State budget amendments focus on health, agriculture and judicial alternatives

Guest column from Georgia Rep. Bruce Williamson

This week the General Assembly has been out of session to focus on Governor Kemp’s budget proposals to reduce state spending by 4 percent in the amended budget for fiscal year 2020 and 6 percent in the budget for fiscal year 2021. We appreciate the Governor’s Office, the Office of Planning and Budget, and various agency and department heads for the valuable information they have shared with us this week and will continue to work in partnership with them to create a conservative, balanced budget for the state of Georgia.
After several meetings, the House Appropriations Committee found savings in different areas of amended budget for fiscal year 2020 and moved funds to programs and departments that are important priorities for the House and the General Assembly as a whole, including:
  • mental health services that help provide thousands of Georgians with care;
  • medical residencies for health care providers like doctors;
  • cooperative extensions that educate and provide information to farmers and K-12 students across the state;
  • agriculture and marine research that drive our state’s ability to take care of its environment and support Georgia industries; and
  • accountability courts that provide a positive alternative to individuals who might otherwise go to jail.
These programs and services are vital to communities across Georgia—especially rural Georgia—where many of these programs are the first lines of access to healthcare, crop research, and rehabilitation. More details on the final changes to the amended budget for fiscal year 2020 will be available next week. Moving forward, we will continue to work together to find positive solutions to the budget cuts, and as always, we will work together to do what is best for the people of Georgia.

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