According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, most state departments took an 8 percent cut in the supplemental budget. Although education was cut less, the budget included six furlough days for teachers, as well as the same number of days for state employees.
“We passed the FY ’10 supplemental budget and we are working on the FY ’11 budget now,” said state Sen. John Douglas, R-Social Circle.
He said the fiscal year 2010 budget required a cut of $1.4 billion due to the continuing decline in state revenues.
“We haven’t had an increase in revenue to the state since May of ’08,” he said.
Douglas said the state budget must be balanced each year.
“We’re not going to raise taxes, so we have to live within our means,” he said.
He said each department brought recommendations for cuts of 8 to 9 percent, with the exception of the Georgia Department of Education, which brought a recommendation of 3 to 4 percent. The Senate passed the supplemental budget and sent it on to the House of Representatives for review.
Lawmakers face many challenges as they work on the fiscal year 2011 budget.
“We’re to the point now where we’re going to have to make some very, very tough decisions,” Douglas said.
On top of the $1.4 billion cut from the fiscal year 2010 budget, Douglas expects cuts of $800 million to $1 billion in the fiscal year 2011 budget.
Douglas said although Gov. Sonny Perdue predicts a rise in state revenue in fiscal year 2011, he does not believe this will happen.
As a result of the revenue declines, Douglas foresees layoffs and other cost-cutting measures — furloughs will not be enough.
State Sen. Ronnie Chance, R-Tyrone, could not be reached for comment.
“What’s happening is last Friday we went into adjournment,” said state Rep. John Yates, R-Griffin. “We’re not in session this week and next week.”
The Appropriations, Ways and Means, Transportation and Water committees are authorized to meet during this period to discuss the fiscal year 2011 budget.