House Passes Amended 2017 Budget

Yesterday the House passed the Amended Budget for 2017. Recall that the Georgia Fiscal Year runs from July 1 to June 30th, so the budget passed each year during session is for the “next” year. The “big budget” that will be passed later this session will be for FY 2018. As part of the process, adjustments are made mid-year when actual revenues are mostly known. This is done as the amended budget. Thus, today’s budget adjusts the “big budget” that passed last session for the year that began July of 2016.

As I’ve been running wide open this week, I’ll let House Budget Chairman Terry England explain some highlights of the Amended Budget, as the following was posted to his Facebook page last night:

Today, I was proud to stand with my colleagues in the House as we took action to ease some of the pain for those impacted by the tornadoes that hit South Georgia a few days ago. This morning we passed House Bill 43, the supplemental appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2017 and directed $5 million to the Governor’s Emergency Fund to help our neighbors.

House Bill 43 also includes almost $1 million to fund the Governor’s recommended 57 percent increase in the per-diem rate for foster care parents — plus another $1 per day that we in the House added. These rates go into effect April 1.

Midway through the fiscal year, we have $606.2 million more revenue than originally was projected for the current fiscal year. That brings the full budget for FY2017 to $24.3 billion.

We based our spending decisions on three principles: first, be fiscally conservative; second, fund our obligations and critical needs; and third, invest in our State.

I’m pleased that my colleagues stood by those principles and passed the bill by a vote of 173-1.

The Leeroy Jenkins! award for the one dissenting vote on the Amended Budget goes to freshman Rep Matt Gurtler (R-Tiger).

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