Georgia budget chief says governor aims to avoid layoffs

Georgia News

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia’s budget director tells lawmakers that Gov. Brian Kemp is trying to avoid state employee layoffs even as he orders budget cuts.

Office of Planning and Budget Director Kelly Farr, speaking Friday, tells lawmakers that state officials don’t entirely understand why revenue collections are lagging.

While officials are hoping for a rebound, Farr says it’s also possible that things may get worse.

Kemp has ordered agencies to cut 4% percent from budgets this year and propose 6% cuts from the 2021 budget lawmakers will write beginning in January. But many parts of Georgia’s $27.5 billion budget are exempt from cuts, including much of education and the state-federal Medicaid program.

Farr says budget staffers are examining how many state agency jobs are vacant and how many employees can be expected to leave voluntarily.

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