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19 September 2008

Democratic Lawmakers Call For Special Session To Protect Veterans' Home

Fourteen days ago, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on the effect state budget cuts were having on the Georgia War Veterans Home in Milledgeville. The gist of it is that because of budget cuts, 81 Georgia veterans have until November 30th to find a new place to stay or else they'll be out in the street [Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, ""Veterans must find new place to live", September 5, 2008].

Democratic legislators outraged at the planned closure of the Georgia War Veterans Home are asking Gov. Perdue to call a special session of the General Assembly to "pull the state back from the brink of fiscal disaster."

"It is necessary for the state to make budget changes due to the weakening general economy. However, closing the domiciliary at the War Veterans Home is shameful and rolling back tax money due to local governments will impose an unnecessary tax increase on working families," said Senate Democratic Leader Robert Brown (D-Macon).

"The longer we wait the bigger the budget deficit will be and this will hurt education, economic development, healthcare and anywhere else that government has a role. Under this current process, the Governor has forced agency heads to make decisions such as closing the War Veterans Home, state parks and furloughing state employees with no input from the house or senate. Without a special session now, we will continue to move Georgia backwards and force an increase in local taxes," said House Democratic Leader Dubose Porter (D-Dublin).

The Democratic leaders criticized Perdue for evicting 81 veterans from the Georgia War Veterans Home while continuing to fund projects such as a $7.3 million horse park expansion at the Agri-Center in Perry and $19 million for the Go-Fish program.

"These people volunteered to serve their country and put their lives on the line for our freedom, but instead we are going to let them go homeless while we make boat ramps and horse shows a priority during a budget crisis. Those are not the values of Georgia's citizens or Georgia Democrats." said Senator Brown. "This is no longer just a fiscal issue. This is a moral issue."