Deal signs Amended FY 2018 budget
March 12, 2018--8:23 a.m.
Gov. Nathan Deal today signed the Amended FY 2018 budget at a signing ceremony in Polk County, authorizing $25.4 billion in spending for the current fiscal year. The state appropriations within HB 683 are based upon a 2.7 percent growth in general fund revenues over FY 2017 collections. This additional funding will address growth needs in education and human services, provide additional funding to local governments and school systems, and support statewide economic development efforts.
“With this amended budget, we are investing in our priorities and addressing critical issues for Georgia citizens,” said Deal. “The $25.4 billion in state appropriations reflects the solid economic growth that Georgia continues to enjoy and ensures that our state agencies and local governments have the resources needed to meet the demands of a growing and vibrant state. Georgia’s economy continues to surpass expectations, allowing for further investments to improve our air transportation systems, protect coastal Georgia’s tourism industry and provide additional financial assistance to communities across the state. I want to thank the members of the General Assembly who made this amended budget possible, as their cooperation will have a lasting impact on the lives of Georgians.”
Amended FY 2018 budget highlights include:
$101.4 million for a midterm adjustment for K-12 enrollment growth.
$25.9 million for airport runway extension projects.
$60.7 million in additional funds for Forestland Protection Act reimbursements.
$15.7 million for school buses for local school systems.
$9.6 million for growth in the Dual Enrollment program.
$2 million to expand marketing efforts to promote educational opportunities available at the technical colleges.
$10.3 million for technical college equipment replacement statewide.
$28.2 million for the Indigent Care Trust Fund and Medicaid.
$1.2 million for hospitals to offset costs due to the high number of flu cases.
$15.1 million for child welfare services to care for children in state custody.
$3.5 million for autism services for children under 21.
$10 million for grants to local communities for beach nourishment projects.
$1.6 million for improvements to the Great Dunes South Beach Park and the Ocean View Beach Park at Jekyll Island State Park.
The Amended FY 2018 budget includes $74.8 million for Forestland Protection Act grants for local governments and school systems to offset tax digest impacts from dedicated conservation use forestland in their areas. Of this funding, $34 million will go directly to local school systems.
Additionally, this budget helps to grow vital industries in rural communities by providing $25.9 million to extend 13 runways at regional airports throughout the state, including $1.7 that will extend the runway at the Polk County Airport to over 5,000 feet. The runway extensions will increase the number of airports that can safely accommodate larger aircraft, which will attract businesses to underserved areas of the state. The budget also provides $10 million to coastal Georgia communities for beach renourishment projects and assistance in recovery from the last hurricane season.
There is also $75,000 in additional money to redevelop the recently closed career center to provide continuing adult education courses to the citizens of Polk County.
(City of Cedartown photo)