Senator Albers: Week Two Under the Gold Dome
Friday, January 19, 2024
During our second week of the 2024 Georgia Legislative Session, I welcomed the opportunity to listen to budget presentations from the leaders of various state agencies. Budget week, as it is coined under the Gold Dome, is a tremendous opportunity for legislators to dialogue with these leaders and learn how their needs correlate with the needs of hardworking Georgians. In addition to thanking Chairmen of the Senate and House Committees on Appropriations, Sen. Blake Tillery (R–Vidalia) and Rep. Matt Hatchett (R–Dublin), I would also like to thank each agency head for taking the time to clearly lay out their budgetary needs for the upcoming Fiscal Year. These leaders and I share the same privilege of public service to our state and I appreciate their dedication to Georgia’s legislative process.
I am particularly excited about this year’s budget because it is a testament to what can be achieved when the legislative body strives for fiscal conservatism and frugality. Due to the application of these practices in previous years, our state currently holds a $16 billion surplus. This has provided us with enough financial stability to reward hardworking Georgians with tax rebates and reductions, as well as a four percent cost-of-living adjustment for state employees. This surplus promotes strength to Georgians, encouraging them to spend in Georgia despite the continued reckless federal spending in Washington. These are not the only investments that I look forward to celebrating, however. I’m looking forward to rewarding teachers for their critical role as front-line educators by increasing salaries for teachers, investing in our Department of Corrections to address facility maintenance and fully supporting the completion of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center.
As the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Appropriations for Criminal Justice and Public Safety, I am deeply invested in the prudent allocation of funds aimed at safeguarding all Georgians. I am prepared to listen to various state departments committed to ensuring public safety. Each year, these agencies provide our subcommittee with significant and meaningful information. Serving as the chairman of this subcommittee is a profound honor, and I am appreciative that the leadership of our state recognizes the importance of supporting our public safety and criminal justice sectors.
As the legislature returns to regular session next week, I will continue to commit my efforts to working with Gov. Kemp and the rest of the General Assembly to promote further progress for Georgians across the state in the coming months. As always, I appreciate any feedback you might have concerning current or future legislation. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office if I can be of assistance regarding legislative matters.
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Sen. John Albers serves as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Safety. He represents the 56th Senate District which includes portions of Cherokee, Cobb and North Fulton counties. He may be reached at his office at 404.463.8055 or by email at [email protected]