Legislative Week Five - February 10 - 14, 2020
On Monday, February 10, we returned to the State Capitol for the fifth week of the 2020 legislative session. Last week, we voted on a legislative calendar to postpone meeting on the House floor and allow time to focus on the state budgeting process for the Amended Fiscal Year 2020 (AFY 2020) and Fiscal Year 2021 (FY 2021) budgets. Crafting the state budget is not an easy task, every dollar has constituency and impacts to someone so reductions must be done with efficiencies in mind.
Governor Brian Kemp previously instructed our state agencies to reduce spending by four percent in AFY 2020 and six percent in FY 2021, saving taxpayers millions of dollars on inefficient operational costs.
Gov. Kemp’s recommended budget would reduce operational spending by $216 million in the AFY 2020 budget and an additional $341 million in the FY 2021 budget.
Even with these reductions, the FY 2021 budget is still set at several hundred million dollars above the current fiscal year’s budget. After hearing from state agencies throughout our subcommittee meetings, we gained a better understanding of the proposed budget and how state dollars may be appropriated for statewide services. The House plans to complete amendments and vote on the AFY 2020 Amended Budget in the upcoming week.
We also discussed proposed funding for the state’s crime labs that handle and process sexual assault evidence. In 2016, the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 304, or the “
Compassionate Care for Victims of Sexual Assault Act
,” to address rape kit backlog at the time and overhaul the way our state handles and processes these evidence kits. In 2018, the House announced that a backlog of 3,005 sexual assault kits had been tested, and 321 of these kits resulted in DNA matches that identified criminals. This week, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety and informed us that the agency is experiencing another backlog.
The House will work with Gov. Kemp to identify opportunities in the budget to fund the Crime Lab and continue to address and reduce the backlog in order to provide justice to Georgians
Additionally this week, I met with seniors and advocates from North Fulton, UGA President Jere Morehead, and representatives from the Fulton County Board of Education. All brought very important perspectives on issues important to our community, senior safety, providing an workforce ready for the "future of work at the K-12 level and in higher education.
Please contact me with your input and thoughts on proposed legislation that may impact our community.
When you visit your Capitol please consider stopping by our office at Capitol 417. You can also reach me by phone at my Capitol office at 404-656-5064 or by email at
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Yours in Service