Wide shot of the Georgia state Capitol against a cloudy sky.
Wally Gobetz/Flickr-Creative Commons CC BY-NC

The 2024 Georgia legislative session ended on Thursday, March 28, a day known as Sine Die. Lawmakers in both the state Senate and House of Representatives spent Sine Die Day trying to get their bills passed for the governor’s signature. The one bill constitutionally required to pass is next year’s budget. 

Gov. Brian Kemp has 40 days to either veto or sign the bills into law.  

Below is a highlight of several bills passed during this year’s session. More information on any of these bills can be found on the General Assembly website.

Amended Fiscal Year 2024 budget 

Gov. Kemp signed the Amended Fiscal Year (AFY) 2024 budget on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024. The record $37.9 billion budget includes $5.5 billion in new spending during the current fiscal year. This budget year ends June 30, 2024.

More than $102.5 million was allocated to Georgia’s K-12 classrooms to account for public school enrollment growth. Georgia public school teachers and state university system employees are also set to receive $1,000 one-time pay supplements.

The Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities received nearly $70 million in additional funding. It supports mental health and substance abuse recovery programs, and supports Georgians with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  

The General Assembly allocated $392 million to renovate the state Capitol complex and improve security, as well as updating public access.  

Fiscal Year 2025 budget 

Georgia’s $61 billion state budget for the 2025 fiscal year includes spending from the nearly $16 billion in surplus funds.  

All state employees will receive a 4% cost-of-living adjustment. Public school teachers will receive a salary increase of $2,500. The budget allocates $104 million to establish a security grant program for public schools.  

Child and Parent Services, a program that makes childcare more affordable, will see a budget increase of $4.6 million. In addition, $6.3 million will be allocated to provide free breakfasts and lunches to low-income K-12 public school students.  

For the University System of Georgia (USG), $80 million will be invested in making repairs and renovations to campuses. Additionally, $66 million was added back into the USG after it was cut from the 2024 budget.

Full-time healthcare staff will receive a 4% salary raise. The budget allocates $60 million to repair hospitals in Atlanta, Milledgeville, Augusta, Columbus and Savannah. Another $92 million will be allocated toward expanding housing and community services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Additionally, $16 million will be invested to increase access to health insurance. 

The budget also includes a $3,000 salary increase for many law enforcement agencies statewide and $450 million to build a new state prison. Additionally, $65 million will be allocated to healthcare for inmates in Georgia’s prison system. 

Election reform

Lawmakers proposed several pieces of legislation regarding election reforms this year. Some of them passed and are now awaiting Gov. Kemp’s signature.  

A bill requiring all election workers to be U.S. citizens, H.B. 1207, passed in the House on Sine Die Day. The bill also limits the number of voting machines used at polling locations. Another passed bill, H.B. 974, would require the Secretary of State to establish a website where scanned paper ballots are posted after elections. The bill will also add watermarks to those ballots.  

Finally, S.B. 189 passed to allow any presidential candidate who appeared on the ballots of at least 20 other states to appear on Georgia’s ballot. The bill would also require counties with less than 5,000 voters to use paper ballots. All absentee ballots in those counties would need to be reported and added to the vote count no more than one hour after the polls close. Additionally, in 2026, S.B. 189 would eliminate bar codes and QR codes from printed ballots. The text portion of the ballot will be counted as the official vote instead.  

Private school vouchers

S.B. 233, known as “The Georgia Promise Scholarship Act,” provides a $6,500 voucher to families with students enrolled in Georgia public schools. The voucher can be used to pay for private schooling or homeschooling supplies.  


Passed and signed by Gov. Brian Kemp on Jan. 31, 2024, H.B. 30 defines antisemitism under state law. Georgia law now recognizes the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of antisemitism. This definition is internationally recognized by the United Nations and European Parliament. This law helps prosecutors and law enforcement identify hate crimes and discrimination targeting Jewish people.   

Georgia Hemp Farming Act 

Passed in the Senate on Sine Die Day, S.B. 494, referred to as the “Georgia Hemp Farming Act,” regulates CBD, Delta-10 and Delta-8 products sold across Georgia. If signed into law, people under age 21 will not be able to purchase any hemp products.  

In addition, manufacturers would analyze all hemp products for THC content and include warning labels on hemp products detailing their contents. The age and testing requirements would apply to all consumable hemp products, such as oils, drinks and gummies.  

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