The highlights for the first two weeks of the General Assembly were the Governor’s State of the State message, the proposed Amended 2017 budget (July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017) and the proposed General 2018 budget (July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018).
The revenue estimate for the Amended 2017 budget is now approximately $24,345,000 and this reflects a 3.2 percent Department of Revenue tax revenue growth over actual fiscal year 2016.
The revenue estimate for the proposed General 2018 budget is now approximately $24,997,000 and this reflects a 3.6 percent Department of Revenue tax revenue growth over the Amended 2017 revenue estimate.
Some of the key components in the proposed General 20188 budget are as follows:
• An increase of $223.5 million to fully fund the Teacher’s Retirement System (still a pension plan)
• Adds $133.2 million for enrollment growth and training and experience in K-12 education
• Adds $85.8 million for equalization grants for a new total of $584.5 million (additional funding for poorer school districts
• Authorized $240.9 million in new K-12 school construction and equipment bonds
• Adds $29.4 million to Move On When Ready to meet the projected need for dual enrolled students (students in high school also attending technical college or college)
• Adds $49.3 million in lottery proceeds to meet the projected need of HOPE and Zell students at our state’s public postsecondary institutions
• Adds $55.4 million for salary increase for state law enforcement officers
• Adds $160.1 million for a 2 percent teacher, bus drivers and school nurses raise
• Adds $117.4 million for performance incentives for high performing employees
• Adds $70.1 million to reflect change in enrollment and square footage at University System of Georgia institutions
• Adds approximately $200 million for State Health Benefit Plan changes
• Adds $84.9 million ($58 million Federal and $26.9 other) for additional revenue from hospital provider payments
• Adds $12.1 million for 250 new waive slots for those with developmental disabilities
I think you now understand how any revenue increase can be quickly absorbed based on unfunded needs. Please me know if you have any questions or specific item.
Senator Fran Millar