This is a hell of a way to conduct the State of Georgia's business -- Funding feud squeezes agencies.
State agencies, from the university system to the Department of Corrections, are being asked to pick sides in a nasty budget battle between Gov. Sonny Perdue and state lawmakers.
And no matter which side they choose, they may wind up losing money.
House and Senate leaders [all Republicans] sent state agencies a memo late Tuesday telling them to ignore Perdue's order to redirect spending that lawmakers specified when they passed the budget in April. They warned that if agencies follow the governor's instructions, they could see their funding cut when the General Assembly meets again in January.
Perdue responded Wednesday by letting legislative leaders know that he's told agencies to heed his wishes.
The [current] battle between the Republican governor and Republican legislative leaders began May 30, when Perdue slashed $130 million in proposed spending from this year's budget.
He vetoed some projects, as many lawmakers expected. But he also took the unusual step of directing agencies to ignore lawmakers' instructions for spending on other projects and spend the money as he specified.
Some agency officials contacted Wednesday said they were still pondering the legislative letter. However, the dueling instructions put them in a tough position. The Legislature and the governor both play a role in deciding how much funding agencies get each year.
See also an earlier article in the AJC's Political Insider.