Governor Deal made the FY 2018 budget official when he signed it into law on Monday.
The budget, which is referenced in the legislature as House Bill 44, provides additional funding for education, public safety and state infrastructure. This budget is based on a 3.5 percent increase in general fund revenues over FY 2017.
“The FY 2018 budget maintains Georgia’s position as a national leader in conservative fiscal management and further strengthens our top priorities: quality education for all children, public safety in our communities, an economy that continues to generate jobs and an infrastructure system that supports a growing population,” said Deal in a prepared statement. “With this budget, we are working to make Georgia a better place to live, work and play by investing in public safety personnel, teachers and others responsible for ensuring the safety of Georgia’s children. Georgia has enjoyed sustained economic growth and this budget lays the foundation for continued short-term and long-term success. I commend the General Assembly for working with me once again to balance the budget while addressing the issues that matter most to Georgia’s citizens.”
High Points of the budget that spans a few hundred pages:
- Invests more than $516 million in new funding for K-12 education, including allocations of more than $156.8 million for enrollment growth, training and experience
- $85.8 million for the Quality Basic Education Equalization program to assist low-wealth school systems
- $160.1 million in funding to provide a 2 percent increase to the state base salary schedule for certified personnel, school bus drivers and school nurses.
- Invests more than $96 million in the Department of Human Services child welfare services programs
- $25.9 million will provide 19 percent pay increases for child protective services employees to assist the department in recruiting and retaining staff
- $31 million will provide per diem rate increases for foster parents and relatives caring for children
- $55.2 million to provide a 20 percent salary increase for law enforcement personnel, as well as salary increases for criminal investigators and public safety trainers.
- $20.8 million for autism services for children served by Medicaid and $17.9 million for primary care and OB/GYN Medicaid providers
- $79.4 million for the University System of Georgia for resident instruction.
- $20.5 million for the Move on When Ready program.
- $11.3 million in bond funds for the Technical College System of Georgia to purchase world-class lab equipment.
- $36.4 million to construct and equip a new crime lab for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in Savannah.
The fiscal year begins July 1.