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January 19, 2016

Legislators Begin Budget Work Today

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Joint House and Senate budget committees are meeting for the first time today to hear from department heads on their proposed 2016 Amended and FY 2017 budget requests.   Governor Nathan Deal is addressing the committees now. He will be followed by the State's fiscal economist and agency heads from the government departments that make up the lion's share of the state's budget.  Following the day long committee hearing, budget subcommittees will convene Wednesday and Thursday of this week to consider the specific budget requests under their jurisdiction.

The amended FY2016 budget is an opportunity for the legislature to adjust spending levels based on actual capital outlays and receipts for the first half of the state's fiscal year.   FY2016 began July 1, 2015 and will conclude on June 30, 2016.  After calibrating FY2016 spending levels, the budget committees will turn their attention to fiscal year 2017 which begins July 1, 2016, after the legislative session adjourns for this year.

Notable line items in the amended fiscal year 2016 budget include:

  • An increase of nearly $462 million for Department of Transportation capital construction projects resulting from an increase in motor fuels tax revenue from HB 170.
  • An increase of more than  $58 million for capital maintenance projects, an increase of more than $36 million for local maintenance and improvement grants, and an increase of $200 million for routine maintenance resulting from additional motor fuels tax revenue from HB 170.
  • An midyear adjustment in Department of Education funding that increases the Basic Quality Education Program by $98 million.
  • A $72.3 million increase in medicaid payments ($10 million of which is offset by a decrease in PeachCare).
  • $1.8 million for the State of Georgia to provide IRS form 1085-B to state medicare and PeachCare enrollees to prove minimal essential coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).