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    • Budget timeframe: Annual

      Fiscal Year begins: July 1

      The current state budget can be found here.

      Find the legislative session calendar here.

      Find the current legislative leaders here.


      GA Gov Nathan DealGov. Nathan Deal
      Office of Governor Nathan Deal
      142 State Capitol
      Atlanta, GA 30334
      Phone: (404) 656-1776
      Fax: (404) 656-5947
      Governor's Office




      Teresa MacCartney, Director
      Office of Planning and Budget
      270 Washington Street, SW, Room 8066
      Atlanta, GA 30334-8500
      Phone (404) 656-3820
      Fax: (404) 656-3828 


      Want a more robust, long-term look at your state's fiscal health, beyond the budget? There are two parts: Click here for the FY2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) compiled by the state government, and click here for information on the state's pension liabilities


      Georgia is required to pass a "balanced budget." Article III, Section 9, Paragraph IV of the Constitution ratified in 1982 prohibits the general assembly from appropriating funds that, in aggregate, exce ed the previous year's surplus funds added to the current year's estimated revenue. Any appropriation that violates the balanced budget requirement is supposed to be voided. State law forbids the carrying over of a deficit from one year to the next.

      The State budgets several funds which are aggregated into a single one called Budget Fund (the CAFR states that the Budget Fund differs from the funds present in the basic financial statements). Funds included in the Budget Fund are: State General Funds, Brain and Spinal Injury Funds, Lottery Funds, State Motor Fuel Funds, Tobacco Settlement Funds, and various Federal Funds are budgeted. Each year, the State of Georgia prepares a balanced budget in which expected revenues equal expected expenditures. This budget, however, never holds and so the State should put more effort in preparing a realistic budget. The Budgetary Comparison Schedules are missing information such as transfers, net transactions, beginning balances and ending balances.  [from the Institute for Truth in Accounting]


      Find the state's bond ratings here.



      GA Public Policy Logo


    • Higher Education :


      Education spending balloons, but students in some states get more money than others

      Washington Post - GovBeat | by Reid Wilson | January 27, 2014

      There is disagreement within education circles over whether spending more money per pupil leads to better results. But there is no disagreement that the amount of money states spend on education has erupted in recent years.


      The price of college is rising faster for public schools than private ones

      Washington Post | by Niraj Chokshi | November 13, 2013

      Over the last decade, the price of a four-year college education has risen faster for public schools than private ones in every region of the country.


      Sagging state funding jacks up college tuition

      USA Today | by Hadley Malcolm and Sean McMinn | September 5, 2013

      The start of a new school year is punctuated by what's become a new financial norm for public universities: massive cuts in state funding that lead to rising tuition, cuts in enrollment, sporadic class schedules and staff layoffs.


      The 5 best and worst education stories for school year 2013-2014

      State Budget Solutions | by Joe Luppino-Esposito | August 21, 2013

      Summer is over for millions of teachers and students (and parents!) across the country. As classrooms and books are re-opened this fall, State Budget Solutions is here to teach a lesson on several education stories that will be talked about throughout the year. 


      Ex-Penn State president tops highest paid list | by Blake Ellis | May 13, 2013

      Presidents of public universities are taking home bigger paychecks, and a growing number are raking in more than $1 million.


      Performance based funding becoming the new norm in higher education

      State Budget Solutions | by Jimmy Ardis | March 12, 2013

      As universities and colleged continue to struggle with declining revenues, states are increasingly looking to performance-based funding in an effort to get more bang for their limited higher education dollars.


      Where the State Budget Squeeze Hits

      Bloomberg | by Josh Barro | March 7, 2013

      From fiscal year 2003 through fiscal year 2012, state general fund budgets increased 34 percent, almost exactly in line with population growth and inflation. But that growth wasn't evenly shared across program areas.


      Public research universities threatened by budget cuts in report

      The Denver Post | September 26, 2012

      Ten states saw state support for major public research universities fall 30 percent or more, and in Rhode Island the drop also was nearly 50 percent. Only seven states increased support.

    • HEADLINES: Georgia

      Less state money, lower enrollment will affect students

      The Atlanta Journal Constitution | by Laura Diamond | August 8, 2012

      Tuition and fees at some Georgia colleges have increased by 75 percent since 2008.

    • HEADLINES: Georgia

      More budget cuts ahead for state health care, universities

      The Atlanta Journal Constitution | by James Salzer | August 3, 2012

      Gov. Nathan Deal is making it clear that the era of state budget cutting isn't over, asking state agencies to find another $553 million in reductions through June 2014.

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    • Solutions

      How Reality-Based Budgeting Can Permanently Resolve State Budget Gaps

      State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | November 7, 2012

      State Budget Solutions recommends that state legislators take action in 2013 to resolve the serious state financial crises by changing their focus from inputs to outcomes by redesigning budgets from the ground up based on priorities and performance.

    • Solutions

      How to Prevent Future Pension Crises

      by Cory Eucalitto | November 1, 2012

      The time for state and local governments to offer defined contribution retirement plans that protect both taxpayer dollars and public employee retirement security is now.

    • Solutions

      State Lawmakerís Guide to Evaluating Medicaid Expansion Projections

      The Heritage Foundation | by Edmund F. Haislmaier and Drew Gonshorowski | October 17, 2012

      Supporters of Obamacare claim that expanding Medicaid will entail little to no cost to state governments, since the federal government will fund the vast majority of the additional costs. Indeed, some analyses project states achieving savings from adopting the expansion. However, state lawmakers should be wary of accepting such analyses at face value.

    • Solutions

      Medicaid Is BrokenóLet the States Fix It

      The Wall Street Journal | by Paul Howard and Russell Sykes | October 15, 2012

      Block-granting Medicaid is the best way to deliver better, cost-effective care to the most vulnerable Americans.

    • Solutions

      The Case for Reform: Prisons

      Right on Crime | August 1, 2012

      Prisons are supremely important, but they are also a supremely expensive government program, and thus prison systems must be held to the highest standards of accountability.

    • Solutions

      The Case for Reform: Adult Probation

      Right on Crime | August 1, 2012
    • Solutions

      Solutions to the public pension crisis

      State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | August 1, 2012

      Public pensions at the state and municipal levels are unsustainable in their current form.  State Budget Solutions' recent study by Andrew Biggs found that public pensions are underfunded by $4.6 trilion. Here we offer solutions to the pension crisis

    • Solutions: Georgia, North Carolina

      Medicaid Frills Cost NC Billions, but GA May Shy Away from Cuts

      Civitas Institute | by Matt Willoughby | May 23, 2012

      Medicaid services not required by the federal government but approved by the state legislature in years past cost North Carolin $4.4 billion in 2010-2011. That accounted for 46 percent of the state's $10 billion Medicaid budget.

    • Solutions: Georgia, Idaho, New Hampshire , Florida

      Zero-Base Budgeting in the States

      National Conference of State Legislatures | by Ronald K. Snell | March 22, 2012

      Aero-base budgeting appeals to a serious and widespread desire to look at public budgeting in a fresh new way, free of old assumptions, not letting past experiences control the future. The zero-base budgeting bill in 2011 show, in various ways, a greater desire for information on how state agencies operate and how their work can be evaluated, and reflect lawmakers’ concerns that their budget enactments be well-informed.

    • Solutions: Georgia

      Eight Affordable Ideas for Georgia

      The Georgia Public Policy Foundation | by Eight Affordable Ideas for Georgia | December 2, 2011

      Georgia should continue to push the reforms that have made this one of the best managed states in the nation, but innovation is the best opportunity for true reform. Tax, regulatory and tort reform will create the right conditions for innovation in the private sector while the state pursues innovation in the areas of criminal justice, education and heath care.

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    • Pace of pension reform ebbs after 49 states change laws

      Hazel Bradford | by Pensions & Investments | April 15, 2014

      While the sense of urgency has diminished, reform attempts have become a legislative staple, as public retirement systems continue to grapple with unfunded liabilities and political pressure to change.

    • Pew's latest pension report understates unfunded liabilities, but still shows growing pension problem

      by Cory Eucalitto | April 4, 2014

      While Pew's report relies directly on state-reported numbers that understate the size of unfunded liabilities, it nonetheless shows tremendous growth in unfunded liabilities since 2008.

    • U.S. public pension gap widened to nearly $1 trillion in fiscal year 2012

      Reuters | by Robin Respaut | April 2, 2014

      The unfunded liabilities of public-employee pension plans rose by 10 percent in fiscal 2012 to a record $914 billion, hit by low investment returns, missed contributions and unfunded benefits, underscoring the pension funding crisis in U.S. states and cities, a report by the Pew Charitable Trusts said.

    • Some state pensions in dire straits

      USA Today | by Dustin Racioppi | March 21, 2014

      Not making payments to the pension funds, or only paying a portion of what an actuary has recommended, is largely what got these debt-burdened states to where they are today, experts say.

    • Great Expectations: States still use unrealistic pension assumptions | by Eric Boehm | March 19, 2014

      A recent study by the Society of Actuaries, a national industry group, concluded that states and municipalities shouldn’t use discount rates that are unlikely to be achieved.

    • How to Become a (Public Pension) Millionaire

      The Wall Street Journal | by Andrew Biggs | March 17, 2014

      In five states, an average full-career retiree receives a retirement income higher than his final salary.

    • US public pensions need more than investment windfall | March 10, 2014

      The higher-than-expected returns since 2012 are welcome, but experts say they don't make up for a legacy of insufficient funding, a problem that afflicts many states that allow elected officials to control the process.

    • Buffett Says Pension Tapeworm Means Decade of Bad News

      Bloomberg News | by Noah Buhayar and Zachary Tracer | March 3, 2014

      "Local and state financial problems are accelerating, in large part because public entities promised pensions they couldn't afford," Buffett said. "Unfortunately, pension mathematics today remain a mystery to most Americans."

    • Study rates public pension overhauls in other states

      Sacramento Bee - State Worker | by Jon Ortiz | February 27, 2014

      Public pension-change efforts in states that have rolled back benefits share some common characteristics, according to a paper issued today by the influential Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

    • Public Pension Tabs Multiply as States Defer Costs and Hard Choices

      The New York Times | by Rick Lyman and Mary Williams Walsh | February 25, 2014

      More than 40 states have taken steps in recent years to rein in mounting public employee pension costs that threaten to strangle government services. But none have come close to closing their pension gaps quickly enough to keep pace with a rapidly aging - and retiring - public work force.

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