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Special session of legislature may be on horizon

Rep. Collins: Lagging revenues could force more budget reductions

POSTED: June 24, 2009 12:12 a.m.

A special session of the Georgia General Assembly to discuss further state budget cuts is likely, according to a local state representative.

State Rep. Doug Collins told Gainesville Kiwanis Club members Tuesday that lagging state revenues may cause legislators to make more cuts to the state budget, which lawmakers reduced by $2.5 billion in the previous session.

In May, state officials announced that state revenues for April were down 20 percent from April 2008.

"If you continue that process, it’s not good," Collins said.

At $18.6 billion, the 2010 state spending plan is $2.5 billion less than the original 2009 budget passed during the 2008 session of the Georgia General Assembly.

Collins told Kiwanis members Tuesday that "it’s getting more and more likely that" a special session of the state legislature would be called in August or September to explore more extensive state spending cuts.

"In the back of everybody’s mind, there’s a great deal of concern that we’re not there yet," Collins said.

State Rep. Carl Rogers, who was at Tuesday’s Kiwanis meeting in Gainesville, also said earlier this month he feels legislators will be forced to make more cuts as long as sales and income tax revenues continue to decline.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle reported that Gov. Sonny Perdue, speaking at a separate Kiwanis meeting in Atlanta Tuesday, said he would not call a special session unless legislators wanted one. Perdue told Atlanta Kiwanis members that he planned to meet with legislative leaders after the 2010 fiscal year begins on July 1 to discuss how to cut costs to offset declining revenues, according to the report.


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