2013 Capitol Update - Week 2 - Budget Hearings, Guns, Vintage Cars

Representative Brett Harrell reports on budget hearings on the proposed Amended FY 2013 and FY 2014 state budgets.


Budget Hearings

This week the House and Senate Appropriation Committees met in joint hearings for budget presentations from the Governor and leaders of state agencies. Though once again, the proposed state budget is lean, with spending at 17% less per capita than a decade ago, and includes cuts to various programs, the overall budget is proposed to grow approximately 2.6% from $19.3 billion to $19.8 billion in state funds.

Additional funding is included for education – pre-K program expansion, fully-funding the Quality Basic Education formula, and salary increases for teachers based on training and experience. The Governor’s proposal includes $50 million to continue Georgia’s commitment to expanding the Port of Savannah and$85 million for water and transportation infrastructure projects.

The Governor’s proposal also includes $246 million in additional Medicaid funding and a proposal topermit the Department of Community Health to administer a Hospital Provider Fee to leverage federal dollars in this program.

The state’s “Rainy Day Fund” or reserve fund is slowly returning to a more reasonable level and is now$378 million. Georgia maintains its’ Triple A bond rating and administers state government with 9,000 fewer employees than five years ago.

I am carefully reviewing the budget document and information on the various state programs. While I appreciate that the rate of growth has slowed this year versus last, I remain concerned that certain programs are on a course that may not be sustainable.

I welcome your input and comments on how Georgia spends and invests your tax dollars.

Governor’s Amended FY 2013 Budget Proposal
Governor’s FY 2014 Budget Proposal

Second Amendment / Gun Rights

I am receiving numerous calls and emails regarding protecting our liberties with regard to individual gun ownership and one’s ability to carry the firearm of their choosing. Please be assured I am a strong supporter of both our U.S. and Georgia Constitutional rights with regard to firearms. I will support legislation that protects and expands those rights.

Taxing Vintage / Hobby Vehicles

I am also hearing from you on HB 80 that purports to levy an ad valorem tax on vintage and hobby vehicles. For many reasons including as one that hopes to be the heir of a restored 1955 ThunderbirdI oppose efforts to increase taxation on these vehicles.

I appreciate the opportunity to serve as the representative for the 106th District. Please contact me with any issue of state importance to you, your family, or business.

Thank you,


404-966-5804 cell
FB: http://www.facebook.com/voteharrell
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/brettharrell 

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George Wilson January 30, 2013 at 07:42 PM
The Republican leadership under the House Speaker David Ralston has made an ethics proposal that would stifle free speech. He does this by expanding the definition of a lobbyist to include many of the unpaid issue advocates. .These citizen volunteer advocates would be forced to pay a fee of $300.00 to register as lobbyists .the measure is objected to by Common Cause, Tea Part activists, and other conservative groups. I Guess the Republican legislatures don't want to be bothered by the great unwashed electorate. You know the group that pays the legislators salary. Republicans can get by with this arrogance because of the gerrymandered districts that protects them from the voters' wrath.
George Wilson January 30, 2013 at 07:56 PM
Brett Harrell's and the Republicans Right Wing Agenda for the State of Georgia: 1.Shifting the responsibility for public education to the private sector and providing tax credits for contributions to private school via a phoney scholarship fund 2. Increasing college tuition and fees, putting the burden of funding the state university system on students and their families 3. Eliminating the state Earned Income Tax Credit 4. Politicizing the judicial system 5. Empowering insurance companies to manage the state’s social service programs 6. Continue massive corporate welfare via tax cuts and favorable regulations to the detriment of the citizens of Georgia 7. Continued attacks on the freedom of women to choose 8. Toll roads 9. No tax reform plans for additional revenues 10. Continued support for gun manufacturers via loose gun regulations 11. Lack of true ethics reform 12. Failure to implement a Health Exchange 12. Failure to expand Medicaid insurance 13. Failure to address the region's transportation problems 14. Continued budget cuts for public education Notice that these mostly favor big corporations in one form or another.
Nathan Horton February 08, 2013 at 07:53 PM
I was disappointed to see your support for the bed tax. I hope that your bill to remove fees from Property taxes gets passed, and I really hope some of Charles Greggory's Carry Bills get some support and passed as well.


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