Wednesday, August 27, 2008
The Prosecuting Attorneys' Council of Georgia voted Tuesday to furlough state employees in district attorney's offices throughout the state and at the Prosecuting Attorneys' Council of Georgia to mitigate the budget crisis that the state is facing. In a called meeting the Council decided, beginning in September, all state employees in these offices will be furloughed one day per month until the full impact of the economic downturn can be more accurately determined or until Governor Perdue issues new directives to state agencies to deal with the budget shortfall.
In a letter received on August 1, 2008, the Governor advised all state agencies that state revenues would not meet the projected amounts necessary to continue operations as planned in the fiscal year 2009 budget which began on July 1, 2008. The Governor immediately issued a state employee hiring freeze and an out-of-state travel, vehicle purchase and equipment purchase moratorium.
"In addition to those cuts by the Governor, the Office of Planning and Budget directed all agencies to plan to operate at a level 6 percent lower than the appropriations," according to Rick Malone, executive director of the Prosecuting Attorneys' Council of Georgia. "Accordingly, the Prosecuting Attorneys' Council, the state agency that supports the efforts of the state's prosecutors, instituted a hiring freeze for all positions except for assistant district attorneys. In addition, all raises were suspended; and the Council directed PAC staff to immediately reduce their budget by the mandated 6 percent by freezing all hiring, suspending all equipment and supply purchases, limiting travel, and postponing some upcoming training conferences."
"The amount of funding that must be cut between our offices across the state and our support agency is almost $3.4 million," said District Attorney Tommy Floyd, chairman of the Prosecuting Attorneys' Council. "We reviewed many scenarios to try and cut the 6 percent, but the only fair way we knew of to make the necessary cuts was to issue a one-day per month furlough in all of our offices across the board until the crisis is over or more drastic action becomes necessary."
Members of the Prosecuting Council include Flint Judicial Circuit District Attorney Tommy Floyd (chairman), Muscogee County Solicitor-General Benjamin Richardson (vice-chairman) and Houston Judicial Circuit District Attorney Kelly Burke (secretary). Other members include Cordele Judicial Circuit District Attorney Denise Fachini, EnotahJudicial Circuit District Attorney Stan Gunter, Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Stephen Kelley, Cobb County Solicitor-General Barry Morgan, Coweta Judicial Circuit District Attorney Peter Skandalakis and Henry County Solicitor-General Charles Spahos.