Valdosta Daily Times

Local Report from State Capitol

February 1, 2010

$10 million in bond funding proposed for Ga. 133

WEEKLY LEGISLATIVE REPORT – January 29, 2010

(Continued)

Legislators Furloughed: Due to the state's budget crisis, our public school educators and other state employees have had to take unpaid furlough days as a cost-saving measure.

On Tuesday, a plan was announced for members of the General Assembly to take additional furlough days, which would save the state an estimated $2.7 million.

I support this plan because as elected officials we must lead by example. We are not and should not be excused from giving up part of our legislative salaries to help in the very difficult task of balancing this year's budget. By the end of fiscal year 2010, lawmakers will have taken 11 unpaid furlough days, including one day a month from August through December last year. Other state agencies have each taken between three and 12 furlough days.

Hands-free Devices OK: In the first legislative action of the session, the Senate voted unanimously to clarify the law regarding the use of hands-free communications devices while driving. SB 306 would allow drivers to use Bluetooth-type devices while talking on their cell phones. The legislation now goes to the House for its consideration.

Sen. Tim Golden represents District 8 (Brooks, Cook, Lowndes and Thomas counties) in the Georgia State Senate. During the legislative session, contact him at 121-A State Capitol, Atlanta, Ga. 30334; by phone at 404-656-7580 or by e-mail at tim.golden@senate.ga.gov.

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