State legislators continued to hold budget hearings on Gov. Nathan Deal’s 2013 spending plan Wednesday. Most state agencies are dealing with two percent budgets cuts. And that often means doing the same amount of work with less money.
State House Speaker David Ralston says lawmakers could take up criminal sentencing reform in next year’s legislative session. The issue was one of several Ralston named at a legislative preview Wednesday in Gwinnett County.
School nurses in Georgia could soon get more state dollars. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that a committee of legislators and educators tasked with suggesting improvements for how the state funds public education plans to recommend to Governor Nathan Deal that the state cover more of the cost of Georgia's $56 million school nurse program.
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.
Officials with Georgia’s system of colleges and universities say increased spending in the face of state budget cuts is necessary to keep and attract students. With reduced state funding, the System has hiked tuition rates nearly 50 percent over the last several years, along with increasing student fees.
Atlanta Medical Center has been designated as the state’s fifth Level-1 trauma center. But a top official with the hospital says that doesn’t reduce the critical need for more trauma-ready facilities across Georgia.
The newly-formed oversight committee comes to Macon for a tour. The group will report to the governor but has no say on whether the Music Hall of Fame will stay in Macon. Music Hall of Fame scheduled to close at the end of June unless board comes to an agreement with Macon museum supporters.
State lawmakers worked into late Tuesday evening on the next to last day of the General Assembly session. Movement on a Sunday alcohol sales bill, immigration, and the state budget was included on Tuesday's agenda.
Georgia legislators have agreed to an $18.3 billion budget that pours additional state money into tax investigators, Medicaid and domestic violence shelters. Both chambers signed off on the changes Tuesday.