The multi-tiered process will include such steps as creating a 10.25 percent reduction in Medicaid reimbursements to doctors and hospitals as well as removing sales tax exemptions from nonprofit hospitals. Perdue expects these steps to raise about $350 million.
Also, Perdue says he plans to use around $350 million in federal stimulus dollars to prevent a further deficit.
Rep. John Meadows (R-Calhoun) said that both the house and senate are working to balance the budget.
“That is the one thing we are required to do by law is to present a balanced budget,” Meadows said.
He points out that in the past 14 months the state has lost $4.6 billion in revenue.
“We have to get this thing balanced and we have to cut a lot,” Meadows said. “It is going to hurt a lot of people, but we have to bare down. It is going to take us a couple years to get through this.”
Part of that will include additional $443 million in cuts to public projects. Of that number, colleges and universities will lose $113 million in federal stimulus funding. This is significantly less than the $300 million in higher education cuts that were discussed earlier this month.