Tickets for midway rides at the Georgia National Fair in Perry will increase in the wake of state budget cuts. The board overseeing fair voted Wednesday to increase the price of tickets for midway rides.
Georgia government doesn't save as much as many other states, while recent state spending increases outpaced the national average. Those are conclusions from a new nonpartisan analysis of all 50 states.
State agencies are weighing their reponses to another order to cut. Governor Nathan Deal is asking department heads to come up with another half-billion-dollars in reductions for next year's budget. The cuts are larger than last year's and represent the fifth straight year the Governor's office has asked for cuts.
While the rest of state government eliminated 10,000 jobs during the Great Recession, the University System of Georgia added more than 5,000 employees. Some schools increased staff by as much as 45 percent while students faced larger increases in tuition and fees.
State agency heads are going into the next budget cycle with another directive to cut. Governor Nathan Deal says, he wants most agencies to remove 2% of spending from budgets due to his office by September. This comes despite a 7% jump in July revenues over last year. Deal's directive exempts Medicaid, prisons and K-12 schools.
Georgia's farmers are starting to feel the effects of budget cuts at the state's agriculture extension service. Coastal Glynn County lost its agent this year because the county refused to pay a larger share of the agent's salary. Betty Ann Lewis represents a local farmer's group and she's now become the go-to person for all kinds of questions.