ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said Wednesday he’s ready to loosen the purse strings after years of huge budget surpluses, reaped partly by holding down spending despite strong state revenue.
In a yearly memo that kicks off the state budget process, Richard Dunn, director of the Office of Planning and Budget, told state agencies they can ask for 3% increases both when the current 2024 budget is amended and when lawmakers write the 2025 budget next year. He also invited agencies to propose one-time ways to spend the state’s unallocated surplus, which could top $10 billion once the books are closed on the budget year ended June 30.
Critics of Kemp’s fiscal policy, including the liberal-leaning Georgia Budget & Policy Institute, say he has starved state services by setting artificially low revenue estimates.