In week 4 of the 2019 legislative session, the House passed the Amended Fiscal Year 2019 Budget. Passing a balanced Amended Fiscal Year budget has been one of the top priorities for the General Assembly as it guides our state’s spending for the remainder of 2019. A big focus for this amended budget is student well-being with funds allocated for school security grants and mental health services. Below are just a few highlights from the budget.
House Bill 30: Passing the AFY Budget – Highlights
-$8.4 million in additional funding is allocated for the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities to expand the Georgia Apex Program. This program provides support counselors for high school students struggling with mental health issues.
-$10 million is allocated for emergency disaster relief assistance to Georgia farmers who were affected by Hurricane Michael in October. This is in addition to the $55 million appropriated to the Georgia Development Authority to assist farmers as decided during the 2018 special session.
-$1 million is allocated for the Department of Community Health to craft state flexibility options for our state’s Medicaid Program under the federal waiver program.
-$69.4 million is allocated towards providing school security grants of $30,000 each for 2,314 schools including charter schools, college and career academies, GNETS facilities, and the three state schools.
House Resolution 1: Honoring Former Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal
House Resolution 1, carried by Speaker David Ralston and Majority Leader Jon Burns, names the forthcoming new state appellate judicial complex the “Nathan Deal Judicial Center.” Considering Gov. Deal’s accomplishments in reforming Georgia’s criminal justice law, it makes perfect sense that the center would bear his name. Deal has saved Georgia taxpayers millions in additional prison spending, reduced the minority prison population, and has created solutions to treat nonviolent offenders who suffer from substance abuse or mental illness.
Under his leadership, Georgia has consecutively earned the title of “No. 1 State in which to do business.” During his time as Governor, Georgia has seen significant improvements in transportation, education, and success for small business owners. I believe he has set a precedent that our state will frequently refer to, and I look forward to seeing how much more Georgia will grow as a result of his service the betterment of our state.
The 5th week of session is underway. As the General Assembly works to pass more legislation, don’t hesitate to reach out to me with questions and concerns. Thank you for reading and please return to my blog next week for more updates on this year’s session.
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