2020 Budget

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The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute is asking the state to increase Georgia’s tobacco tax in order to avoid deep budget cuts.


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Thousands of state employees could be laid off under new budget plans submitted to the state and many more could face furloughs as Georgia’s government braces for up to a 14% reduction in spending.

In the dozens of pages of documents submitted to the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget last week, state agencies offered up more than $3.5 billion in cuts to essential services that Georgians rely on, from K-12 education to health care to food safety inspections.

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

Georgia's tax collections for the month of April were down more than $1 billion from last year, signaling a budgetary shortfall that could force state agencies to slash already lean budgets by more than 10% for the next fiscal year.

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

Gov. Brian Kemp is asking the Georgia General Assembly to appropriate $100 million from the state’s rainy day fund to aid health officials and emergency responders working to combat coronavirus in the state.

In a letter sent to House and Senate appropriations leaders, Kemp said he was raising the state’s revenue by adding $100 million from the Revenue Shortfall Reserve (RSR) and subsequently requesting the amended fiscal year budget appropriate that $100 million into the governor’s emergency fund.


Stephen Fowler | GPB News

The Georgia House of Representatives passed an updated budget for the rest of this fiscal year that rejects many reductions Gov. Brian Kemp proposed as part of an overall plan to cut back on government spending.

HB 792, which covers the budget through June 30, passed 126 to 46 and now heads to the state Senate, which will craft its own version.

John Bazemore / AP

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp told lawmakers during his State of the State address Thursday that his budget proposal for the next fiscal year includes an additional $2,000 pay raise for teachers and school employees, completing a campaign promise to boost teacher pay and adding another layer of complication to a tight budget discussion.

In his second annual address to lawmakers, Kemp also said the General Assembly should continue to fully fund the state’s education formula.

“Let’s fully fund public school education for the third year in a row, accounting for growth and resources needed to properly educate,” he said.

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

The Georgia General Assembly gaveled in for Day One of the 2020 legislative session Monday. The day began with a pair of remembrances for lawmakers who recently passed away, and started the clock on a contentious few months of debate over funding the state budget as revenues lag.


Ezra Morris / GPB

Starting this week, state agencies have a little less money to get things done.   

Gov. Brian Kemp ordered budget cuts last month, encouraging departments to cut redundant spending and warning of a potential future economic downturn.     

But the lawmakers who craft the budget aren’t so sure. They met last week to hear more about the Georgia economy. 


John Bazemore / AP

Today on Political Rewind, we dive deep into the proposed budget cuts that Gov. Brian Kemp has ordered all state agencies to make.


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While Gov. Brian Kemp has asked state agencies to find ways to cut their budgets in the next fiscal year, the initial proposals submitted amount to an overall increase in state spending.

 

According to documents shared online by the governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, the state’s amended budget for the rest of the fiscal year (running July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020) would decrease by about $50 million, or two-tenths of a percent. 

However, the record-setting $27.5 billion budget would increase by 1%, or close to $300 million, for FY 2021 – even with cuts offered by many state agencies. Add to the mix recent news about record jobs growth, a booming economy and Georgia being the “number one state to do business” and many are left wondering what the cuts are all about. 

David Shafer

Newly-elected Republican Party of Georgia Chairman David Shafer has a big task ahead of him in the leadup to the 2020 election.

The governor’s mansion, every statewide elected office, state legislative leadership and both U.S. Senate seats are held by Republicans.

But last fall, Democrats gained several suburban seats in the legislature and Stacey Abrams garnered more votes than any other Democrat who ran for statewide office, narrowly losing to Gov. Brian Kemp.

David Shafer sat down in the GPB studios to share his vision for the party in the coming years.


Stephen Fowler | GPB News

Gov. Brian Kemp has signed the record-breaking $27.5 billion budget for fiscal year 2020, which begins July 1.

This year's budget includes a 2% pay raise for state employees and a $3,000 raise for teachers and other certified school employees, and fully funds the state's education formula for the second year in a row. Kemp has called the raise a "down payment" on his campaign promise of $5,000 for teachers.

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Georgia's teachers are getting a pay raise as part of Georgia's record-setting $27.5 billion budget. 

Lawmakers approved a conference committee's report on HB 31 Thursday that worked out differences between the House and Senate versions of the Fiscal Year 2020 budget, beginning July 1.