Friday, January 23, 2009

"She's just a wizard who can make money appear out of thin air."

That's state Senator Johnny Grant,R-Milledgeville, about how the Department of Human Resources, and especially Commissioner B.J. Walker (pictured), intend on to make good on the state's settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice on Civil Rights violations in Georgia's Mental Health system.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has told us that these things cost money:
"The settlement agreement, which requires a federal judge’s approval, binds the state to “undertake its best efforts” to find enough money to transform the hospitals. If legislators fail to allot the money, federal authorities may ask a judge to force additional spending.
State officials have not determined how much compliance will cost. A Journal-Constitution analysis last year found that increasing mental health spending in Georgia to the national average would require more than doubling the current annual budget of about $465 million."

But according to Grant, Walker says the state will be able to meet the terms of the yet-undisclosed settlement while parting with about $29 million due to the governor's proposed budget cuts.
Now that's government in action for ya.

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