Day 40, saw the FY 25 budget pass after a conference committee agreed to some changes.  It is proposed that the classified healthcare costs increase from the current $1170 to $1580, instead of the Senate proposed $1760. This is their compromise which in my opinion remains challenging to our school districts even if it is an improvement from the Senate’s recommendation. Click here for the agreement to the FY25 Budget(classified costs on page 13)

Some of the budget highlights that were agreed upon:

$200 million for transportation

$6.1 million for literacy coaches to be held at each RESA

$109 Million for School Safety

$1 million to expand the APEX program

$6.3 Million for free/reduced breakfast and lunch

Interestingly, the Governor revised revenue estimates for the Lottery and set aside $48.2 million to fund PreK. This will include salary increases for PreK teachers to place them on par with K-12 teachers. This was the Pro Tempore Jan Jones’ legislative focus.

Tax Bills that passed a quick look:

HB 581 – Blackmon -There was added language that reflects HB 1031 and HB 1115. There is no 3% cap in this bill.

This included HB 1031 language, statewide floating homestead exemption with CPI (inflationary index) cap and opt-out provision, which requires three public hearings to opt-out of this tax structure, and HB 1115 language passed the House with a vote of 164-2 and the Senate with a vote of 52-0. It now goes to the Governor.

HB 1019 – Matt Reeves- This increases the statewide homestead exemption from $2K to $4K, received final passage as the last House bill, and goes to the Governor.

HB 808 – Cheokas – Personal Property Tangible Tax has gone from $7500 to $20,000. Goes to the Governor.

Although not a tax bill this bill in my opinion was a snake in the grass:

HB 1122 – Hilton – provides QBE calculated funding for superintendents for state charters with full-time equivalent students over 1,000 including principals in that funding and other personnel for local and state charter schools, and also clarifies conflicts of interest around which charter school employees can serve on state and local charter boards. The bill also includes language from HB 1186, which requires the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement (GOSA) to work with GaDOE to establish a single numerical score on a scale of 0-100 and four scoring categories for public schools and school systems that must be published on the GOSA website, GADOE website, school/system website.  Now goes to the Governor.

GSSA will continue to dig through the bills that passed and provide an update in our Friday News and at our upcoming Bootstrap Conference in Savannah. More to come! Thank you for what you do each day!

Quote: The Credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause/who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails daring greatly.

Theodore Roosevelt 

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