2024 Legislative Update

Tuesday, January 16, marked the beginning of what we refer to as, “budget week.” The only thing that we are constitutionally required to do during our 40-day session is pass a balanced budget. While balancing a budget seems simple enough, when dealing with billions of dollars, it can be quite challenging.


Over the last week, House and Senate Appropriations Committees held a series of joint budget hearings, which gave us the chance to closely examine Governor Kemp's recommendations. As our state’s fiscal year begins July 1, we are in the first stages of crafting two budget bills: The full 2025 Fiscal Year budget and the 2024 Amended Fiscal Year budget. 


This Update:

2024 Amended Fiscal Year Budget

2025 Full Fiscal Year Budget

Budget week is arguably the most important week of session. This begins the process of how we decide to spend YOUR hard-earned taxpayer dollars. Therefore, we must work to ensure we account for every penny. Georgia, very smartly, works on a zero-based budget system. Zero-based budgeting means we toss out a portion of the current budget annually and start with a fresh slate. Prior to this system, budget spends would simply pile up year after year.


Learn more about the Zero Based Budgeting Process


2024 Amended Fiscal Year- Spending Changes

Presenting before a joint hearing of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, Governor Kemp made his recommendations for the state budget. Changes to the 2024 budget will reflect a more accurate estimate of state revenue obtained over the last year while accounting for discrepancies between the projected estimate and actual revenue received. Highlighted below are a few of the suggested spending changes, which includes a taxpayer refund proposal.


  • $1.5 billion investment for the Georgia Department of Transportation to maintain our roadways, accelerate construction on “shovel-ready” projects and expedite existing projects.
  • $250 million for the Georgia Environmental Financing Authority’s Fund to support critical water and wastewater infrastructure development through low-interest loans to local communities across the state.
  • $250 million in additional funds for economic development grants provided through the Regional Economic Business Assistance (REBA) grant program and OneGeorgia Authority.
  • $306 million to provide a $1,000 pay supplement to retain and recruit teachers.


2025 Full Fiscal Year Budget

Last week, Governor Kemp announced that the 2025 fiscal year budget proposal is set for an estimated $36 billion. The governor listed his funding recommendations, and as expected, education and healthcare remain at the forefront of budget funding. Public safety, transportation and general government round out the top spends respectively. Included in Governor Kemps proposal is a plan to provide state employees with a cost-of-living increase. Below is a highlight of Governor Kemp's 2025 FY budget proposals, now under consideration before the House Appropriation Committee:



  • $1.4 billion in additional funding to meet growth needs, bolster teacher pay, maintain quality health and retirement benefits and improve safety.
  • $1 billion investment in the state’s retirement, risk, and health portfolios.
  • $500 million in the Employees’ Retirement System.
  • $244 million to K-12 schools for teacher’s health insurance.
  • $630 million to provide a four percent cost-of-living adjustment to K-12 teachers; $2,500 salary increase.
  • $11 million for K-12 literacy initiatives
  • $10 million to begin reducing the pre-K classroom size from 22 to 20 students.



  • $1 million to expand access to mental health services for Georgia’s military service members, veterans and their families.
  • $205 million for the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities and other entities that address mental health in our state.
  • $9 million for a new behavioral health crisis center.
  • $4 million for the Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund Commission for rehabilitation of victims of sex trafficking.
  • $1 million to expand the maternal health pilot program in rural communities.

Public Safety

  • $42 billion to provide a $3,000 salary increase for select POST certified law enforcement officers.
  • $104 million to establish a new, annual school security grant program.


  • $3 million for equipment and vehicles to implement the Georgia Electric Vehicle Charging Program
  • $205 million to update state support for school transportation needs.

What's Next?

Although budget week has technically come to an end, our work is far from over. House Appropriation subcommittees will further study budget proposals, eventually passing portions of the suggested budget out of their respective committees. Following this process, those individually passed budgets will then go before the full House Appropriations Committee. Soon after, the budget will receive a full vote on the House floor.


When passed by the House, it then moves over to the Senate, where the process begins all over again. The Senate will either agree with House proposals or make their own changes. Once both chambers agree on the budget, it goes to the Governor’s desk for his approval and signature. We will keep you updated on anything specific to our region. 

By the Numbers....

Every citizen is impacted by our state budget. Here is quick highlight to show a few examples of what we take into consideration for budget allocations.

Source: Georgia Budget Policy Institute

Budget Links

Keep track of budget happenings through these helpful links!

Governor’s Budget Reports- 2024 AFY & 2025 FY

Budget Process

Budget Meeting Archives

Georgia Budget and Policy Institute

If you have questions, concerns, are interested in learning more about our budget process or capital projects happening in our area, please feel free to reach out to us directly. As always, thank you for allowing me the honor of serving as your voice under the Gold Dome. May God bless you and keep you, may He continue to bless the great state of Georgia.  


Stan Gunter

Representative of Georgia's 8th District

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