We began last week honoring the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and his legacy of service. Dr. King’s words are as true today as they were when he first spoke them: “The time is always right to do what is right.” These are wise words that we should all strive to bring to bear on our work each day.
Last week at the Capitol was Budget Week. Part of our duties in the House is to prepare an amended budget for Fiscal Year (AFY) 2020 and prepare a budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021. The Fiscal Year 2021 budget sets a revenue estimate of just over $28 billion and showcases the strength of Georgia’s economy and its continued growth thanks to wise decisions and prudent fiscal policies.
As part of the budget process, the General Assembly conducts hearings with the governor and various agency and department heads to gather information about the governor’s proposed budget and guarantee that the tax dollars with which you trust us are spent wisely and well. These tax dollars are investments in our state and it is our responsibility to ensure that these are investments that will benefit all Georgians.
After hearing from the governor, we heard from Dr. Jeffrey Dorfman, the state fiscal economist, who shared with us all the news about Georgia’s current economic climate. Dr. Dorfman told us that keeping Georgia’s Rainy Day Fund healthy and strong is key to our continued AAA Bond Rating.
We also heard from Commissioner David Curry from the Georgia Department of Revenue. He shared with us that the passage of the Marketplace Facilitators Act last week would do great things for Georgia’s balance sheet. Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black was forthright when he shared with the committee his concerns over proposed budget cuts.
On Jan. 22, we heard from Chief Justice Harold Melton of the Georgia Supreme Court about the ways in which the judiciary has found efficiencies and increased productivity. We also heard from Vic Reynolds, the director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, who updated us on the ways in which the GBI is working to keep all Georgians safe. We look forward to continuing to work with the governor’s office and state agency and department heads throughout the budget process while safeguarding your tax dollars.
As we work hard in the days ahead to strengthen Georgia families and businesses, please do not hesitate to call (404.656.5052), e-mail (Jon.Burns@house.ga.gov), or engage on Facebook (www.FB.com/JonBurnsGA) with your feedback. It is an honor to represent you in the General Assembly, and I look forward to seeing you soon.
Jon Burns represents District 159 in the Georgia General Assembly where he serves as the House majority leader.