July 12, 2017

July 2017 Update

This is a brief mid-summer update that illustrates how much we have to be thankful for in Georgia! From my family to you and your family, have a wonderful summer!

Recently, Governor Deal spoke to a group of Representatives about all that Georgia has to be thankful for right now. I wanted to highlight a few of these items and the State of Georgia’s positive trajectory.

Best Place to do Business
In November of 2016, Site Selection Magazine ranked Georgia as the #1 State in which to do business for the fourth consecutive year. This ranking combines an equal share of subjective and objective criteria. Fifty percent of the ranking is based on a survey of site selectors – corporate facility investors and site consultants — who indicate simply which states they deem to be the most business friendly. The other 50 percent — the objective side — is a combination of factors primarily based on announced project data in the Conway Projects Database, which credits areas with corporate facility projects of at least $1 million in capital investment, 20 or more new jobs or new construction of at least 20,000 sq. ft.

CNBC scores all 50 states on more than 60 measures of competitiveness, developed with input from a broad and diverse array of business and policy experts, and in 2017, ranked Georgia the #2 State for business. When looking into their individual metrics, Georgia was scored the #1 for economy, #3 for workforce, #4 for infrastructure and #9 for access to capital. These are all extremely high marks and show our commitment to growing Georgia from all angles.

AAA Bond Rating
Georgia again earned a rating of AAA, with a stable outlook, from each of the three main credit rating agencies — Moody’s, Fitch and Standard & Poor’s. The state of Georgia works diligently to maintain the coveted AAA rating, and we are one of only nine states to earn this distinction in 2017. Ultimately, this AAA bond rating reflects our fiscal responsibility and results in millions of dollars of savings for our taxpayers. The credit rating agencies cited the strength of Georgia’s economy with a positive employment trend, growth of the state’s rainy day fund, a balanced approach to the state’s primary revenue sources and consistent funding of obligations as factors contributing to the AAA rating. We have held this AAA rating every year for the past 14 years; only six other states can boast such an achievement.

Film Industry
Georgia is now the No. 1 filming location in the world, according to FilmL.A., and the industry has a giant impact on the state’s economy. Gov. Nathan Deal announced film and television productions generated $9.5 billion in economic impact in fiscal 2017. This includes $2.7 billion in direct spending. In the past year, 320 film and television productions shot in the state, including several Marvel movies, Netflix’s “Stranger Things” and AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” In fiscal 2016, the economic impact of the film industry was $7.2 billion with 248 productions shot here. The direct spend last year was $2 billion. According to the Motion Picture Association of America, 28,656 people are directly employed in film and television and 12,518 work in a production-related field.

Fiscal Year 2018 – Budget
The state of Georgia must by law operate with a balanced budget. A balanced budget is one in which the amount of money spent over a fiscal year does not exceed the amount of money collected from taxes and other revenue sources for that same fiscal year. The Georgia Constitution makes it illegal for the General Assembly to pass an operating budget that anticipates expenditures exceeding funds available. Because we passed a balanced budget for FY18 in March, we have begun a new fiscal year (on July 1, 2017) with much to be excited about. Law enforcement and teachers received raises; the deepening of the Savannah port is progressing nicely; our rainy day reserve fund has increased to nearly $2.4B; and business growth continues at a staggering growth across all of Georgia. There has never been a more important time to be a fiscal conservative than now.

I pledge to stand firmly with Speaker Ralston and all my fellow Representatives during the 2018 session to continue to move Georgia forward!