Cagle: Senate Offers Balanced Budget with Nearly $1.6 billion in Spending Cuts

March 31, 2009

Lt. Governor Casey Cagle released the following statement regarding the Senate’s 2010 Budget, which will be considered on the Senate floor tomorrow.  Cagle highlighted one innovative way the Senate scaled back spending with the recommended sale of a state owned aircraft.

“Our budget meets our state’s vital needs while respecting the serious economic outlook we face today.  We prioritize public safety, education and protect the most vulnerable while also making the tough decisions necessary to cut back state spending. 

“There were many difficult choices and while we are very sensitive to those impacted by our decisions, it is our first responsibility to produce a balanced budget that will protect Georgia’s fiscal health during this economy.

“We accomplished a balanced budget with no tax increases, nearly $1.6 billion in cuts and with a strong focus of finding ways to make state government more self-sustaining and innovative.

“Our joint Appropriations and Best Value in Government hearings last fall helped us identify duplicate services and areas where the state could find further efficiencies.  Now is the time to weed out unused and outdated government programs and spending.  During these times our state can't afford private jet spending on a minivan budget,” concluded Cagle.

The savings of $1.4 million was reflected in the budget based off the proposed sale of a state owned Cessna Citation Aircraft.  Cagle wrote to the Department of Transportation Chairman Bill Kuhlke earlier this month to request that the DOT move forward in selling this airplane (see attached letter).

Additional savings were reflected by incentives for state employees to choose self-directed healthcare plans, moving a number of state services toward self-sufficiency and additional downsizing of some state agencies.

Key features of the bill include restored funding for school nurses, hospitals and medical providers. It also adequately funds Medicaid during a time of a nearly 10% unemployment rate and an increasing demand for food stamps.