“Under the Gold Dome” Update
Last week was full of budget meetings at the Capitol in response to Gov. Kemp’s proposed budget for FY24. The only mandate for the Legislature each year is to pass a balanced state budget. Unlike the federal budget, the state must have a balanced budget. This year, based on the revenue estimates, there will be app. $2.3 billion in additional revenue that the state can utilize over the next six months in the amended FY2023 budget (which we are currently operating under). Gov. Brian Kemp released a $32.5 billion fiscal 2024 state budget proposal on Friday, January 13.
Some highlights of the proposed budget:
- A limited expansion of Medicaid called Georgia Pathways
- $2,000 pay raise for Pre-K and K-12 teachers, other certified K-12 staff, and state employees
- $25 million in “learning loss” grants to help offset the impacts of the pandemic on student instruction.
- $1.1 billion for K-12 education which would fully fund the formula
- $61.2 million to fully fund the HOPE Scholarship program for the first time in more than a decade
- $1.1 billion in property tax relief to homeowners
Gov. Kemp delivered his State of the State address on January 25. The full text can be found here. His major themes included overcoming challenges through resilience and resolve, change like new legislative leadership, and working together with both chambers of the legislature to accomplish the state’s goals. Kemp outlined his goals of achieving economic success through investment in education, good-paying jobs, and workforce housing; cracking down on violent crime; and healthcare access.
The members of the Cobb delegation can be found at the bottom of our Civic Engagement page. You can also find your legislator here. It’s important to let your elected officials know your priorities in terms of funding and policies.