Gov. Brian Kemp has signed a $32.5 billion mid-year state budget that includes property tax relief for Georgia homeowners and security grants for every public school in the state.

“It delivers on the promises I made last year,” Kemp, who won a second term in office last November, said Monday during a ceremony celebrating the spending plan he signed last Friday. The General Assembly had given the mid-year budget final passage the day before.

The mid-year budget, which covers state spending through the end of June, provides $950 million in property tax relief, down slightly from the $1 billion Kemp requested in January. It will save Georgia homeowners roughly $500 on their property tax bills.

The legislature supported the governor’s recommendation of $115.7 million for school security grants, with $50,000 going to each school. The Georgia House had increased the individual grants to $60,000, but the Senate went back to Kemp’s original proposal.

The General Assembly also backed Kemp’s request to fully fund Georgia’s Quality Basic Education k-12 student formula (QBE) and earmark $128.2 million to cover student enrollment growth in the state’s public schools since last year.

Also in the education arena, the spending plan provides $5 million to help paraprofessionals obtain teaching certificates and $3.5 million in grants to help nursing programs with waiting lists increase student capacity.

The mid-year budget adds $105 million for a new electronic medical records system at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta.

Lawmakers approved Kemp’s request for $73.1 million to help train workers for the electric vehicle manufacturing plants being built in Newton and Bryan counties.

The mid-year budget increases state spending by 7% over the fiscal 2023 budget lawmakers adopted last spring.

“Having a $6 billion surplus allows us to fulfill a lot of needs,” Lt. Gov. Burt Jones said Monday.

Kemp said the surplus also will protect Georgia taxpayers at a time when inflation and other “economic headwinds” threaten a recession.

“We have a robust rainy-day fund that will keep us going regardless of what the economy looks like for the next 18 months,” he said. “Hopefully, we won’t see the storm here.”

This story comes to Rough Draft Atlanta through a content partnership with Capitol Beat.

Dave Williams | Capitol Beat

Dave Williams is the Bureau Chief of Capitol Beat News Service.