2009-01-14 / Front Page

Greene begins 14th term in legislature

Greene Greene State Representative Gerald Greene was sworn in for his 14th term Monday during the first day of the 2009 General Assembly.

The congratulatory and ceremonial atmosphere was overshadowed by budget crisis talk among the legislators.

"I think we all know this is going to be a difficult session and I think that a spirit of cooperation is going to be the key to helping our state and citizens get through these hard times," said Greene, a legislative veteran of 27 years.

What Rep. Greene, a member of the House Appropriation committee, and other lawmakers do during the 40- day General Assembly will impact every citizen in the State of Georgia.

With a shortfall of approximately $2 billion this year and possibly worse news facing them in fiscal 2010, legislators are under pressure to meet the needs and services of the state and help the state recover from a declining economy.

"This is something we have to do right and do it this session," Greene stated.

"I would love to tell the citizens we will be in Atlanta for 40 days, pass mid-year and fiscal budgets for 2010 and quickly leave town, but I know from experience that addressing the shortfall will take time."

Representative Greene will hear Gov. Sonny Perdue recommend a budget to the legislators Wednesday.

Governors from other states are in the same budget crisis as Georgia due to the economic meltdown. The state could be faced with 10 to 15 percent cuts in some departments that would be devastating.

"If you get into cuts of 10 percent then you are heading to furloughs, layoffs, cutting down hours and firings," Greene stated.

"It's going to be a painful session. Every item in that budget affects some group or some program in my district."

Contact Rep. Greene at 404-656-0314 or email gerald.greene@ house.ga.gov The mailing address is 611 Coverdell Legislative Office Building, State Capitol, Atlanta, Ga., 30334.

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