ATLANTA - Gov. Nathan Deal has signed a $37.1 billion total budget for fiscal year 2014, saying the plan balances the budget without raising taxes and reduces government spending.
Deal signed the budget, which includes a mix of state and federal funds, during an event Tuesday at the Capitol. Deal says state government had to face another round of cuts even though revenue numbers are increasing. He says the reason has to do with increases related to education and Medicaid expenses.
State departments will see 3% in budget cuts with the exception of a few agencies offering public safety and human services. The budget includes $50 million in bonds for the deepening of the Savannah Port and $45 million in bonds for a new cancer research building at Georgia Regents University.
In addition to approving the budget, Governor Deal signed another bill on Monday that could keep Fulton County from raising property taxes for the next two years. The measure also mandates a super-majority vote by the Fulton County Commission for tax increases after that. Deal signed the legislation despite criticism that opens the door for state lawmakers to micromanage local governments.
Fulton County democratic leaders warn of potential cuts to important services if this goes through. The county commission chairman has said that the measure could be challenged in court.
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