Gov. Nathan Deal today said the $42.7 million in the president’s budget for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP) falls short of the Obama administration’s commitment to the state.
“Georgia taxpayers have already invested, in advance, the state’s full local share to SHEP. As we've fulfilled our commitment, which amounts to roughly $266 million, we continue to look to the federal government to do the same,” said Deal. “While the president’s FY17 budget request includes an additional $42.7 million, it’s less than half of what is needed to ensure SHEP construction progresses steadily, resources are allocated efficiently and Georgia’s taxpayer dollars are spent appropriately. That request, which underfunds arguably the most critical dredging project in the country, appears to be the largest of any deep draft navigation projects in the president’s budget. This underscores yet again the need for greater investment by the federal government.
“I will be calling once again on our partners in the Congressional delegation, who have advocated tirelessly for SHEP funding. I’m confident they will do everything possible to prioritize funding for the Army Corps of Engineers’ SHEP construction to ensure the project stays on track for completion within five years. The federal government gave Georgia its word and must do more to uphold its obligations."