The legislature took a 2 week break ostensibly to deal with the state budget and returned today, seemingly without resolution on either the FY 10 amended or the FY11 budgets, to more bad budget news .

The Governor released the February 2010 revenue numbers today.  The revenue collections for the month of February 2010 compared to February 2009 were down 9.9%.  And, last February was pretty grim. 

The news brought demands from Senator Chip Rogers for even more budget cuts, but we are also hearing that some legislators are slowly warming to the idea of the tobacco tax or other new revenues.  That is the only good news in a increasingly dismal budget atmosphere- we cannot simply cut our way out of this budget mess without hurting Georgia’s children and the future growth to our state that they represent. 

There are some rumors that legislators might take another break soon to wait for the March revenue numbers.  Unfortunately, I am not optimistic that next month’s revenues will improve enough to make a difference.

The time has come for a more balanced approach.