Georgia's 2005 budget hit the Senate floor Thursday in Atlanta. If signed by Gov. Sonny Perdue it will bring a mixture of good and bad news for education in the Peach State.
$800 million in cuts to state agencies, that's what legislators say the '05 budget could bring, with $378 million of that cutting into state education funding, but legislators from south Georgia say some of that money may be turned right back around into our area.
School districts throughout the state may have to find some corners to cut, but legislators say they hope the cuts they've made will have positive effects in south Georgia.
"We have building going on in Thomasville and Bainbridge now, all of southwest Georgia legislators worked hard for this funding,” says Rep. Hugh Broome, (D) Donalson, GA.
$1 million is slated to go to Bainbridge College for a new classroom building, and close to $2.5 million for a new nursing wing and two new branches at Southwest Georgia Technical College.
Legislators say they also want to replenish Georgia's HOPE Scholarship.
"This is a balanced budget. It puts money back in that had not been put in by the governor for the HOPE to continue paying for books and fees," says Sen. John Bulloch, (R) Ochlocknee, GA.
Georgia senators say they'll take the weekend to go over the budget and reconvene next Tuesday. They say the governor could sign it as early as the end of next week. Georgia legislators say they hope to be able to find alternate funding for state school systems at a later day, but they say they hope no further cuts will be necessary.