ATLANTA — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said the fiscal 2023 budget was signed to strengthen public safety, invest in education and healthcare, and expand business.
Gov. Brian P. Kemp, along with First Lady Marty Kemp and Amy Porter Kemp, Constitutional Officers, Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan, Speaker David Ralston, leadership and members of the General Assembly, and state and local elected officials the Fiscal Year 2023 Budget (HB 911). In doing so, the Governor continues to deliver on his pledge to build a safer and stronger Georgia through significant investments in public safety, education, healthcare, Georgia’s #1 business environment and more.
Governor Kemp signed HB 911 at the University of North Georgia’s Blue Ridge campus. Below is an excerpt of his remarks at today’s celebration. A video of the ceremony can be found here.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and First Lady Marty Kemp signing the fiscal year 2023 budget.
Georgia continues to lead the Great Recovery because we chose to protect both lives and livelihoods during the pandemic, because we stood up to criticism and opened up our economy, and because we made the tough decisions when it mattered most .
And because of those decisions, our unemployment rate is a remarkable 3.1 percent, we’ve seen record-breaking trade, commerce and investment numbers this fiscal year while maintaining our No. 1 ranking for companies, and our government revenues have increased ex-tax on our employees and company.
In fact, we’ve put over $1 billion in taxpayers’ money back where it belongs…in the pockets of hard-working Georgians. In addition, we temporarily halted the state gas tax, creating the largest tax cut in state history.
The budget I am about to sign today will build on that good work in the coming fiscal year.
HB 911 funds our priorities and places our state on strong foundations for continued recovery and growth; not just next year, but for years to come.
A few months ago, we were able to give Georgia’s hard-working teachers a one-time grant of $2,000 and a class stipend to spend at their discretion on the benefit of their students.
Today, I’m proud to sign this budget, which will add a $2,000 raise and fulfill a promise I made when I first ran for governor.
In all, we’ve increased teachers’ salaries in Georgia by $5,000 since I took office!
HB 911 also:
- Fully Restores Austerity Measures Taken to QBE and Related Programs During the COVID Pandemic with More Than $388 Million Additional for K-12 Tuition;
- It restores austerity in the Georgia university system and enables our public colleges and universities to eliminate the special institutional fee that students and their families have had to pay since the Great Recession;
- It provides a minimum factor rate of 90 percent for HOPE scholarships and grants to cover tuition costs; and
- It expands the education of in-demand career programs at our technical colleges and further addresses supply chain issues.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and First Lady Marty Kemp sign the fiscal year 2023 budget on the Blue Ridge campus of the University of North Georgia.
In short, this budget improves both the quality and access to education across the board.
Between the revised budget I previously signed and this one, we are investing more per K-12 student than ever before in our state.
But this budget not only improves our classrooms and our workforce, it also makes our communities safer and puts resources where they are needed to bring down criminals.
HB 911 provides for an additional Soldiers’ Training School with 75 cadets who will join the ranks of our elite State Forces in the coming fiscal year.
It is also providing funds for the Attorney General’s Office to expand the very successful Human Trafficking Unit created last year and to create the Gang Prosecution Unit along its lines.
As Attorney General Carr said a few weeks ago when I signed the bill establishing the Gang Prosecution Unit… “The Justice Department will serve as a force multiplier, working hand-in-hand with federal, state, and local law enforcement officials to ensure violent criminals are aggressively prosecuted.” and put behind bars.”
They will not hesitate to prosecute those who pose a threat to the people and businesses of Georgia.
HB 911 is also providing over $10.3 million to expand the GBI Medical Examiner’s office and crime lab to clear the backlog of cases so victims and their families can finally get justice.
It also provides the GBI with election investigator resources so that all Georgians can rest assured that their vote is safe.
Nor do we rest on our laurels when it comes to making Georgia a healthier place to call home.
With this budget, we continue to ensure Georgia remains a state that values life at all stages by investing over $28 million in extending Medicaid coverage for new mothers from six to 12 months postpartum and the provider rate increase for foster parents. Childcare facilities, placement agencies for children and relatives of caregivers by 10 percent.
We are also investing in a pilot autism detection program so we can continue to help families with precious children who are facing such challenges.
And we continue to expand the behavioral health and substance abuse crisis services offered to those struggling with addiction and mental health issues.
I am also proud to say that in cooperation with Commissioner John King, we have allocated over $124 million in this budget to the federal reinsurance program that will reduce insurance premiums nationwide.
When Georgians face tragedy or accident, be it damage to health or property, they should not have to worry about even more costs.
What I have shared is just a small handful of the benefits that will soon come to Georgians and our communities as a result of this historic budget.
So once again I want to thank everyone here and elsewhere who helped make this budget possible.
Georgia continues to be the best state to live, work and raise a family because we have prioritized education, public safety and health care – even in the face of truly unprecedented times.
This budget builds on those priorities to make us even stronger and more prosperous, and I’m honored to be in Fannin County to sign this historic budget.