Governor has tough 1st legislative experience -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Governor has tough 1st legislative experience

March 31, 2003

(Atlanta-AP) -- This has not been a good legislative session for Georgia's new governor, Sonny Perdue. Three-quarters of the way through the lawmaking period, his ethics and education reform plans have not passed and his strategy for managing the budget lies in shreds. There has been no decision on the state flag.

Clearly, Georgia's first Republican governor in more than 130 years is not getting the honeymoon that lawmakers traditionally extend to rookie governors, a time in which they are cut some slack and lawmakers are eager to please. Perdue's own party controls the Senate and wields a sizable minority in the House. But he was forced to abandon two plans to raise taxes and was badly defeated last week on a third, failing to rally a majority of his own troops behind it.

Experts say the governor is perceived to be weaker than when he took office. Other political observers say he seems to have no clear plan for getting his agenda passed.

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