Georgia Education Trust Fund Amendment (2014)

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The Georgia Education Trust Fund Amendment, Senate Resolution 750 was not on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Georgia as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure would have established an education trust fund that is distinct from the state general budget and ordered legislators to first approve an education budget before they negotiate a general appropriations budget. The education budget and general budget would have been balanced separately.[1][2]

Senate Resolution 750 was proposed by State Senator Jason Carter (D-42).[2]

Support

The measure was sponsored in the legislature by Sen. Jason Carter (D-42).[2]

Arguments

State Senator Jason Carter (D-42), the measure's primary sponsor, declared a distinct education budget and fund to be necessary.

  • He argued, "We aren’t budgeting specifically for education and therefore it competes against everything else. If we establish a separate budget and essentially a trust fund, that would allow us to ensure that every year that if politicians are taking money out of the education budget we would know it, they would have to vote on it specifically, and they would have to face the voters and say yes we are getting the education system that we want or no we’re not."[3]
  • Carter contended that decreased state spending on education may lead to increased local property taxes, saying, "The bottom line is... education tax cuts have become local property tax increases in 38 school districts, so the idea that he’s held the line on taxes ignores a big tax burden on the middle class today, which are their local property taxes."
  • The senator labeled his plan "fiscally conservative," noting, "Today, our education budget is a shell game. A separate education fund will make our investment in education the state's top priority. To me, setting out clear priorities for how our money gets spent - and living by them - is what it means to be a fiscal conservative."[4]

Path to the ballot

See also: Amending the Georgia Constitution

The proposed amendment needed to be approved by a two-thirds vote in both chambers of the Georgia Legislature to be placed on the ballot.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution viewed the measure as having little chance of legislative approval. The journal stated, “Still, SR 750 stands very little chance of moving forward and will mainly serve as a platform for Carter during the legislative session. Constitutional amendments need two-thirds support, or a supermajority, in both chambers to get on the ballot. Republicans own a supermajority in the Senate and are only a seat short of a supermajority in the House.”[2]

See also

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References


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