Gov. Kemp Announces Proposed Budget for Georgia

January 18, 2019

Pardon Our Dust

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Governor Kemp’s proposed budgets for FY19A and FY2020 are fairly conservative and do not reflect any major new priorities that have not previously been a part of his campaign platform. More than anything else, the budget reflects further progress toward using growth in tax collections to improve public sector pay, enhance school safety, and move forward a range of IT and capital projects that fill significant government and community needs. This is generally reflective of his fiscal conservatism and limited government approach.  

The biggest number in the budget is an expenditure of $483M to give every teacher in Georgia a $3,000 per year pay raise. That’s a significant bite of the $5,000 increase in teacher compensation that formed a large part of Gov. Kemp’s campaign. State employees also get a 2% pay raise, which is the first effort the state has made to do this across the board since the last recession. The state continues to spend significant new funds (over $160M) to deal with growth in the costs of providing health insurance to its employees, as well as reflecting significant savings ($41M) from reductions in the rate for Medicare Advantage plans provided to retirees. Significant funds were also provided to cover the costs of gene therapy drugs for Medicaid and State Health Benefit Plan (SHBP) members.

Below are the major highlights from Gov. Kemp’s budget:

Major IT/Consulting Projects

  • Department of Audits and Accounts, advanced data analytics: $600,000
  • Department of Agriculture, enterprise real estate assessment: $75,000
  • Community Affairs, study to track economic development grants: $144,000
  • Environmental Protection Division, development of a statewide water plan:  $14M
  • Department of Community Health, Medicaid Management Information System replacement: $5.696M (plus federal funds)
  • Department of Community Health, prepare a Medicaid waiver application: $1M
  • Department of Community Health, Medicaid asset verification system expansion: $2.7M
  • Department of Human Services, update the SHINES system used for child welfare: $3M
  • Department of Revenue, online tax payment system: 1.75M and additional staffing funds

Major Capital Expenditures

  • Georgia College, Science Complex: $18M
  • Kennesaw State University, Academic Learning Center: $39.5M
  • Georgia State University, Convocation Center: $48M
  • Wiregrass Technical, Allied Health Building: $29.485M
  • West GA Tech, Carroll Campus: $49.5M
  • Secretary of State, new voting system: $150M
  • Georgia World Congress Center Authority, pedestrian mall and bus depot: $22M

New Programs

  • Behavioral Health, mental health counselors in high schools: $8.4M
  • Behavioral Health, expansion in capacity for adult crisis centers and beds: $28M
  • Mercer University, Columbus Medical Campus: $9.332M
  • Department of Education, school security grants: $68M
  • ATL Link Transit Authority (new agency): $2.4M in operational funds