Lawmaker and experts discuss how to be fiscally and socially responsible with Georgia’s surplus

The Georgia state Capitol in downtown Atlanta. (Jasmine Robinson/WABE)

Georgia’s coffers have an overflow of cash. As of October 2023, the state of Georgia had roughly $16 billion in general fund reserves.

Out of that number, $10.7 billion was not earmarked and could be used in a variety of areas. The multibillion-dollar surplus is likely to keep growing if funds are not allocated.

On Monday, Gov. Brian Kemp announced he would give a $1,000 year-end bonus to state, university and public school employees. The governor also proposed a permanent $104 million yearly allocation for school security.

For the first day of “Closer Look’s” two-day series, “Overflow: Examining Georgia’s $11 Billion Surplus,” show host Rose Scott spoke with a Georgia lawmaker and leaders from fiscal watchdog and consumer advocacy groups.

The guests discussed how they think Kemp should spend the surplus dollars to help Georgians.

Guests include:

Staci Fox, the president and CEO of the Georgia Budget & Policy Institute (GBPI)

Georgia House Minority Leader James Beverly

Liz Coyle, the executive director of Georgia Watch

Thomas A. Schatz, the president of Citizens Against Government Waste