Georgia FY 2013 budget: growing out of the recession

Deltek Analyst Kristin Howe reports.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal released his proposed state budget for fiscal year (FY) 2013 on Jan. 11. Unlike the often dismal messages encompassing many budgets and state-of-the-state addresses last year, Governor Deal is “guardedly optimistic” about Georgia’s fiscal outlook. As the governor of one of only eight states to hold a top-tier AAA bond rating from Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s, and Fitch, Deal has good reason for a positive outlook. Georgia is making short strides toward getting back on a healthy fiscal path, and the governor has committed to making greater leaps through implementing several budget measures, including a zero-based budgeting approach for 10 percent of the state departments.
In addition to moving the state toward fiscal health, one of the top priorities mentioned in Deal’s state-of-the-state address this year was the need to provide money for infrastructure improvements and development, particularly for the more rural areas of the state. Ostensibly, this will provide jobs to citizens and business opportunities to local companies, depending on how the projects are bid out.
This year’s proposed budget showed a nominal increase of approximately $495 million over FY 2012’s budget. (subscribers have access to the full article, here, with expanded analysis and detailed budget data). While this overall increase is significant given the still-challenging economic environment, the budget has not yet reached the size it was in 2010 or 2011. Despite the fact that health care remains the vertical with the highest funding, spending decreased by 0.33 percent from FY 2012. Governor Deal has attributed the continued prominence of healthcare funding primarily to the increased enrollment in Medicaid and the PeachCare for Kids program, which is designed to increase access to affordable health insurance for families with uninsured children.
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