Interactive: Understanding Georgia's budget
Georgia's record-setting budget is set to take effect Friday. But by some measures that record is not so meaningful. In the past 10 years, inflation has jumped by about 20 percent. That means a dollar today has significantly less purchasing power. At the same time, Georgia's population has risen by about 1.3 million people. That means the state has more people to educate, transport and serve. In theory, new residents and rising incomes should allow spending to maintain a steady rate. But the past decade's recession disrupted those plans. Georgia cannot spend more than it takes in, so drops in revenue can shock some departments.
Related story: Georgia’s record budget still lags population growth, inflation
The charts below show how state spending has changed through the years. The charts on the left show the raw value in dollars, the green line above represents what that line would have been while adjusting for inflation. The graph on the right adjusts those figures for inflation and per-capita spending.
Georgia has picked up its education spending in recent years. When factoring in population growth and inflation, it has not kept up.
Health care is taking a growing share of the state budget. Spending on Medicare and Peachcare, a program to aid uninsured children, has risen by more than $1 billion in the past decade.
Transportation is one area that has outpaced inflation and population growth. A recent and controversial tax increase is responsible for that.