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Monday, January 30, 2012 - 9:43am

Bill Could Eliminate State Agencies

The state Senate passed a bill Monday that could abolish entire state programs and agencies if they’re deemed unnecessary or ineffective. Republican supporters say the bill aims to make state government more efficient.

The measure would create a legislative committee to review the funding and function of state agencies and departments.

The committee could recommend consolidating, privatizing or eliminating agencies. Both legislative chambers would then have to approve the recommendations.

Agencies created by the Constitution would be exempt.

Sen. Judson Hill, a Marietta Republican, is one of the bill’s sponsors.

“Georgians deserve the right to regularly examine the purpose and effectiveness of its state government and its agencies and its programs," he said during the Senate debate on the bill. "I believe we must reduce the size of government to fit our revenues, not increase our revenues to fit the size of government.”

Some Democrats supported the bill, and they say they have proposed a companion bill calling for a committee to review tax breaks for private companies.

Sen. Vincent Fort, an Atlanta Democrat, says Georgians also want to know if the government is wasting money on tax credits and subsidies.

“We do not know how many tax credits we are awarding, how much they cost us and whether they’re doing the job they’re supposed to be doing,” he said during the debate.

The bill now heads to the state House for final approval.

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