Despite a financially cautious approach, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal proposed an additional $2.1 billion to the fiscal year 2014 budget compared to FY 2013, bringing total spending to $40.8 billion for the coming fiscal year.
The governor wants the FY 2014 budget to focus on eliminating waste, streamlining government operations, stimulating economic growth, and preparing for economic uncertainties. While most agencies’ base spending is reduced in FY 2014, investments will continue in key areas of health care and education. Governor Deal has defined health care as the largest cost driver in Georgia’s recent budgets, and that increased Medicaid expenses will require an additional $246 million in both FY 2013 and FY 2014 over current funding levels.
True to his word, the governor increased the Georgia Department of Community Health’s budget by $888 million, and the Department of Education saw an increase of $812 million. The University System of the Georgia Board of Regents also received a healthy increase of $220 million. The average reduced funding for departments was pretty minimal – the highest being a $23 million decrease for the Technical College System, and an $8 million decrease for the Office of the Governor.
Unlike states that report proposed IT budgets alongside new fiscal budgets, Georgia only reports actual IT expenditures from the year prior. The data collected for FY 2012 also reflects a change in IT reporting methodology. In previous years, project portfolio amounts were included, but those amounts are no longer included in an effort to ensure more consistent reporting and to better compare IT spending with other states.
It is also important to note that some state entities with large IT expenditures expected, like the University System of Georgia, are not required to report. Only 80 percent of required agencies reported in FY 2012, with just 41 agencies having a commissioner signature on their proposals. Due to the reporting style of Georgia’s IT spending, FY 2013 and FY 2014 are projected by Deltek.
Despite a cautious outlook on state and national futures, Georgia maintains a steady spending rate in its total fiscal budgets. The Georgia Technology Authority has made several new investments in recent years, and its current momentum is self-described as the nation’s largest state IT modernization. GTA officials said the primary focus in FY 2012 was building strong partnerships with the state’s strategic IT service delivery partners in support of collaboration; this is expected to continue in the years ahead.
For more information on Georgia FY 2014 budget, visit the state profile here.