Report: Ga. budget shortfall may top $4 billion over next 15 months

The state could face at least a $4 billion shortfall over the next 15 months without more federal aid, likely meaning layoffs and furloughs across the government in the coming year, a new report out Monday says.

[…] The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute report said beyond the initial financial hit due to the coronavirus shutdown of the national economy, unemployment rates of 10% to 20% over the next year could raise serious questions about the state’s ability to adequately fund schools, health care and other programs.

[…] Alex Camardelle, a senior policy analyst with the institute, said almost 1 million Georgians have filed for unemployment benefits. Many of those losing their jobs in the pandemic shutdown are in the food services and hospitality industries that disproportionally employ minority staffers and often pay relatively low wages.

Danny Kanso, a former staffer for then-Republican Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle who put the report together, said the group wanted to give Georgians a realistic picture of what lies ahead.

“We can’t cut our way to prosperity,” he said. “We can’t borrow our way out of this.”

Read the full article at Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

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