Georgia Governor Kemp approves 2021 budget

Georgia News

ATLANTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Georgia Governor Brian Kemp approved the state’s 26-billion dollar budget today, for the fiscal year 2021 that starts tomorrow.

Governor Kemp called it “bittersweet” after state lawmakers wrapped up the 2020 legislative session last week, after a 3 month hiatus because of the pandemic — which massively cut the state’s sales tax revenue.

Atlanta Bureau Chief, Archith Seshadri, explains where those funds will go.

A balanced budget now in the books.

“This budget priorities education, health care and safety. It puts people over politics and helps a safer tomorrow for all Georgians.”

The good news, no furloughs for state employees. The bad news, a 10 percent budget cut.

“In it’s wake this virus spurred an economic recession impacting every industry of our great state.”

The state cut around 950-million dollars for K-12 but schools should get federal funds instead. The governor says he’s allocated more than half the budget towards education.

“It recognizes a 7.8% increase in enrollment at state charter schools.This budget provides $55M to additional lottery funds for HOPE and grant programs to meet projected demands.”

Health care funding also got the green light.

“This budget funds projected growth for medicaid and Peach Care which is nearly $270M. It also includes in $19M for 6 months of medicaid for Georgia Mothers.”

The governor approved a new GBI gang task force to reduce gun violence and to stop sex traffickers.

Lawmakers return to the capitol again next January for the 2021 legislative session. The budget goes into effect tomorrow, July 1st and ends one year from today, June 30, 2021.

Governor Kemp also extended the state’s health emergency until August 11th because of a recent surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

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