The 2023 Georgia General Assembly legislative session came to an end March 29, on day 40. Before we adjourned, the legislature approved House Bill (HB) 19, or the Fiscal Year 2024 (FY 2024) budget.
Effective July 1, the FY 2024 budget is set at a revenue estimate of $32.4 billion, which is $2.2 billion, or 7.4%, more than the FY 2023 budget. More than 50% of this state budget is dedicated toward funding our K-12 and higher education systems. The budget includes 100% tuition coverage for HOPE Scholarship recipients, a $2,000 salary boost for certified teachers and school employees, a $6,000 raise for state troopers and a $4,000 raise for corrections officers.
Notable bills that passed and failed include:
• Senate Bill (SB) 140, barring transgender procedures on minors, passed.
• SB 1, permanently banning state and local governments from discriminating based on COVID-19 vaccination status, passed.
• SB 204, barring school accreditation agencies from considering things other than the quality of the school, passed.
• HB 189, increasing the legal truck weights for agriculture and timber products, passed.
• HB 520, to serve as Part 2 of last year’s HB 1013 — which sought to expand the government and use the resources thereof, along with reforming existing law to address mental illness and substance abuse — failed.
• SB 222, barring private funding of elections, passed.
• HB 48, to make district attorney and county solicitor races nonpartisan, failed.
• HB 200, a bill to enact ranked choice voting, failed.
• SB 133, to establish a uniform process when the Division of Family & Children Services assumes custody of a child in delinquency hearings, passed.
• HB 162, to grant state income tax refunds of $250 per person, $375 per head of household or $500 per married couple filing jointly, passed.
• SB 92, to create an oversight commission for district attorneys and solicitors-general, passed.
Over the next 40 days, Gov. Brian Kemp will sign or veto measures that received final passage during this session. Any bill the governor signs will become law, and any legislation not signed or vetoed within this period also will become law automatically. House bills that did not receive final passage have been sent back to their respective committees, to be eligible for consideration next year.