Dwindling jobs and the lingering economic slowdown have led to a big jump in the number of Georgians on food stamps. US Agriculture Department officials say, there are now 1.8 million people receiving food stamps in the state, a 42% rise from two years ago. Those numbers leave out people eligible for but not using the benefit.
State agency heads are going into the next budget cycle with another directive to cut. Governor Nathan Deal says, he wants most agencies to remove 2% of spending from budgets due to his office by September. This comes despite a 7% jump in July revenues over last year. Deal's directive exempts Medicaid, prisons and K-12 schools.
Georgia could round out this fiscal year with a surplus. April’s 2.6 percent revenue spike is the tenth consecutive month of growth. House Appropriations Chair Terry England says any extra money will go straight to the state’s reserve fund.
State lawmakers expected new fees to generate millions more dollars than they're actually generating. Lawmakers expected an extra $200 paid by the state's worst speed violators to bring in $23 million. It's actually bringing in about $10 million.
Georgia’s revenue numbers have been on the rise for the past three months, but it amounts to only 1.3 percent in actual growth according to the state revenue department. When the governor created this year's budget he projected 4 percent growth.