The state House passed an amended budget Friday for the current fiscal year. It reconciles projections from last year with the economic realities of today. State officials had to lower the budget’s revenue estimate because the economy hasn’t recovered as quickly as they had predicted.
Georgia judges said the state doesn't invest enough money to make its judicial system operate effectively and efficiently. During budget hearings Justice Hugh Thompson of the Georgia Supreme Court said courts are struggling to keep up with their dockets.
Gov. Nathan Deal’s 2014 budget includes small investments in areas he’s targeted, including accountability courts and juvenile justice. Speaking Tuesday at budget hearings at the state Capitol, he told lawmakers Georgia’s continued slow economic recovery nixes any ambitious plans.
Georgia would keep spending relatively flat under a $19.9 billion budget plan from Gov. Nathan Deal that tries some trims to health care spending while including limited infrastructure and education spending. That figure does not include billions in federal spending. The Republican governor is making a combination of spending cuts to close a funding shortfall in the Medicaid health care program for the poor.
A weaker-than-expected economic recovery is proving to be a drag on Georgia's state finances. Republican Gov. Nathan Deal must find a way to close the gap between what Georgia's government collects and what it spends when submitting his budget plans Thursday.
Georgia's Republicans in the U.S. House voted against a last-minute deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff" after the state's two senators voted for it. All eight of Georgia's Republicans voted against the bill in the House late Tuesday.
Georgia government doesn't save as much as many other states, while recent state spending increases outpaced the national average. Those are conclusions from a new nonpartisan analysis of all 50 states.