The two pieces of legislation were among a half-dozen bills passed by state lawmakers that were vetoed this week and will not make it off the governor‘s desk among a half-dozen bills passed by state lawmakers that were vetoed this week and will not make it off the governor’s desk.
Rep. Charlice Byrd (R-Woodstock), lead sponsor of House Bill 456, told the Cherokee Tribune on Friday she was disappointed with the governor’s decision.
To say the least, I’m quite upset he’s vetoed that bill,” she said of the measure sometimes called the Sunset Bill.
The bill would have created a special committee to review and dissolve state agencies deemed unnecessary, a plan Byrd said would save taxpayers money.
Spokesman for the governor Brian Robinson said the bill created more government and would have cost taxpayers between $3 million and $7 million.
“It makes government bigger and creates this committee that will create expenses to perform a task that’s already being done,” Robinson said, pointing out that Deal has dissolved the State Personnel Administration among other agencies to help save money.
Byrd contests Deal’s assertion of the legislation’s costs, adding studies she’s read would have saved the state money.
Byrd said she wants to hold off on making a decision on whether she’ll re-introduce the bill in 2013 until after the election.
The voucher legislation, which was sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) would have let parents know whether they qualify for the program and given families more dates to enroll, but it also would have cut the stipends based on the cuts made to public school districts.
The program is designed for special needs students to be able to attend private schools with taxpayer dollars.
In his veto statement, Deal wrote that the cuts would have reduced the number of students who could enroll in the program because “the award amount would no longer offset the cost of tuition at a school that would better serve these students’ needs.”
State lawmakers have tried for years to broaden the list of voucher recipients to military families, students in foster care and others, but the state’s ailing economy has stalled the measures from advancing.
Rogers, who has pushed for voucher expansion for years, did not immediately return a call for comment.
Other measures that were vetoed by Deal include a bill that would have allowed the state schools superintendent to hire some staff members without the approval of the state Board of Education. Robinson said the board approval creates an “important check and balance” in the education department.
“Quite frankly, the state Board of Education and I are much more focused on the important education initiatives we have going on in Georgia and this will not in any way negatively impact that work,” state schools Superintendent John Barge said in a statement.
The list of vetoes was released to the public Friday. Deal signed the vetoes Thursday.
More vetoes are expected next week. The governor has not yet signed the state budget for fiscal year 2013, which can include line-item vetoes.