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Perdue signs budget that includes money for Northeast Georgia
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Gov. Sonny Perdue has signed the $18.6 billion budget for 2010. The spending plan includes a number of capital projects for Northeast Georgia.

The largest project in the region is a new academic building for Gainesville State College. The multistory building will cost $31.2 million. During the legislative session, House leaders attempted to cut the project by $6 million, however, the Senate restored the full amount.

North Georgia College & State University will spend $16.4 million to renovate four buildings on the Dahlonega campus. The largest of the projects is a face-lift for Young Hall.

North Georgia Technical College will receive $6 million to renovate the Hoyt Coe classroom building on the Clarkesville campus.

Also included in the budget is $13.6 million to construct a new poultry laboratory in Oakwood. The Georgia Poultry Laboratory was in need of repair and a study determined that it would be more cost effective to build a new facility, after which the old one will be razed.

The budget includes $14 million for construction of Don Carter State Park on Lake Lanier. The park, located off of Clarks Bridge Road, will be the first state park on Lanier. It is named for Gainesville civic leader Don Carter, who served for many years on the Georgia Board of Natural Resources.

"Cutting the budget has forced a number of difficult decisions, but we have managed the state in a thoughtful, conservative way to ensure Georgians are receiving value for their tax dollars," said Perdue. "We have maintained triple-a bond ratings, saving the state tens of millions of dollars, and funded our top priorities to ensure the basic responsibilities of state government are being met."

The 2010 budget is $2.5 billion less than the original 2009 budget passed during the 2008 session of the Georgia General Assembly. Perdue began reducing agency spending in the FY09 budget last summer, and submitted significant budget cuts in both the Amended FY09 and FY10 budgets to the legislature in January. The governor revised the revenue estimate during the session, accounting for further reductions in tax collections and the availability of federal stimulus funding in certain state programs.

On Tuesday, state officials announced that state revenues for April were down 20 percent from April 2008.

The FY10 budget includes $23 million for trauma funding which will come from increased fines on dangerous driving behaviors.

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