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Health Plan Financial Challenges Remain if State Ends Coverage for Part-Time School Workers and Their Dependents

February 24, 2015

Georgia’s governor proposes in the 2016 fiscal year to eliminate State Health Benefit Plan (SHBP) coverage for bus drivers, school nutrition workers and other “non-certified” school district employees who work fewer than 30 hours per week. This move could take insurance away from more than 21,000 people while leaving the… [Read more]

Education Savings Accounts Carry Big Sticker Shock

February 19, 2015

Georgia lawmakers are considering legislation to allow parents to take state dollars for private educational use. House Bill 243 proposes to create Education Savings Accounts (ESA) to set public money aside for educational services, including private school tuition, textbooks and curriculum materials, private tutoring and contributions to a college savings… [Read more]

Overview: 2016 Fiscal Year for Department of Community Health

February 10, 2015

The governor’s proposed 2016 budget directs $2.45 billion to the Department of Community Health, not including money for agencies attached for administrative purposes. That is a $27.8 million decline from the 2015 budget approved last spring. The department operates nine programs, although more than 96 percent of general fund spending,… [Read more]

Tax Plan Needs Course Correction

February 4, 2015

House Transportation Package Leaves out New Revenues, Could Harm Key Services
Georgia needs a sustained commitment to transportation that includes new revenues or it will struggle to thrive in the 21st century. A funding proposal unveiled by House legislative leaders in January 2015 includes some reasonable reforms of Georgia’s gas… [Read more]

Overview of Georgia’s 2016 Fiscal Year Human Services Budget

February 3, 2015

More for Child Welfare, but Other Services Still in Need
The governor’s $547 million human services budget proposed for the 2016 fiscal year makes strategic additions to help protect Georgia’s children and adults, but falls short of meeting the many different needs of its growing population. The spending plan promises… [Read more]

Overview: 2016 Fiscal Year Budget for K-12 Education

January 28, 2015

Still About $470 Million Short of Funding Formula
The $8.49 billion for public schools in Governor Deal’s budget proposal shrinks some of the austerity cut in state K-12 funding. Districts that still furlough teachers and cut instructional days should get enough money to address both. However school districts will receive… [Read more]

Tax Facts: Georgia Gives Up Billions through the Tax Code

January 27, 2015

Georgia foregoes billions of dollars in state revenue each year through dozens of credits, deductions and other special preferences called tax expenditures. As with spending items in the state’s annual budget, tax expenditures are supposed to promote policy priorities that can range from economic development to support for working families.… [Read more]

Overview of Georgia’s 2016 Fiscal Year Budget

January 21, 2015

The $21.8 billion budget proposed for Georgia’s 2016 fiscal year projects revenue growth of about 4.2 percent in the state’s main account for services such as education and public safety, the general fund. That’s $834 million more than the recently revised 2015 revenue estimate. State revenues are above pre-recession levels,… [Read more]

Money Matters: Increased Education Investment Linked to Higher Achievement

December 16, 2014

Money invested in student learning matters. This is the conclusion most researchers reach after examining the relationship between funding and student achievement. It means Georgia is headed in the wrong direction as ongoing austerity cuts slashed $8.3 billion from state public school funding since 2003. Students across the state suffer… [Read more]

Better Pay for Honest Work

November 12, 2014

Raise Georgia’s Minimum Wage to Expand Middle Class, Strengthen Economy
Georgia’s economy is increasingly tilted toward the types of jobs that don’t pay workers enough to make ends meet or keep their families out of poverty. They are food servers at local restaurants. Retail clerks selling products they can’t afford.… [Read more]