The Georgia House of Representatives reconvened for the ninth week of session and Legislative Day 28, otherwise known as Crossover Day, on Monday, March 6, 2023. Crossover Day is a crucial deadline for the House and Senate as this is the last day for bills to pass out of their chamber of origin to remain eligible for consideration this session, and as a result, the House took up legislation well into the night to send to our Senate counterparts. By the time we adjourned just before midnight, my colleagues and I passed more than 50 bills and resolutions in one day. Following Crossover Day, we continued to convene on the House floor throughout the week, where we passed a balanced state budget for the next fiscal year and heard Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael P. Boggs deliver the State of the Judiciary address.
Fiscal Year 2024 Budget – Sent to the Senate
Each legislative session, the General Assembly has a constitutional obligation to pass a balanced state budget, and this week, the House of Representatives passed House Bill 19, or the Fiscal Year 2024 (FY 2024) budget. The FY 2024 budget will go into effect on July 1 and is set at a revenue estimate of $32.4 billion, which is $2.2 billion, or 7.4 percent, more than the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY 2023) budget. This budget reflects many of the House’s priorities that focus on keeping Georgians safe, healthy, and prosperous, and I want to bring your attention to just a few of our major budgetary initiatives.
· As usual, funding for education makes up more than half of the FY 2024 budget. Georgia’s K-12 public school system would receive a record-setting $13.1 billion to fully fund the Quality Basic Education (QBE) formula.
· Provide substantial support for graduate and undergraduate medical education using a total of $5.2 million for various residencies, training programs, medical school slots and fellowships
· $3.4 million would go toward supporting loan repayment programs for providers practicing in rural areas
· $13.2 million to provide $4,000 in targeted salary adjustments for state law enforcement officers across various agencies to help increase competitiveness with surrounding states
· State employees and teachers would receive $2,000 raises, and certain agencies that need additional support recruiting and retaining workers would be able to provide even higher raises for critical positions
· $2.7 million for a cold case specialty unit for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI)
· $1.5 million for 21 additional positions in the GBI Division of Forensic Sciences to address the backlog of firearm, chemistry and toxicology evidence processing
· The state’s 28 sexual assault centers would also receive $2.5 million for dedicated sexual assault nurse examiner positions at each of these vital centers
· The state’s Medicaid program would receive a total of $35.1 million for reimbursement rate increases for health care providers, including primary care, OBGYN, home and community-based services, speech pathology, audiology therapy and more
· Medicaid program would also receive $2.8 million to cover adult dental services to increase access to oral health care
· Funding for Medicaid waiver program that provides incredible support to help those with intellectual or developmental disabilities to live and thrive on their own
· $2.25 million to increase staffing resources for the 988 suicide and crisis hotline
Now that the House has passed the FY 2024 budget, our Senate counterparts will begin making adjustments to this budget to reflect their priorities and help finalize the legislation. I will keep you updated as the full budget continues to make its way through the legislative process.
House Bill 538, or the Georgia Early Literacy Act, would require school systems to teach high-quality literacy instructional materials in kindergarten through third-grade classrooms.
House Bill 462, or the “Raise the Age Act,” would expand the jurisdiction of the state’s juvenile court system to include 17-year-old Georgians who are charged with a crime.
House Bill 82 would create a new $5,000 annual tax credit for physicians and dentists who decide to practice in a rural county in the next five years.
House Bill 196 to provide a better pathway for Georgians struggling with chronic diseases to have access to medical cannabis products.
We only have a handful of legislative days left in this session, and we will spend the remainder of our time considering bills that were passed by our Senate counterparts before the Crossover deadline. The House will also give final approval to House legislation that could undergo changes by the Senate in our last two and a half weeks. I encourage you to contact me regarding bills that may be up for consideration during these final days of the session before we complete our work on March 29.
I remain dedicated to serving your interests as your state representative, and I hope that you will contact me with any questions or concerns you may have regarding the legislative session or with any proposals or recommendations for future legislation.
You can also stay in touch by visiting our website at www.house.ga.gov to watch a live stream of the House in action, as well as archived committee meetings, and review legislation that we are considering.
Follow me on Facebook for updates throughout the year.
Thank you for allowing me to be your representative.
Representative Butch Parrish
245 State Capitol
Atlanta, GA 30334
404.463.2247 - Office
132 Victory Drive
Swainsboro, GA 30401
478.237.3838 - Office
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