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Governor Sonny Perdue Signs FY 2004 Budget

Wednesday, June 4, 2003  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Atlanta - Governor Sonny Perdue today signed into law House Bill 122 which authorized Georgia's Fiscal Year 2004 Budget.

The total value of vetoed and restricted projects is $10 million. Of these, bond vetoes were valued at $5 million and have an associated cost of $348,000. Expenditure controls were valued at $6 million. The Governor is also reviewing deferrals of approximately $21.5 million:

Governor Perdue sent letters to Lieutenant Governor Mark Taylor and House Speaker Terry Coleman informing them of his final FY 2004 budget decisions, which included direction to the Office of Planning and Budget (OPB) to implement recommended Expenditure Controls for FY 2004.

Fiscal Year Will Require Close and Careful Monitoring Of Revenues and Expenditures

"We have developed a tight budget for a tight budget year. We are cautiously optimistic about Georgia's revenue outlook and will watch revenue collections very closely over the next several months. If trends in revenue collections dictate that interim adjustments on the FY04 budget be made, I will be proactive and take needed measures," said Governor Sonny Perdue.

"In the budget's current form, it is difficult to determine the actual cost of certain programs and whether or not the state is receiving a good return on its investment. Historically, we have funded departments, not programs. This approach must change. The time has come for us to carefully examine continuation budgets and enhancement requests from departments," added Governor Perdue.

Since my election, I have called for a more fiscally-responsible approach to spending our citizens' money. I look forward to working with my senior staff and state department and agency heads to identify economies of scale and significant cost savings. We will no longer accept a 'business-as-usual' approach with state expenditures; instead we will make decisions based on facts and in the best interests of Georgians," said Governor Perdue.

"In spite of some recent favorable revenue collection reports, we are not out of the woods on the FY 2004 budget; and development of the FY 2005 budget will be just as challenging. I look forward to working with the Office of Planning and Budget this summer to begin a comprehensive review of program budgets from state departments and agencies," concluded Governor Perdue.

Veto Messages

Governor Perdue issued line-item vetoes for the following items:

Section 41, pertaining to the Department of Administrative Services, page 42, lines 1818 through 1820:

This language was approved in the 1996 session of the General Assembly to control the purchase of communications equipment that was not compatible with an 800-megahertz system. All communications equipment purchases are now under the direction of the Georgia Technology Authority and this language is inconsistent with general law. Therefore, this language (lines 1818 to 1820, page 42) in the Provisions Relative to Section 4, Department of Administrative Services is vetoed and has been vetoed previously.

Section 49, pertaining to the Department of Natural Resources, pages 45, lines 1931 through 1939:

Since FY 2000, state funds appropriated to the Environmental Protection Division of the Department of Natural Resources has been used to match federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funds to provide mass transit subsidies for state employees. The use of state funds for subsidies to individuals has required special authorizing language in each appropriation bill since the initiation of this program. Beginning in FY 2003, the Georgia Building Authority will continue the state employee mass transit subsidy program with non-state funds and this language will no longer be necessary. Therefore, this language (lines 1931 to 1939, page 45) in the Provisions Relative to Section 24, Department of Natural Resources is vetoed and has been vetoed previously.

Section 53, pertaining to the Department of Transportation, page 46, lines 1977 through 1981:

This language authorizes the Department to transfer position counts between budget functions provided that the Department's total position count shall not exceed the maximum number of annual positions assigned by law. All executive branch agencies are legally authorized to amend their budgets and transfer positions between budget functions when the Office of Planning and Budget has approved a properly drawn amendment to the annual operating budget. In addition, the number of positions in each budget function is not specified in the Governor's budget recommendation to the General Assembly or in the annual Appropriations Act making this language unnecessary. Therefore, this language (lines 1977 to 1981, page 46) in the Provisions Relative to Section 36, Department of Transportation is vetoed and has been vetoed previously.

Section 53, pertaining to the Department of Transportation, page 46, lines 1986 through 1988:

This language authorizes the Department to use available funding for right-of-way acquisition for a multi-lane road to connect the Atlanta Motor Speedway to Interstate 75 via State Road 20 and State Road 3. This project was funded in FY 2001. In addition, as a state route, this project is eligible for motor fuel funds and special language is not necessary. Therefore, this language (lines 1986 to 1988, page 46) in Provisions Relative to Section 36, Department of Transportation is vetoed and has been vetoed previously.

Section 62, pertaining to Federal Funds, page 49, lines 2088 through 2092:

This language essentially provides a pool of federal money to be available only to supplant state funds. It prohibits an amendment of federal funds above the amount appropriated in the Appropriations Act for purposes other than to supplant state appropriations for the pertinent programs. This language limits the state's ability to accept additional federal funds as they become available throughout the fiscal year. Therefore, this language (lines 2088 to 2092, page 49) in Section 62 is vetoed and has been vetoed previously.

Section 63, pertaining to the General Obligation Debt Sinking Fund, page 54, lines 2295 through 2301:

This language essentially provides $348,000 in debt service funds for a principal bond amount not to exceed $4,000,000 for the Georgia Military College, which is attached to the Board of Regents for administrative purposes. This project was fully funded in FY 2002 ($13,430,000) and FY 2001 ($600,000) in accordance with the approved pre-design costs and scope. Any expansion of the scope of this project or increases in cost are the responsibility of the Georgia Military College. Therefore, this language (lines 2295 to 2301, page 54) in Section 63 is vetoed.

Expenditure Controls

Governor Perdue directed Expenditure Controls for the following items:

Item a on page 20 of the Comparative Summary of HB 122, pertaining to the Department of Community Health

This item contains language limiting enrollment in PeachCare for Kids so that FY 2004 expenditures do not exceed the FY 2004 appropriations provided for PeachCare benefits or administrative costs. Without a limit on enrollment, it would be necessary to appropriate additional funds to the department to accommodate the projected annualized cost of care for more program participants. The General Assembly disagreed with the Governor's recommendation to limit enrollment. However, because the General Assembly failed to appropriate the funds considered necessary for the department to meet its expected financial obligations, I am directing the department to monitor enrollment and take actions necessary to ensure that expenditures do not exceed the FY 2004 appropriations for PeachCare.

OPB To Provide Budget In Brief

OPB is working to publish a Budget In Brief that contains highlights from the final FY 2003 Amended Budget and FY 2004 Budget. OPB expects to make the documents available online in June