Gold Dome Update  
Highlights from the House  
Budget Week
Tuesday, January 17th marked the beginning of what we refer to as, “budget week.”  The only legislation we are constitutionally required to pass over the duration of our 40 day session is a balanced budget. While balancing a budget seems simple enough, when dealing with billions of dollars, it can be a huge undertaking. Last week, House and Senate appropriations committees held a series of joint budget hearings throughout the week. This gave us the opportunity to closely examine Governor Deal’s recommendations, as well as, hear testimony from various state agencies in need of funding. We are in the first stages of crafting two budget bills: The Fiscal Year 2018 budget and the Amended Fiscal Year 2017 budget. 
2017 Fiscal Year- Spending Changes

The 2017 budget will be amended to reflect a more accurate estimate of state revenue and accounts for any discrepancies between the projected estimate that was passed last year and actual revenue obtained. Due to additional revenue and population growth, we are able to allow for “new” funding to account for adjustments in the 2017 fiscal year budget. Governor Deal has made recommendations to the Appropriations Committees on where additional funding should be allocated. The Governor’s largest amended 2017 proposal includes funding for the development of the Cyber Innovation and Training Center in Augusta, which you will continue to learn more about in the coming days. Highlighted below are a few spending increases Governor Deal is proposing for the 2017 amended budget, which will end June 30th of this year: 

  • $85 million in the mid-term adjustment to fund k-12 enrollment growth
  • $7 million for Medicaid enrollment growth
  • $118 million for Transportation initiatives
  • $74 million to Healthcare programs and the various departments within
  • $95 million to Safe Georgia initiatives
2018 Full Budget

As Georgia’s economy continues to thrive, state revenue and spending have increased.  The governor listed his funding priorities, and as expected, education remains a top priority for 2018 along with public safety, healthcare and transportation. The 2018 proposal also includes pay raises for some state employees, Law Enforcement Officers and teachers. Below is a highlight of Governor Deal’s 2018 budget proposals:

  • $400 million allocated to “Grow Georgia” efforts, which includes the Departments of Agriculture, Community Affairs, Economic Development and Natural Resources.
  • $1.9 billion to Transportation improvements and infrastructure
  • $13.4 billion to Education systems- Pre-K through Higher Ed
  • $2 billion towards Public Safety and law enforcement initiatives
  • $5.3 billion allocated to Healthcare initiatives, which includes $22 million towards the Veterans Service Department

What’s Next?

After a long week of budget hearings, the balancing act continues. House Appropriation subcommittees will dive even further into the governor’s budget proposals and will eventually pass 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. After a couple of more checks and balances, the budget will eventually receive a full vote on the House floor. If the House passes the budget, it then moves over to the Senate side and the process begins all over again. If both the Senate and House agree on the budget, it goes to the Governor’s desk for his approval and signature. I have received many questions regarding the budget and certain items within. Unfortunately, the budget is never final until Governor Deal signs it into law. It will change many times over the next few weeks as the legislature continues to make changes. I will however, try to keep you updated on anything specific to our region. 

Share with Shaw...

As we mentioned last week, we will continue our new "Share with Shaw" social media campaign to ensure your voice is heard and we are fully representing your views. Last weeks questions dealt with education reform efforts. As expected, there were many differing opinions and no decisive direction as to how to proceed with future votes. We will continue to study education reform over session and as specifics arise, I will continue to seek your input and guidance. For those of you whom have expressed your support about the "Share with Shaw," segment, thank you! Your encouragement shows that we are headed in the right direction. Please visit my facebook page every Wednesday for a new "Share with Shaw" Segment so that I can continue to represent YOU! Below are the questions which were posted last week. It would be of great help if you continued to think of solutions on how we should proceed in helping the rest of our school systems in the state reach the caliber of our own Houston County School system. 

Congratulations Governor Sonny Perdue!

No doubt you have heard the fantastic news that President Trump has selected our own, Sonny Perdue to serve as the nation's Secretary of Agriculture. The Trump administration is fortunate to have the expertise of Governor Perdue leading the nation's agricultural landscape. Governor Perdue has shown extraordinary leadership through his service to our community and state and I have no doubt that his service on the national level will yield the same positive results. 

In closing, please continue to look for future updates concerning our Government at work. Please feel free to reach out to me anytime with questions and concerns . Your voice is important and pivotal when ensuring my votes reflect the majority within our district. Thank you for allowing me the honor and privilege to serve our home in this capacity. I look forward to the coming days and will continue to work hard on your behalf for the betterment of our great state and district!


Shaw Blackmon

Representative of Georgia's 146th House District

Representative Shaw Blackmon
District 146
Phone: 404-656-0177
Address: 501-E Coverdell Legislative Office Building
Atlanta, Georgia 30334

Rep. Shaw Blackmon represents District 146.  He currently serves as a Deputy Whip and as a member of  Ways & Means, Economic Development and Tourism, Special Rules, Insurance and
Governmental Affairs Committees. Shaw is also a member of the Military Affairs Working Group.