Georgia's Budget and ARxC's 2021 Priorities

Article Type: 
Blog

It’s Budget Time in GA and Events Calendar

On January 14, Governor Kemp addressed the General Assembly in his third annual State of the State address introducing his proposed budget. Governor Kemp highlighted the state's response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and outlined several priorities for the 2021 legislative session.

·        The Governor's amended budget proposal (an update to the current state budget) includes some modest restoration of cuts from last year. The proposal includes the addition of $750,000 to the Department of Community Health for Georgia’s all-payer claims database. This budget runs through June 30, 2021.

·        The Governor's recommended FY 2022 budget, which begins on July 1, 2021, restores some funding to schools but otherwise retains many cuts from the current budget. 

·        The budget directs the Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities to use existing funds to expand the housing supports pilot program for the Georgia Housing Voucher Program.

·        Both budgets include funds for the initial roll-out of the Governor’s partial Medicaid expansion plan ($74 million collectively).

·        Also included in both budgets is funding (more than $50 million) for a broadband infrastructure grants program to enable rural communities to expand and improve their broadband connectivity—an important asset for telehealth, virtual schooling and improving access to care for rural residents.

 

The House will now consider and make changes to the two budget proposals before passing them to the Senate later in the session.

 

ARxC/Rx in Reach, supports: ( See ARxC 2021 Updated Priorities)

·        motivating state leaders to examine the racial equity implications of state budget and legislative proposals.

·        closing Georgia's coverage gap and  extending health insurance to all low-income Georgians.

·        providing Georgia’s Department of Public Health with sufficient funds, resources, and support to carry out its mission

·        Citizen’s Arrest Reform

·        Protecting Human Trafficking Survivors

·        Reform use of Ethylene Oxide