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By Eric Stirgus January 29, 2013

Has Deal been frugal with state budget?

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal made a claim on his Twitter page that initially had us stumped.

"Spending of government money is 17 percent less than it was a decade ago," the message said as Deal delivered his State of the State address.

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Isn’t the state budget larger than it was a decade ago?

In fiscal year 2003, which began July 1, 2002, and ended June 30, 2003, then-Gov. Sonny Perdue and the Legislature approved a $16.2 billion general fund spending plan. In the proposed fiscal year 2014 budget, Deal wants to spend about $17.4 billion for the state’s general fund. The entire proposed state budget would be about $19.8 billion.

Deal explained the decrease in his speech.

"Using 2012 dollars, our per capita spending of government money is 17 percent less that it was a decade ago," the governor said.

Adjusted for inflation, the fiscal year 2003 budget would now be $20.15 billion. The difference between that budget and Deal’s proposed budget is about $3 billion, a 17 percent decrease.

We rate this statement True.

Our Sources

State of the State address, Jan. 17, 2013.

Georgia Office of Budget and Planning, budget documents.

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Has Deal been frugal with state budget?

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