Leadership of The Georgia General Assembly have agreed to freeze $6 million in spending on local projects as state officials continue to look for ways to deal with a looming budget crisis.

Local governments use the funds, known as "local assistance grants," to cover expenses ranging from video systems for police cars to playground equipment for city parks. The funding has periodically come under fire as a blatant example of pork-barrel spending, though lawmakers say the projects are badly needed.

Legislative leaders, though, say the possibility of a shortfall that could reach $1.8 billion makes it necessary to take a second look at the projects when the Legislature convenes in January. The state’s revenue situation has soured each of the last two months.

(Morriss News Service)