We are in the final two weeks of the 2018 Legislative Session. During week Ten (Days 33-35), the House was buzzing with committee proceedings and floor debates. While I am proud of what we have accomplished thus far, the next five legislative days will be the most important ones of the year.
The 2019 Budget
The Georgia General Assembly is constitutionally mandated to pass a balanced budget every year. Last week, the House passed a $26 billion dollar budget for FY 2019 that prioritizes education, healthcare, and state infrastructure projects.
Here are a few budget highlights:
- $119.5 million for K-12 enrollment growth and training.
- $361.7 million for the Teachers Retirement System.
- $5.5 million for the Technical College System of Georgia.
- $68 million for HOPE and Zell Miller scholarships.
- $16.9 million for a 4.3% provider rate increase for nursing homes.
- $2 million to study Georgia’s infant mortality rate.
- $2.2 million for mental health funding for foster children.
- $1.83 billion in motor fuel funds to continue transportation construction and maintenance projects across our state.
The 2019 budget is a reflection of our priorities as a legislative body. It is now under consideration in the State Senate.
Two bills I authored are currently under consideration in the Senate.
HB 713 alters the home school student eligibility requirements for certain standardized tests. This legislative will open college scholarship opportunities to more Georgia students.
HB 847 allows the practice of psychology through telemedicine across state lines. If passed by the Senate and signed by Governor Deal, The Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact – which I authored – will enhance access to quality, mental health services for all Georgians.
Honoring Georgia’s Police Chiefs
On Wednesday, we welcomed law enforcement leaders from around the state for the Georgia Association of Police Chiefs Day at the Capitol.
These brave men and women represent thousands of police officers that put themselves in harm’s way each and every day to keep our families, friends, and communities safe. We were honored to have these Georgia heroes under the Gold Dome.
State lawmakers gathered on January 8th to kick-off the 2018 Legislative Session.
Ad midnight on March 29, the gavel will fall on the 40-day session. In the final two weeks, I expect long days and late hours in both Chambers. To watch the legislature in action, click HERE.
As always, please feel free to call (404-656-0254) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions or concerns you may have.
Rep. Joyce Chandler
Georgia General Assembly