and nearly $600,000 cash on hand.

Baker was the final candidate for governor to file the key campaign finance reports, his filing hitting the State Ethics Commission Web site with 20 minutes to spare before the midnight Tuesday deadline.

Here’s a look at money raised by candidates for the top posts:

GOVERNOR

Ports, truck stops get federal stimulus dollars to curb diesel emissions

By Kristi E. Swartz

kswartz@ajc.com
Some of Georgia’s ports and truck stops will get federal stimulus money to help clean up emissions from idling ships and trucks, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Monday.
As part of the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the EPA will send $164,964 to the Georgia Ports Authority and $748,000 to the state’s natural resources department to help with clean-technology diesel projects.
Both buckets of money will support grants for emission-curbing technology. A state DNR spokesman said the work at the truck stops will create one full-time and one part-time job, based upon information from vendors. It is unclear how many jobs the grant for work at the ports will create.
At Georgia’s ports, the money will retrofit cargo equipment so it can run on ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel, reducing emissions by one-third, or 13.7 percent over the next 15 months, the EPA said.
Money for the DNR will go toward more energy-efficient …

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Federal stimulus money for energy flows into Georgia

By Kristi E. Swartz

kswartz@ajc.com

Georgia will receive $32.9 million in federal stimulus money to boost the State Energy Program, the U.S. Department of Energy said Monday morning.
The state has now received half of the $82.5 million in stimulus-backed money for its energy program. The remaining amount will come after Georgia meets stringent requirements to track every dollar spent and every job created with the help of the new funds.
The money is only a sliver of the total $3.1 billion the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is setting aside for state energy programs. Developing renewable energy projects — solar, wind, biomass — in efforts to curb greenhouse gases and to make the United States less dependent on foreign oil is a top priority of the Obama Administration.
The state said it will use the money to start a $65 million program to help make state government buildings more energy efficient. The money help pay for the difference between installing standard and …

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State creates new federal stimulus Web site

Georgia has set up a new American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Web site.

The site, which used to list only the state agencies and their contacts for all things federal stimulus-related, now includes a searchable database of the money each agency has received or expects to received — based on information from the White House.

A map is also included, but at this point it only contains information for stimulus-backed education and transportation projects.

Georgia expects to receive $6.5 billion of the $787 billion recovery act package. About one-third of those dollars have already flowed into the state. Much of the remaining money is likely to come by way of grants.

Many state agencies have said while they have a “wish list” of projects that could be done more quickly with stimulus money, they are waiting on the federal government to explain the rules and regs of applying for the funds.

Each state agency is required to account for every dollar — and job — related to the federal …

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