The state legislature is recessing for two weeks for joint House and Senate Appropriations meetings and discussions with the governor as part of a continuous effort to balance the state budget for FY 2011, our greatest challenge and our highest priority. We are committed to laying the groundwork for fiscally responsible spending and cutting waste, especially during these hard times. We must create incentives to spur the economy.
If you look into some of the most successful and profitable companies in Georgia, you will find incentives are built into their compensation structure. Their employees are willing to work harder for the Christmas bonus or extra vacation time. It makes sense to carry this logic to how we run our state.
This is possibly the most challenging time the state has seen in over 50 years. We have to reduce state spending to fill at least a $1.35 billion hole. January brought more sobering revenue news, making the budget hole bigger and our jobs harder. Furloughs and budget cuts are among the challenging choices we have to make during this recess but these tough choices are what will make us a stronger state. We must choose to look at our situation as an opportunity, one from which we can learn and grow.
We are working from the principles of limited government and elimination of waste. The economic crisis we are faced with is our chance to go through the budget line by line and find areas to improve efficiency, cut spending and cut waste.
As this budget process continues, I will continue to work with my colleagues in finding conservative solutions to growing our economy and reducing our state budget. We must continue to evaluate the role of government in our daily lives and find ways for Georgia to grow and prosper – this is the key to job creation.
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Sen. Bill Hamrick serves as Chairman of the Banking and Financial Institutions Committee. He represents the 30th Senate District which includes portions of Carroll, Douglas, and Paulding counties. He may be reached at 404.656.0036 or via e-mail at email@example.com.