Georgia Legislature Nears End; Perdue Eyes Special Session

DeSue, Tedra
April 2003
Bond Buyer;4/24/2003, Vol. 344 Issue 31621, p6
Trade Publication
The article reports that April 25, 2003 would be the final day of Georgia's 2003 — 2004 legislative session and the last day lawmakers have to work out their differences over the fiscal 2004 budget and avoid a special session. The 16 billion dollar budget has a 128 million dollars deficit, but members of the House and Senate are split over ways to do away with it. There are proposals to increase the tax on tobacco products and speed up the collection of withholding taxes. Although the House shot down a tobacco tax increase in March 2003, the issue continues to be revived. On April 22, 2003, House members approved a 33-cent-per-pack hike on cigarettes, but the Senate unanimously voted it down. Officials say it could have raised about 150 million dollars a year. Georgia is rated triple-A by all three credit agencies, which say they have no plans to take any rating action at this time. The state has about 300 million dollars of general obligation bonds left to sell from the 2002–2003 General Assembly's authorization.


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