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14 October 2008

Georgia Lawmakers Considering A No Pork Diet

In these tough economic times and with the state facing a billion dollar deficit (at least), it makes little sense to continue funding a golf course in south Georgia while governmental agencies such as the Department of Community Health (which administers the popular PeachCare for Kids program) are ordered to make 10% cuts across the board.

That's the sentiment coming from state lawmakers as they consider ways to trim the fat from the $21 billion state budget.

As state agencies face spending cuts of up to 10 percent because of the economic slowdown and a budget shortfall, lawmakers say they are finding it harder and harder to justify legislative largesse.

"We’ve got a real challenge ahead of us," state Senate Majority Whip Mitch Seabaugh (R-Sharpsburg) said during a recent budget hearing. "We ought to start from the standpoint of what is fundamental to state government. A whole bunch of things are in gray areas."
"We would be severely criticized, when we’re cutting Medicaid and education, if we keep these golf courses afloat when they are losing money," [State Sen. George]Hooks said. [Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution, "‘Pork’ projects put on notice", October 13, 2008]

Some of the criticism Sen. Hooks speaks of has come from this site which has implored state budget writers to eliminate the pork and roll back the tax breaks before even considering cuts to PeachCare and education [Source: Georgia Politics Unfiltered, "Gov. Perdue, Don't Cut Kids' Healthcare", August 28, 2008]

It's nice to see the government getting in its priorities in order.