Gold Dome Update  
Highlights from the House  
Budget Week

Tuesday, January 17, marked the beginning of what we refer to as, “budget week.” The only thing that we are constitutionally required to do during our 40-day session is pass a balanced budget. While balancing a budget seems simple enough, when dealing with billions of dollars, it can be quite challenging.


Over the last week, House and Senate Appropriations Committees held a series of joint budget hearings, which gave us the chance to closely examine Governor Kemp's recommendations. As our state’s fiscal year begins July 1, we are in the first stages of crafting two budget bills: The full 2024 Fiscal Year budget and the 2023 Amended Fiscal Year budget. 

2023 Amended Fiscal Year- Spending Changes

Presenting before a joint hearing of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, Governor Kemp made his recommendations for the state budget. Changes to the 2023 budget will reflect a more accurate estimate of state revenue obtained over the last year while accounting for discrepancies between the projected estimate and actual revenue received. Highlighted below are a few of the suggested spending changes, which includes a taxpayer refund proposal.


  • $1 billion in undesignated regular surplus to be used to provide refunds for all taxpayers ranging in amounts between $250 and $500.
  • $1.1 billion to create a one-time Homeowner Tax Relief Grant program, for eligible homeowners.
  • $25 million for learning loss grants to create programming that is geared towards closing learning gaps due to the pandemic.
  • $166.7 million for the state’s Regional Economic Business Assistance program.
  • $35.7 million in existing funds for the OneGeorgia program to establish a Rural Workforce Housing Fund.
  • $115 million in the amended budget to provide school safety grants to every K-12 school across our state.
  • $130 million to develop two new QuickStart EV training facilities overseen by the state’s technical college system.
  • $8.4 million to pay for additional caseworkers to redetermine Medicaid eligibility.
  • $34.6 million for a statewide public safety radio network that would allow state and local law enforcement to communicate on multijurisdictional operations.


2024 Full Fiscal Year Budget

Last week, Governor Kemp announced that the 2024 fiscal year budget proposal is set for an estimated $32.4 billion. The governor listed his funding recommendations, and as expected, education and healthcare remain at the forefront of budget funding. Public safety, transportation and general government round out the top spends respectively. Included in Governor Kemps proposal is a plan to provide state employees with a $2,000 cost-of-living increase. Below is a highlight of Governor Kemp's 2024 FY budget proposals, now under consideration before the House Appropriation Committee:



  • $1.1 billion in direct funding for our K-12 schools.
  • $61.2 million to fully fund the Georgia’s HOPE scholarship and grant awards.
  • $2,000 pay raise to certified personnel within our school systems.
  • $15 million in grant funding to incentivize paraprofessionals obtain their teaching certification.
  • $26.9 million towards enhanced student mental health programs.



  • $52 million to implement the Georgia Pathways Coverage program to expand health insurance access to the uninsured.
  • $3.2 million pay for additional caseworkers to redetermine Medicaid eligibility.
  • $92 million to support the state’s reinsurance program which has lowered premiums participating in the program to ensure affordable healthcare.
  • $13 million to expand behavioral health and substance abuse
  • crisis capacity through additional behavioral health crisis centers.

Public Safety

  • $25 million to prepare a new state prison that aims meet the correction system’s space needs.
  • $26 million in bond funds to address emergency maintenance and repairs on existing facilities and prisons.
  • $3.2 million in a loan repayment plan for 800 state and local law enforcement officers.



  • $119 million for the Department of Transportation to reflect projected FY 2024 motor fuel revenue collections.
  • $51 million for the Transportation Trust Fund for transportation projects, result of HB 511 (2021 Session).

What’s Next?

Although budget week has technically come to an end, our work is far from over. House Appropriation subcommittees will further study budget proposals, eventually passing 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.

Soon after, the budget will receive a full vote on the House floor. When passed by the House, it then moves over to the Senate, where the process begins all over again. During Senate budget hearings, they will either approve or change House recommendations. If both Chambers agree on the budget, it goes to the Governor’s desk for his approval and signature. We will keep you updated on anything specific to our region. Want to learn more about the budget process? Check out the helpful links below.

Zero Based Budgeting

Governor's Budget Report AFY 2023 / FY 2024

Budget Process

Budget Meeting Archives

Georgia Budget and Policy Institute

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

Shaw Blackmon
Representative of Georgia's 146th House District
Representative Shaw Blackmon
District 146

Phone: 404-463-7583
Address: 133 State Capitol
Atlanta, Georgia 30334