First the old business: Governor Brian Kemp has asked for state agencies to prepare for across the board budget cuts of 4% to 6%. In order to ensure time and planning to analyze, prioritize, and implement possible spending reductions, Speaker David Ralston announced earlier this month that the House would commence budget hearings early this year, rather than waiting until the legislature convenes in January.
Today, we have the dates of the first budget hearings, as well as an expansion of the scope of effort. Rather than being a House hearing, the Senate will also participate so this can be a full, joint budget hearing. This will occur September 26th and 27th, with additional details forthcoming.
The full press release announcing the joint hearing is as follows:
ATLANTA – State Representative Terry England (R-Auburn), Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, announced that the Appropriations Committee will hold hearings on Thursday, Sept. 26, and Friday, Sept. 27, regarding the Amended Fiscal Year 2020 and the Fiscal Year 2021 state budgets. These meetings begin work on the 2020 legislative budget process as directed by Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) earlier this month.
“I appreciate the importance Speaker Ralston is putting on the upcoming budget process, and that he is encouraging thorough, thoughtful discussion of the state’s appropriations,” said Chairman England. “We will work to take the governor’s concerns about a slowing economy into account as we begin this important work, and we look forward to working with Governor Kemp’s staff, state agency heads and economists to determine the prudent way forward.”
Chairman England also announced that the Senate Appropriations Committee will join in the upcoming hearings so that both chambers of the General Assembly can work together throughout this process.
“Once we decided we needed to begin work on the budget this fall, I reached out to my good friend and colleague Senator Jack Hill, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, and we agreed that we need to continue working side by side as we do on every budget,” said Chairman England. “We remain committed to budgeting conservatively and investing wisely for the future of our great state.”
Further details such as hearing agenda and times will be announced prior to the September meetings.
Representative Terry England represents the citizens of District 116, which includes portions of Barrow County. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2005 and currently serves as Chairman of the Appropriations Committee. He also serves on the Agriculture & Consumer Affairs, Education, Industry and Labor, Natural Resources & Environment and Ways & Means committees.