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Monday, May 7, 2012 - 1:43pm

Deal Signs 2013 Budget

Gov. Nathan Deal signed the fiscal 2013 state budget Monday, and he vetoed expenses for two capital projects. The line-item vetoes will save the state about $400,000 in debt service it would have paid on bonds for the two projects.

One line item veto will affect plans to renovate the Rural Development Center at the University of Georgia’s Tifton campus.

The other pertains to upgrades of railway bridges in western and northwestern Georgia.

Brian Robinson is Deal’s spokesman. He says the Governor has established budget procedures.

“I’m sure they are great projects that would have positive benefit but they weren’t part of what the agencies involved had asked for," he said. "It was outside of the department request. That’s one way of safeguarding taxpayer dollars.”

Alan Essig heads the nonprofit Georgia Budget and Policy Institute. He says the Governor is signaling the importance of setting financial priorities for state funds.

“The Governor is exerting his authority as manager of the budget to in his mind assure that the dollars are spent within the priorities that the agencies and the executive branch are setting,” he said.

The $19.3 billion spending plan is up 4.5 percent from the 2012 budget.

Georgia’s Governor sets the budget revenue estimate each year, and also has the final say on expenditures.

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