BRADENTON, Fla. — Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal on Monday signed a $39.5 billion state budget into law for fiscal 2013.
The spending plan goes into effect July 1, and is $27.3 million more than the current budget. The increase largely reflects more federal funding, though the state’s revenues have been slowly rebounding from the recession.
Deal used his veto power to purge $1.22 million from the upcoming budget, which included debt service for $4.47 million of bonds proposed for two projects.
Based on the Legislature’s recommendation, he authorized a higher amount of debt spending for capital projects around the state than the $700 million he originally proposed.
Deal left the total bonding amount at $808.4 million — one of the largest annual authorizations by a state in the Southeast this year.
“Together with the General Assembly, we have enacted a budget that holds the line on spending, while investing in the priorities that will contribute to making Georgia the No. 1 place in the country to do business and create jobs — and continue our high quality of life,” Deal said in a statement.
The governor said he worked with legislators on the front end to ensure there would be as few line-item vetoes as possible.
“I commend the General Assembly on its responsible work, which will preserve our coveted triple-A bond rating,” he said.
In addition to the bond authorization for 2013, gilt-edged Georgia has an additional $521.1 million of authorized-but-unissued debt, according to state officials.
Last month, Florida Gov. Rick Scott approved a $70 billion state budget for fiscal 2013, which included only $250 million of new-money bonds.
Florida had been the largest new-money issuer in the Southeast for years until revenues plummeted in the recession, and they have recovered at a much slower rate than anticipated. In addition, Scott and the Republican-led Legislature have often spoken about their aversion to issuing bonds.