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Tuesday, May 17, 2011 - 1:22pm

Deal Signs Budget, Vetoes 9 Bills

Governor Nathan Deal has signed an $18.3 billion budget that increases health insurance premiums for state employees and slashes funding for Georgia's college system.

Deal signed the budget before departing this weekend on a trade mission to Europe. His office announced that the governor used his line-item veto to strike funding for 11 bond projects in the university system.

Most of the projects underwrote bond fees for the design, rather than the construction, of building projects. Deal said the design phases are short-term and don't result in a "physical asset," and hence should be not be eligible for bond funding.

The spending plan covers the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Deal also vetoed nine bills from the legislative session that ended last month. One of the bills Deal vetoed would have required that campaign literature clearly state who was paying for it.

Last week, Deal signed a bill that cracks down on illegal immigration. It was the most controversial piece of legislation that the General Assembly passed during this year's session.

He has also signed a bill that will allow local communities to vote on permitting Sunday packaged sales of alcohol, and a measure that will expand the number of children who must use booster seats while in cars.

Once the legislature recesses, the governor has 40 days to veto or sign resulting legislation. The session ended on April 14.


Jeanne Bonner

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