As state lawmakers begin crafting the next budget, they are facing the prospect of deep cuts in federal dollars coming into the state. President Barack Obama’s budget director told agencies this week to expect 5 percent less funding and develop plans for 10 percent less.
The state House Thursday ratified Gov. Nathan Deal’s decision to temporarily suspend a 1.6-cent state gas tax increase. The bill passed 150 to 10. The Senate plans to take it up next week. Consumers continue to pay about 13 cents in state gas taxes when they go to the pump. But the state has not collected the additional taxes since Gov. Deal halted the automatic increase in June.
The Republican-controlled state House and Senate approved new district maps Thursday (see below) that were identical to what the party had proposed four days ago when a special legislative session began.
The redistricting special session continues Thursday for lawmakers at the state Capitol, with both the House and Senate chambers set for votes on the new maps. Under the proposed House map, Democrats would keep multiple seats in the Savannah and Columbus areas. But many changes will either favor Republican incumbents or boost the number of GOP-leaning districts.
Proposed House legislative maps would change both rural and urban districts. The one common denominator is that the party in charge, the Republicans, wants to maximize its number of seats. Many of the proposed changes will either favor Republican incumbents or boost the number of Republican-leaning districts.