State Representatives talk about the 2009 budget - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

State Representatives talk about the 2009 budget

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By Delivrine Registre - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - It is the worst deficit in Georgia's history and state representatives say everyone will be effected. "If we raise taxes, it will cost every man, woman or child about 300 dollars a year just to over come this three-billion dollar short fall," said State Representative District 152, Ed Rynders.

Though taxes won't be raised; departments will see cuts, the biggest coming from education. "Quite frankly it is the largest part of the budget. It comprises approximately 55 percent of the budget. So there is now way to balance the budget without cutting deep into education," said State Representative District 150, Winfred Dukes.

Five million dollars from the stimulus bill is going into Georgia's medicaid program. "We now will be able to use that five million to plug up other holes," said Dukes.

The amended budget also includes enough money to keep the Moultrie Crime Lab open until the end of the year. It also includes funding to help sheriff departments keep prisoners that are on hold to go to state prisons.

Though they have not started to work on the 2010 budget they do say stimulus bill will play a big role to help balance it. "We don't get all of the money this year. Some of the money will come in next year and I believe a more will come the year after that," said Dukes.

"There will be some projects that come in that will have strings, and we will have to see what impact it will have down the road," said State Representative District 151, Carol Fullerton.

Despite the recession representatives say if there is a program you feel deserves funding, they want to hear from you. "Some of the issues that have been changed at thr last minute has been due to pressure, said Fullerton.

Fullerton said that is how the homeowner tax relief grants stayed on the budget. The budget now moves on to the Senate for approval. Though the plan includes the homeowner tax relief grants, it cuts six-million for local assistance grants. That's money lawmakers use for projects in their districts.

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