As the 2009 state legislative session approaches, Rep. Terry England foresees several issues being up for discussion including school issues, transportation, trauma care and taxes.
“The budget numbers are still looking pretty bad and looking like about the $2.5 billion we thought at the end of the year,” England told the Barrow Journal.
“We had several agencies that turned money back in from last year as a result of budget cutting measures in the house. It looks like that will be just over $200 million.”
England, who ran unopposed for re-election during 2008, said Monday the Homeowner Tax Relief Grants still look safe at this time, but noted “that can change at the drop of a hat as we go back in session.”
“I also think the property tax caps that are being proposed stand a change in some form or another,” he said. “What they finally look like — the jury is still out.”
The representative also said he wants to see about giving local school systems more wiggle room on class sizes.
Illegal immigration continues to be a hot button topic with many lawmakers and citizens alike and England wants counties not enforcing the current law to be held accountable.
“We will look at withholding block grants from them,” he told the Barrow County Republican Party during its most recent meeting.
England was involved in a publicized battle with state Speaker of the House Glenn Richardson last fall, but noted the two have now “cleared the air.”
“I am looking forward to working with him during this session,” England said. “He has made a commitment that he will try his best to control his temper and try harder as he relates to his relationship with the Governor and Lt. Governor and I take him at his word.”