Tonight on Lawmakers, Gov. Sonny Perdue kicks off the first day of Budget Briefings by reviewing his 2008 agenda, presidential candidate Mike Huckabee speaks at a Pro-Life rally on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, state department heads testify before the House Appropriations Committee, and legislators discuss a possible Delta merger.
Gov. Perdue began the Budget Briefings today by addressing the Joint Appropriations Committee. The Governor reiterated many of the points he made in his State of the State address last week, including highlighting the need for a Statewide Water Plan and transportation improvement. The 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, was marked by both pro- and anti-abortion events near the Capitol. Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee spoke at the anti-abortion rally in support of a state constitutional amendment to ban abortion. Sandra Parrish reports from the Capitol. State department heads testified today before the Joint Appropriations Committee. Following Gov. Perdue’s opening remarks Kenneth Heaghney, the State Fiscal Economist, gave an outlook on the 2008 and 2009 budgets. Noel Holcomb, Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources, spoke to concerns of water shortage in the state. Department of Public Safety Commissioner Col. Bill Hitchins addressed challenges in recruiting new State Troopers. And Brad Douglas, Director of the Department of Administrative Services, made an unscheduled appearance before the committee to answer questions about unauthorized spending on state purchasing cards. Legislators held a press conference today to discuss the possibility of Atlanta-based Delta Airlines merging with one of its competitors. Sen. Judson Hill says he is optimistic about the possible merger. Delta employs about 26,000 people in the Metro Atlanta area; it is not known how a potential merger will affect these jobs.