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Jan. 25 – COLUMNIST: “From the State House” Budget Update by Rep. Jeff Jones

Category: Columnists

Brunswick Business Journal Featured Columnist

January 25, 2016 - On Friday, Jan. 22, 2016, we completed the eighth day of the 40 day 2016 General Assembly session.  Although not much activity occurred while we were actually “convened” and “in session”, a lot of work is going on behind the scenes particularly with Budget hearings, which are important and very time-consuming, and Committee hearings on bills and other issues.

Governor Deal presented his 2017 budget which includes $23.7 billion in projected revenue and expenditure requests totaling of $20.4 billion.

Budget Proposal for 2017

As I have mentioned before, we are constitutionally required to pass a balanced state budget each year which is a very good thing for the State of Georgia. The budget process has two broad components – preparing and passing the Fiscal Year 2017 (FY2017) budget and making adjustments to the Amended Fiscal Year 2016 (AFY2016) budget. 

The full fiscal year budget uses a projected state revenue estimates to guide state spending from July 1 to June 30 of the following fiscal year (in this case 2017).  The amended budget is “tweaked” using a more accurate estimate of actual state revenue and adjusts the AYF2016 budget for any discrepancies between the projected and actual revenue.

While I am pleased to see our state continue to place a priority on education spending (discussed below), I must admit my genuine concern that we are being presented a FY2017 budget that increases spending by $1.0 billion over 2016.  Why must we always increase spending when revenue increases?  Why not instead reduce our state income tax, for example?

Editor’s Note: Representative Jeff Jones’ website is http://www.votejeffjones.com.  He is also on Facebook and Twitter. 

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