Thursday, April 15, 2010

Opinion: Governor Perdue Should Veto HB 1055 and Demand Lawmakers Pass A Clean Version

In order for Governor Perdue to maintain his record of fiscal responsibility, he should veto House Bill 1055. The legislature combined permanent tax cuts with much-needed revenue increases in HB 1055, turning the governor's fiscally responsible proposal into a last minute tax giveaway.

The final version, which passed April 14, adds to the alarming and long-term structural deficit in Georgia. In addition, this bill along with HB 1023 - which has permanent tax cuts of $380 million - could have serious negative implications for Georgia's AAA bond rating.

There is another option- an option that would allow the governor to achieve his original proposals of a temporary hospital fee and updates to user fees. House Bill 307, which contains the temporary hospital provider fee, is still viable. The governor still has an opportunity for the clean bill he desires, if lawmakers revise HB 307 to contain both revenue measures.

Lawmakers of both parties should vote for an amended version of HB 307 that contains two things - the temporary hospital provider fee and updates to user fees. However, lawmakers are not likely to pursue this sensible alternative unless the governor immediately vetoes HB 1055.

Alan Essig
Georgia Budget & Policy Institute

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