2020 Georgia pushes for balanced approach to state budget - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

2020 Georgia pushes for balanced approach to state budget

The era of deep state budget cuts continues.

But some people directly affected by those budget cuts say there are other ways to balance the budget.

A group called 2020 Georgia started a statewide tour today at Easter Seals of South Georgia in Albany.

They are pushing a balanced approach to balancing the budget.

These concerned citizens believe that cuts are not the only solution to the budget, they think legislators need to also consider new sources of revenue.

Albany is the first stop on the road tour for 2020 Georgia.

"To bring the message of 2020 Georgia to all of the community in Southwest Georgia that we can reach and spread the word," says Beth English, Easter Seals Southern Georgia Exec. Director.

2020 Georgia is a coalition of more than 80 organizations statewide that believe we need to have a balanced approach to looking at the state budget.

"Cuts will only get us so far, but that we need to look at revenue sources as well," says English.

She says there are untapped revenue sources that need to be considered, like tax exemptions and Internet sales.

And she says healthcare and education are suffering the most from budget cuts.

"Believe it or not, a great deal of Easter Seal funding for people with disabilities comes from state and federal government so we have a real interest in making sure that the key services that 2,400 families in SW Georgia use on a daily basis," says English.

A local advocate for people with developmental disabilities is concerned about whether there will be enough money to take care of people with disabilities.

"I am from Georgia and one day they will bury me here, so I am not going anywhere. I want to make sure our state is doing the right thing to make sure that people who have needs, the ageing, disabled, so forth, people with mental health issues are taken care of," says Greg Kirk, People with Developmental Disabilities Advocate.

He thinks tax codes need to be updated.

"We hope that by 2020, Georgia will be a leader perhaps in the nation in its tax code, in it's social services for people in the state," says Kirk.

And Beth English agrees, saying she hopes all options are reviewed because there is not one solution.

She told me the reason additional revenue needs to be looked at because you cant cut your way to prosperity.

2020 Georgia leaders believe their proposals would help the state meet its short-term and long-term financial needs and serve the people better.

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