Senate Discusses Budgets and Programs of Department of Natural Resources and Agriculture

ATLANTA (October 27, 2008) – As a part of the joint Senate Appropriations subcommittee meeting
series, the General Government subcommittee and the Best Value in Government Task Force held a
joint workshop today at the Capitol to discuss agency reports, efficiencies, and cost savings for the
State Ethics Commission, Office of Consumer Affairs, Department of Insurance and Office of
Secretary of State. Senators Seth Harp (R-Midland) and Mitch Seabaugh (R-Sharpsburg) co-chaired
the meeting.

“The senate is looking at the state’s budget just like you would at home when funds are short. We’re
coordinating with government agencies to sit around our kitchen table to find savings and
efficiencies,” said Harp. “Lt. Governor Cagle has challenged us to skillfully apply a scalpel to only
fund government programs that are critical to Georgia’s families.”
Each agency presented an overview of their programs and what efficiencies and cost savings have been
implemented. The current budgets were submitted and several agencies were asked to provide further
detailed information on particular programs or services. Members of the committee focused today on
uncovering duplicated services and redundancies between agencies. Senators also expressed the need
for agencies to provide efficient courteous service to Georgians while trimming costs.

Some of the programs discussed today were the ethics commission, insurance regulation and consumer
affairs and protection. During the meeting, the Secretary of State’s Office also provided a clarification
of the costs associated with the election process and early voting. The committee also heard from
Commissioner John Oxendine, who presented an overview of the Department of Insurance’s budget.
Additional joint workshops are scheduled through mid-December. Topics for those meetings include
natural resources and agriculture, health, education and fiscal management. The workshops are being
held at the request of Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, who has charged the Senate to proactively identify
non-essential government services and maximize efficiency and value in our state government.

Sen. Seth Harp serves as Chairman of the Higher Education Committee. He represents the
29th Senate District which includes Harris and Meriwether counties and portions of
Muscogee and Troup counties. He can be reached at 404.463.3931 or by email at

Sen. Mitch Seabaugh serves as Senate Majority Whip. He represents the 28th Senate District
which includes Coweta and Heard counties and portions of Carroll and Troup counties. He
may be reached by phone at 404.656.6446 or by e-mail at