On Tuesday, January 17, we began one of the most important weeks of the 2017 legislative session as the House and Senate Appropriations committees held a series of joint budget hearings.
Our state constitution requires that we pass a balanced state budget each legislative session. After reviewing Gov. Deal's budget proposals presented this week, my colleagues and I will begin drafting two budget bills: the Amended Fiscal Year 2017 (AFY 2017) budget and the Fiscal Year 2018 (FY 2018) budget. The AFY 2017 budget is an amended budget for the current fiscal year, ending June 30, and uses a more accurate estimate of state revenue to account for any differences between the projected estimate and actual revenue obtained. The FY 2018 budget is a full budget for fiscal year 2018 that uses a projected state revenue estimate to guide state spending beginning on July 1.
In addition to the governor's comprehensive proposal, my colleagues and I also heard testimonies from various state agency heads who outlined their budgetary needs and answered questions from House and Senate members. The final versions of the budgets will specify how much state funding these agencies will receive, so it is important we hear from them as we go through this process.
After the House Appropriations Committee passes the budget, it will go to the Rules Committee where it will be placed on the House calendar. The budget then goes to the House for a vote.
Once the budget passes the House, it will go to the State Senate and repeat this same committee process before making it to the Senate floor for a vote. By this point, the budget will likely differ from the original version as passed by the House. When this happens, the Speaker of the House and the Lieutenant Governor will both appoint a conference committee to resolve discrepancies between the House and Senate versions of the state budget.
When the conference committee reaches an agreement, their version of the budget goes back to the House and Senate for a final floor vote. Both chambers must vote on the conference committee's version of the budget to guarantee that all contents are fully agreed upon by both chambers. Finally, if approved by both House and Senate, the legislation is sent to the governor's office where he can sign or veto. Once signed by Gov. Deal, the budget becomes law.
I am honored serve on the following committees: Education, Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications, Judiciary Non-Civil, Juvenile Justice, Appropriations Sub-Committee on Transportation, and Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment.
I want you to know you are always welcome to visit me at my capitol office, which is located at 611-E Coverdell Office Building. You may also call my capitol office at 404-656-0314, or I can be reached via
I hope you will take the opportunity to review my updates to stay informed on legislative matters that affect our district and state. Thank you for allowing me to serve as your representative.