The heads of state or government approved much of what Kemp proposed for next year’s budget.
They supported plans to spend $ 40 million on a rural innovation fund and $ 10 million to expand high-speed internet in rural areas.
They agreed to replenish 60% of the legislature-approved cuts in education spending last year. when they fell 10% fearing that government revenues would fall due to the pandemic.
That didn’t happen. Indeed, state tax collections rose 6.3% in the first seven months of this fiscal year.
Much of the government spending goes to K-12 schools and colleges.
Under the fiscal 2022 budget, the state would borrow approximately $ 1 billion for construction projects, much of it for new schools, college buildings, and roads and bridges.
In addition to education, health care is one of the main reasons for the budget increase for the next year. Medicaid – the program for the poor and the disabled – sees another big increase. This is partly because recipients who postpone medical treatments and appointments during the pandemic are expected to see more doctors in 2022. The house plan also provides more money for nursing homes that have been badly hit by the pandemic.
Chairman of Home Remedies Terry England, R-AuburnThe move will add more than $ 58.5 million to various mental health programs, some of which have been overwhelmed by the pandemic’s impact on mental health and addiction problems.
“This will make an important mental health statement,” he said.
The budget would staff a number of agencies, from the Ministry of Health to the Ethics Committee to the Ministry of Finance and the Secretary of State. It would allow pay increases for bank auditors, license service center clerks, and guards in private prisons. It would create new classifications for veterans in the Georgia State Patrol so that they can receive elevations while staying in the workplace.
The spending plan puts $ 2.5 million for the Georgia World Congress Center to get people back to work as more conventions are held when more Americans are vaccinated.
And the House asked the Employees Retirement System to send an additional monthly check to retirees. While retired teachers receive a 3% increase in the cost of living each year, ERS members haven’t had one in more than a decade. Instead, in recent years the legislature has asked the system to give retirees a bonus check that does not permanently increase their pension.
The House plan provides $ 190,000 to fund the review of at least five special interest tax breaks over the next year. A Senate bill was passed at the beginning of this session calls for regular reviews of the dozen of special interest tax breaks approved by lawmakers to see if they are contributing to job creation.
It also has $ 6 million in rehab for MARTA’s bankhead ward, nearly $ 3 million in designing a research tower at Georgia State University, and $ 500,000 in creating an eminent sickle cell research scientist at Georgia Research Alliance.
With the House of Representatives plan failing to fully restore cuts in areas such as education, Danny Kanso, senior policy analyst for the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute think tank, said he is underfunding government agencies by approximately $ 1.2 billion, “at one Time when Georgians were just around the corner The health and economic challenges posed by COVID-19 require more resources to meet their needs. ‘