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Budget hearings get started
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The amended FY2012 and general FY2013 budgets have been submitted by Gov. Nathan Deal. This week the House and Senate Appropriations Committees held weeklong joint hearings with the heads of state agencies.

The amended FY2012 budget is based upon $209.3 million additional revenues. For the FY13 general budget, there is appropriated 5.75 percent, or $928.7 million in additional revenues over this fiscal year. Tax revenue is estimated to increase approximately 5 percent, or $809 million. Even with these increases, the FY13 general budget is approximately $2 billion less than the FY2009 budget some four years ago.

Education K-12
FY2012 Amended-Education

The amended budget will add $87.9 million to QBE (Quality Basic Education) for midterm growth and adds $8.6 million for State Special Charter Schools to replace local funds lost in a state Supreme Court decision.
FY2013 General-Education
The FY2013 general budget will bring a reduction of pre-k slots from 86,000 to 84,000 but increase the school year by 10 days. This will bring it back to a 170-day school year. 

Adds to QBE Formula:
1. $58.7 million to cover enrollment growth
2. $55.8 million for training and experience raises for teacher’s pay scale.
3. $3 million for newly certified math and science teachers salary enhancement
• Transfers $173.6 million from nutrition, pupil transportation and school nurses from grants to QBE and adds $8.6 million for the State Special Charter Schools in one-time funds

New funding:
• $3.7 million for school nurses.
• $1.6 million for a reading mentor program to help insure third graders can read at the end of that grade. 
These programs were not cut: preschool handicapped, QBE equalization, severely emotionally disturbed, state interagency transfers, state schools, and tuition for multi-handicapped.

Economic development, transportation, agriculture and natural resources
FY2012 Amended

Additional $10 million for the OneGeorgia Authority for rural economic development from tobacco settlement funds.
FY2013 general

• Additional $10 million for the OneGeorgia Authority.
• Additional $1.5 million for the Georgia Research Alliance for two Eminent Scholars.
• Eliminates $482,461 for the visitor welcome centers in Plains, Sylvania and Bainbridge, the Georgia Humanities Council, the Georgia Historical Society, and the Historical Chattahoochee Commission.
• Transfers $3.3 million in state funds from the Department of Labor to the Department of Agriculture for safety inspections for the state.
• $797,856 for the Department of Drivers Services to implement Real ID
• $1.3 million for the Hazardous Waste Trust Fund and Solid Waste Trust Fund.

Introduced in Week 1
SB 292 — Requires the Department of Human Services to drug test those applying for temporary assistance or Medicaid benefits. If they fail the test they will be ineligible for the assistance.
SB 301 — Allows silencers to be used while hunting under certain circumstances.
SB 308 — Allows proprietary institutions of higher education to be eligible for tuition equalization grants.

Next week: Budget and bond info – Senate action

If you would like additional information regarding a specific piece of legislation, you may access the Georgia General Assembly Web site at

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