Gold Dome Update 
Highlights from the House 
Monthly Update
While most Georgia citizens take the opportunity to slow down during the Summer months, your state government is full swing! July 1 marked the beginning of our brand-new fiscal year. A brand-new fiscal year means we begin anew where government funding is concerned; an acknowledgement of how our budgeting needs and priorities frequently change.

Fortunately, our economy has greatly improved over the last few years, as we have successfully attracted new businesses and citizens to our fair state. This year’s 2020 fiscal year budget is an estimated $27.5 billion with education remaining the top priority. Below is a quick reference of how we are working to address issues of importance over the next fiscal year through our budget allocations.  

2019 Amended Fiscal Year Budget

We are pleased to report that under the 2020 FY budget, our Georgia educators will receive a much-deserved raise. Education plays a pivotal role in attracting new businesses as we work to better prepare Georgia’s workforce through various partnerships, opportunities and initiatives.
  • $530 million to increase the state base salary schedule to provide a $3,000 pay raise for certified teachers and certified employees effective July 1, 2019
  • $16.5 million in lottery funds to increase the salaries of certified Pre-Kindergarten teachers by $3,000 and assistant teachers by 2 percent
  • $3.7 million to provide 2 percent and merit-based pay increases to state employees across the Department of Education
  • $2 million combined with $1.5 million in existing funds to increase funds for facilities grants of up to $100,000 each for charter schools
  • $1 million for additional high school counselors and programs for Title I schools
  • $100,000 for a two-year pilot to evaluate early reading programs for students with risk factors for dyslexia as prescribed by Senate Bill 48

Higher Education:
  • $376 million in bonds for the University System of Georgia and Technical College System of Georgia
  • $88 million for the University System of Georgia and $3.5 million for the Technical College System of Georgia
  • $15 million in lottery funds to raise the award amount for HOPE Scholarships by 3%
  • $3 million in lottery funds to increase the award amount for Zell Miller Scholarships
  • $3 million decrease in state general funds for Dual Enrollment and $1,000,000 addition in lottery funds (Early HOPE program)
  • $1.8 million for the Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership Expansion
  • $349,000 for three Aviation Maintenance Technician program instructors
  • $250,000 to increase funds for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership at Georgia Tech with the Georgia Consortium for Advanced Technical Training (GA CATT) apprenticeship program

Did you know that close to 3.6% of adults in Georgia live with serious mental health conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression? To lessen the impact of mental illness, better our maternal mortality rates and provide quality care to all citizens, we have implemented the second largest allotment of budget spending towards healthcare initiatives.   
  • $107 million in combined state and federal funds for growth in Georgia’s Low-Income Medicaid program based on projected need. A $35 million increase in general funds will be matched by $72 million in federal funding under the state’s 67.3 percent Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP).
  • $64 million in combined state and federal funds for growth in the state’s Aged, Blind, and Disabled Medicaid program based on projected need.
  • $7.6 million to grow the state’s behavioral health crisis bed capacity
  • $500,000 for a Center of Excellence on Maternal Mortality at the school
  • $1 million to screen, refer and treat maternal depression in rural and under-served areas
  • $250,000 to fund a new grant program for hospital upgrades in rural counties with populations below 35,000 residents
  • $250,000 to increase funds for Mercy Care Health Systems to provide mental and primary health care services to the uninsured
  • $50,000 to expand comprehensive treatment, prevention, and recovery support services for pregnant and postpartum women with substance use disorder

  Human Services:
If you are not familiar with the Department of Human Services, I encourage you to research the vital role Human Services plays in our state. It’s main goal of promoting stronger families is done so through ensuring the safety and well being of our citizens, especially our most vulnerable, youth and elderly populations. Over the last several years, we have worked to pass legislation to assist this department better carry out the many duties of which they have been tasked. 
  • $2.7 million to increase funds for the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) relative caregiver daily per diem by $1.00
  • $500,000 to increase program funding for the Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS) program that assists low-income families in affording the cost of childcare
  • $390,000 to the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council to provide state funding for one additional domestic violence shelter and six additional sexual assault centers

Latest News:
Conservative leadership under the Gold Dome continues to thrive as we have been recognized for our business-friendly environment, job growth opportunities and fiscally responsible agenda. Here are just a few of the headlines showcasing our great state! 

Be on the lookout for my monthly updates to ensure you are up to date on important issues regarding your state government! As always, if you need anything at all, please reach out anytime. Thank you for allowing me the humble honor of serving our community under the Gold Dome. We look forward to the coming days where we continue our efforts for strong for simple, smart and effective government.

Shaw Blackmon
Representative of Georgia's 146th House District

Representative Shaw Blackmon
District 146
Phone: 404-463-
Address: 401-K State Capitol
Atlanta, Georgia 30334

Rep. Shaw Blackmon represents District 146. He currently serves as a member of Economic Development & Tourism,Governmental Affairs, Insurance, Juvenile Justice, Rules, Small Business Development, Special Rules, and Ways & Means Committees. He serves as Chair of the Transportation Committee on Appropriations and also as House Appointee to the Joint Defense Commission.