Funding for the new Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) began in FY 2012. The agency houses public health programs and activities that were previously embedded in other state agencies. For FY 2013, the governor’s budget recommendations increase state support to DPH compared to FY 2012, however, the new funds primarily pay for higher health care and retirement contributions for state employees.
Even with a slight increase in FY 2013, Georgia’s public health programs will still operate with fewer state funds than in the pre-recession budget of FY 2009. When looking at the 11 non-administrative public health programs that make up the current Department of Public Health, the FY 2013 budget reveals a $17.8-million cut—more than 9 percent— in combined General Fund and Tobacco Settlement support from FY 2009.
Although the FY 2013 budget largely fails to restore years of programmatic funding cuts, it does restore more than $400,000 to the state health lab for sexually transmitted disease (STD) testing that was originally cut in FY 2012.