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Welcome center not one of Perdue’s line-item vetoes

The state welcome center on U.S. Highway 301 is not one of the items that the governor vetoed Wednesday.
The center located in Screven County will be funded by state dollars and assisted by local technical college students.
Funds, however, to construct a biofuels facility at the Herty Advanced Materials Development Center in Savannah was one of just three budget items Gov. Sonny Perdue.
But Perdue said the facility could still be built with other funds.
Perdue signed the $18.6 billion budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. In years past, he has vetoed a dozen or more individual appropriations.
As passed by the General Assembly, the budget included approval to issue $250,000 in bonds to finance the construction of a place where Herty scientists could test fuels made from plant materials, such as pine trees. Herty has long been a pioneer in the uses of pine for paper production.
Perdue, in his veto message released Wednesday, noted that $900,000 remained left over from $ 2 million bonds that were sold last fiscal year for Herty renovations and equipment. Using that money saves the state $22,000 yearly in additional interest for another bond issue, he said.
Another veto was $25,000 stripped from the Georgia State Games, which is the state's version of the Olympics. The Senate Appropriations Committee had inserted the money into the budget with the notation that its purpose was "to educate Georgians about the benefits of physical fitness and sports."
Perdue's message stated, "State funding for this program is not justified, as the intention of this funding is inconsistent with the mission of the program. Therefore, I veto this appropriation."
The third line item vetoed was $1.6 million in bonds to purchase land for Darton College in Albany from the Albany Museum. He said the current recession has forced the museum to scrap its plans to move, making the land no longer available for the college.
Legislators recognized there was little money available in the budget for inserting pet projects. Instead, the budget included cuts of nearly $2.5 billion from the previous year.
"Cutting the budget has forced a number of difficult decisions, but we have managed the state in a thoughtful, conservative way to ensure Georgians are receiving value for their tax dollars," Perdue said in his budget statement. "We have maintained AAA bond ratings, saving the state tens of millions of dollars, and funded our top priorities to ensure the basic responsibilities of state government are being met."
He also noted that he had signed 13 bills that extend or create tax exemptions.