Georgia's Medicaid and Peach Care program are safe at least until the end of this fiscal year. An agreement on the state's mid year supplemental budget has been negotiated between House and Senate Legislatures and signed by Gov Perdue.
Many Peach State agencies will experience cutbacks under the new mid year budget and as a whole they have $363 million more left than they had at the end of last year's session, most of which will go to Medicaid, Peach Care, education and other causes specific to south Georgia.
Georgia lawmakers say desperate times call for desperate measures, but thanks to those measures, low or no cost health care is still here for Georgia's needy.
"The needs there with mental health and all, we needed to move forward and get those Medicaid payments down there to them and the providers also. We're needing the funding to continue that," says Wallace Sholar, (D) Cairo.
Along with $200 million going to Medicaid and Peach Care, $136 million is being set aside for Georgia's education system, which has suffered in recent years.
Closer to home, $675,000 will go towards the design of the Tired Creek recreational park in Grady County and $625,000 for a marina at Lake Seminole.
"This is an economic development project. It will add tax based to Grady County. It will give some job opportunity, but it will be a drawing point both from recreation and a retirement home setting," says John Bulloch, (R) Ochlocknee.
Legislators agree plenty of sacrifices have been made to make a beneficial supplemental budget. Now, they say they'll turn their attention to 2005. The 2005 budget went before the full House on Monday and hit the Senate floor on Thursday. We'll have more on this story Thursday on Eyewitness News.