Veto includes Golf Hall of Fame

Governor Perdue vetoed 41 bills Wednesday, more than twice the number he rejected the year before. And the governor slashed more than 18 (m) million dollars in spending and 129 million dollars in construction bonds from spending for the fiscal year that begins July 1st.

In signing the 20.2 billion dollar spending plan, Perdue said it is important to ensure there is money "set aside for the future."

Wednesday was the deadline for Perdue to act on legislation from the 2007 legislative session.

Among the bills vetoed by Perdue was one that supporters had said would keep illegal immigrants from getting behind the wheel in Georgia. The bill would have boosted penalties for driving without a valid drivers license and required jail officials to check the nationality of violators.

Perdue said that the bill might end up punishing new Georgia residents with valid out-of-state licenses.

Perdue vetoed tax breaks for several arts centers and for the expansion of the Georgia Aquarium.

The governor also used his line-item-veto power to strip out pet projects, some of them added by House members Perdue battled with. Gone was 633-thousand dollars for the Golf Hall of Fame in Augusta sought by Representative Ben Harbin, chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

When it comes to funding the Golf Hall of Fame, the general assembly appropriated almost 634 thousand dollars in operating funds. It broke down like this. $500 thousand for operations. $75 thousand for a study on forming a public/private partnership to run the attraction, and the original $58,685 already approved.

Governor Perdue called it excessive, given other needs in the state budget.

Representatives from the Golf and Gardens were expecting to get 300-thousand dollars. Earlier, they told News 12 they may have to consider closing this Summer without the state money.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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