On January 10, the Georgia General Assembly returned to the State Capitol building to start the 2022 legislative session.
Governor Brian Kemp delivered his annual State of the State address on January 10 to a joint session of the General Assembly, where he outlined his legislative priorities for the year.
Some of the Governor’s priorities include:
- Increased public education funding
- Increased funding to combat gang activity and human trafficking
- $5,000 salary increase for state employees
- Exempting state income taxes on military retirement income
Governor Kemp also released his budget reports for amended F.Y. 2022 and F.Y. 2023 budgets.
One item of particular importance to our area is Governor Kemp’s request for an additional $80M to complete the expansion and renovation of the Savanah Convention Center.
Also, in the budget report, Governor Kemp included:
- $7.5M for design and construction of a new physical plant at Savannah State University
- $3.3M for furniture, fixtures, and equipment at the Jack and Ruth Ann Hill Convocation Center at Georgia Southern University
- $720,000 for equipment at Savannah Technical College’s Culinary Institute
The House Appropriations Committee and its Subcommittees are in the process of holding numerous hearings on both amended F.Y. 2022 and F.Y. 2023 budget proposals. House Bill 910 is the Supplemental Appropriations Bill for the State Fiscal Year beginning July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022.
House Bill 911 is the General Appropriations bill for the 2023 State Fiscal Year beginning July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023.
Also, on January 27, State Representative Jesse Patrea introduced House Bill 1064. HB 1064 will exempt up to $17,500 in military retirement income from state income tax for those under 62 in Georgia. If they work and earn up to $17,500, they can exempt another $17,500 from state income tax for a total of $35,000. This issue has been a priority for the Savannah Area Chamber for several years, it has broad support in the House, and we look forward to the passage of the bill.
For more information, contact Jared Downs, VP of Governmental Affairs, at 912.644.6406 or JDowns@SavannahChamber.com.