Georgia Has Diverted Millions in Environmental Fees

"The state collected more than $30 million in fees from Georgians last year for programs designed to clean up landfills, tire dumps and hazardous sites and to improve 911 services.

The governor and state lawmakers put less than $2 million of the fee revenue toward those programs.

Instead, the money went into the state’s general kitty, where it could be spent on everything from education and prisons to hometown projects, economic development and farm programs.

Since the state began collecting the fees, the governor and lawmakers have diverted almost $150 million for things other than the intended purpose of the fees, according to figures from the Association County Commissioners of Georgia."

James Salzer reports for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution January 18, 2011.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011