Volume 3, Special Edition | February 2020
The Capitol Express - Special Budget Edition
Let's look at the Budget...

As previously reported the House and Senate returned to the State Capitol the week of Tuesday, January 21st for the 2020 Joint Budget Hearings , referred to as “budget week.” Budget Week is only the beginning and House subcommittees continued to meet this past week to review the details in Governor Kemp's budget.

Last fall, the governor instructed state agencies to identify opportunities to streamline operations and consolidate duplicate programs to reduce spending, and his proposals seek to accomplish those objectives . During his remarks at the joint budget hearings, the governor noted that several agencies have reported ways to cut spending by reducing administrative and overhead costs, leveraging technology and reorganizing behind-the-scenes operational systems. The governor also reflected on our state’s economy, and he commended us for creating a rock-solid foundation for businesses and families to thrive in Georgia. Gov. Kemp encouraged us to continue to build upon our state’s success by prioritizing our current financial resources and reducing unnecessary costs, while still delivering excellent service to our citizens

In my role, representing you, I serve on the Appropriations Subcommittee for Higher Education where we continue to focus on providing Georgians the best opportunities to prepare for the future of work by applying state resources in a most productive way.

To view the entire budget document click, Full Budget Documen t .

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 chuck.martin@house.ga.gov .  

To join our mailing list and get The Capitol Express directly to your inbox, text MARTIN4GA to 22828 .
Yours in Service ,
In order to create a modern labor force that is prepared for the future of work, we must build a solid educational foundation . Therefore, the governor’s budget recommendations include investing in Georgia’s teachers through a $2,000 permanent base salary increase in the AFY 2021 budget to retain and attract the best educators for our schools. In the FY 2021 budget, he also recommends adding $81 million to the University and Technical College Systems to fully fund enrollment growth, as well as alleviate the need for student tuition increases. Further, Gov. Kemp includes an appropriation of nearly $56 million in additional lottery funds for the HOPE scholarship and grant programs to assist students with college expenses. We recognize the importance that education plays in preparing students for the workforce and these allocations would provide them with the opportunity to gain skills they need to succeed personally and professionally.   
The governor’s FY 2021 budget also allocates nearly $90 million to continue our efforts to increase access to affordable, quality health care for Georgians . This funding would support enrollment costs and expense growth for our Medicaid programs, specifically for the aging, blind and disabled populations. The governor’s AFY 2020 budget also includes $23 million for a state match for Disproportionate Share Hospital payments to ensure that certain hospitals that serve low-income patients can benefit from this program, and the state match funds would leverage $47 million in federal assistance to support hospitals across Georgia. Providing these additional resources would improve health care outcomes for all of Georgia’s citizens, especially some of our most vulnerable populations. 
Investing in our state’s infrastructure system is a crucial component of attracting new businesses and spurring future economic growth across our state . To ensure that businesses can quickly and reliably move goods through the state, Gov. Kemp proposes $51 million in FY 2021 to the Georgia Department of Transportation for roadway improvement and development, $50 million in obligation bonds to repair and replace bridges and $1.8 million for motor carrier officers to maintain safety on Georgia highways and protect our ports corridor along the coast . Georgia has been the top state to do business for seven straight years and investing in our state’s transportation systems will keep Georgia a business-friendly state.
Public Safety
Gov. Kemp’s budget proposals also reflect his ongoing commitment to protecting the safety of Georgia’s citizens and communities. More than 700,000 gang members have been identified in our state, and these gangs are responsible for increased drug activity, human trafficking and violence . Gov. Kemp seeks to combat this crisis by including a total of nearly $2 million in the AFY 2020 and FY 2021 budgets for seven new positions within the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s (GBI) Gang Task Force, as well as resources to implement the statewide gang database. These new positions and the gang database will serve as a great resource for our law enforcement to better track, stop and dismantle gangs across the state.
House Budget Process
The House Appropriations subcommittees are holding hearings to review these proposals and delve even further into the governor’s recommendations. These subcommittees will eventually pass portions of the state budget in their respective subcommittees, and those portions of the budget will then go before the full House Appropriations Committee , which will review and pass balanced budgets for AFY 2020 and FY 2021. From there, the budget bills will be considered by the House Rules Committee and scheduled for a vote on the House floor. Once the budget bills make their way to the House floor, members will have the chance to ask questions about the budget before voting. Once passed, the House will transmit each bill to our counterparts in the Senate , where they will review and pass both budget bills. 
Committee Assignments
I remain honored to serve my neighbors in House District 49 and Georgians on the following committees:

You can find the schedules of these committees and the online streaming links of each by clicking on the links above or by clicking here .
Team Higher Education
For the next few months during this Legislative Session, you'll most likely find me at the Capitol in my office. It is my absolute honor to serve you all and my hometown community; look forward to hearing from and seeing you.

417 State Capitol
Atlanta, GA 30334 

Executive Assistant: Sarah Galyean Sarah.Galyean@house.ga.gov

Intern: Matthew Couper Matthew.Couper@house.ga.gov