The Georgia Budget & Policy Institute wants “a restructuring of Georgia’s broken systems,” which will “stabilize and strengthen our state and communities.”
GBPI officials said Georgia’s revenue estimates for the last three years were below what the state collected. In Georgia, the governor sets a revenue estimate, capping how much the General Assembly can appropriate, Danny Kanso, GBPI’s director of legislative strategy and senior fiscal analyst, said during a virtual town hall.
Georgia’s fiscal 2024 budget includes roughly $32.4 billion in state money. It balloons to $55.8 billion with federal tax dollars included.
“As we often say, a budget is a moral document, and what we fund is what we value, and the truth is that many of Georgia’s systems are failing to meet the needs of communities,” Staci Fox, GBPI’s president and chief executive officer, said during a virtual town hall. “Georgia’s overall state reserves going into fiscal year 2024 are expected to be above $16 billion.
“On its face, this [appears] to be a strong fiscal position for the state,” Fox added. “But these are public dollars; these are dollars that belong to Georgians, that should be supporting the needs of Georgians, not withheld due to out-of-touch budgeting practices that are strangling resources and undermining economic stability. …We have the resources to create a more inclusive and equitable economy and society for Georgia. It’s simply a matter of political will.”
According to the group’s analysis, the state ranks 49th for adults with health insurance coverage and 33rd for children with health insurance. It is also one of six states without specific funding for students in poverty and one of only two without need-based aid for college students.
Source : NEWSDAILY