Each January, the governor proposes two distinct budgets. The proposals are called the executive budget. The amended budget for FY 2022 adjusts spending levels for the current fiscal year that ends June 30 to reflect actual tax collections, enrollment growth and any spending changes over the year. The full or “big” budget for FY 2023 lays out a new spending plan for the next fiscal year that starts on July 1, 2022.
Powered by unprecedented federal support to mitigate the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Kemp’s proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 budget presents a sharp reversal from the deep budget cuts implemented during FY 2021-22. It includes an 11 percent spike in per-capita state spending that will add approximately $3 billion in funding for Georgia’s thinly stretched state government.
With few notable exceptions, such as the Department of Labor, most agencies would receive increases in appropriations sizable enough to move at least incrementally ahead of pre-pandemic funding levels.
The FY 2023 budget largely marks a restoration to pre-pandemic funding levels. The increase is led by spending to reverse budget cuts to public education and increase teacher salaries, improvements to Georgia’s health care system, long-overdue pay raises and compensation increases for state employees, and a series of capital construction and agency reorganization proposals. Aided by federal support, rebounding revenues also cover the costs of implementing a series of priorities launched earlier in Gov. Kemp’s term as state government reels from years of persistent underfunding.
While Georgia’s FY 2023 budget puts the state in line with its pre-pandemic trajectory, the state’s recovery remains incomplete. Even with the proposed 11 percent increase to the overall state budget from FY 2022 to FY 2023, Georgia remains on track to spend slightly less per person than in FY 2008.
As the state considers restoring budget cuts made over the past two years, it is also important to recognize the cumulative effects of persistently underfunding vital programs and services since the Great Recession that have left hundreds of thousands of Georgia families vulnerable to continued economic hardship, including disproportionate numbers of Black Georgians and people of color.
This reflects the signed version of the budget for the state of Georgia.
The Fiscal Year 2023 budget is set by a revenue estimate of $30.2 billion, an increase of $2.9 billion, or 10.8%, over the FY 2022 original budget.
The rebound of state revenue presents the opportunity to make significant investments in state government that will resonate for many years.
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Rep. Angela Moore
HD90 soon to be the NEW 91