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Ethics budget takes 30% hit for 2009-10

Ethics budget takes 30% hit for 2009-10
April 3, 2009 --

The State Ethics Commission will lose about 30 percent of its current funding in the 2010 state budget passed Friday. The Georgia House and Senate compromised on a $1.2 million budget for the agency in negotiations on the last day of the 2009 legislative session. The House last week slashed spending on ethics enforcement to […]

Regent sold $76 million in cars to state — $9.8 million to universities

Regent sold $76 million in cars to state -- $9.8 million to universities
April 3, 2009 --

Car dealer Allan Vigil (right) has sold $9.8 million of cars and trucks to the University System of Georgia, which he oversees as a member of the state Board of Regents, since 2002. That figure represents just a fraction of his dealerships’ $76 million in sales to state agencies in the past seven years, according […]

Tax breaks could cost Georgians $265,000 per job created

April 1, 2009 --

Tax breaks approved by the Georgia House would save businesses half a billion dollars for creating 2,200 jobs at a cost of $265,000 per job, the Georgia Budget & Policy Institute says. A cut to stimulate home-buying would cost $149,545 per home.

TAD bill amended yet again to give ATL, Gainesville an “opt out”

April 1, 2009 --

House Bill 63, which would let the BeltLine and other Tax Allocation District projects use school tax money, was amended yet again this afternoon in the Senate. With the latest change, school systems in Atlanta and Gainesville could “opt out” of their earlier approval of funding. That use of school funds was ruled unconstitutional last […]

ATL schools fight $18 million hit from new TAD bill

ATL schools fight $18 million hit from new TAD bill
March 31, 2009 --

Atlanta Public Schools are fighting changes to a bill that would let Tax Allocation Districts spend school tax money. A state Senate committee last week amended the bill to say a school board that had already approved a TAD would not have to vote on it again. School board chair LaChandra Butler Burks (right) says […]

Cagle denies role in inserting retroactive provision in TAD bill

March 31, 2009 --

This came in from Cagle’s spokeswoman, Jaillene Hunter, in response to rumors that Cagle had asked the Senate Finance Committee to: “To be clear, the Lt Governor had absolutely no involvement in a Senate substitute to H.B. 63. We are unaware of who suggested he was, but it is a completely false assumption. “H.B. 63 […]

McDonald paid 20K in 2008 — but to whom?

McDonald paid 20K in 2008 -- but to whom?
March 30, 2009 --

Georgia Public Service Commissioner Lauren “Bubba” McDonald Jr., facing a possible five-figure fine for breaking election finance laws in 2002, filed campaign finance reports with similar discrepancies in 2008, state records show. McDonald last week admitted dozens of violations in reporting the finances for his 2002 campaign. He blamed the mistakes on his campaign staff […]

TAD reauthorization snags Gainesville schools (maybe Cagle, too)

March 30, 2009 --

The amended House Bill 63, which reauthorizes spending of school tax money for non-school purposes in tax allocation districts, may also sweep up Gainesville city schools. Unlike Atlanta, Gainesville school officials have changed their minds and want out of the TAD there — at least for now. The Georgia Supreme Court ruled last year that […]