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Lt. Gov. Duncan taking pay cut amid COVID-19, state budget issues
FCN Geoff Duncan 5 011819
Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, a Forsyth County resident and former state Representative for the area, presided over the state Senate for the first time on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. - photo by Kelly Whitmire

Even Georgia's Lieutenant Governor is among the Forsyth County residents whose pay has been impacted by COVID-19.

Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan,  who previously served as a state Representative for District 26 from 2013 to 2017, announced on Wednesday that for the 2020-2021 budget cycle his salary will be cut 14% in response to the novel coronavirus's impact on the state budget. According to officials with Duncan's office, his budgeted annual salary is a little under $92,000, meaning the total cut would be nearly $13,000. 

“As we work through the budget process ahead of us it will be necessary for everyone to make sacrifices, and I will do my part and take a cut as well,” Duncan said in a news release. “The fiscal impact of the Coronavirus on our state’s budget is severe and the General Assembly is tasked with making serious cuts to government services and programs, which will affect the lives of the Georgians we serve. These are difficult times accompanied by a lot of uncertainty, but we are all a team and meaningful savings will come as we work together to make the required adjustment."

Recently, leaders of the state's House and Senate appropriations committees and Kelly Farr, director of the Governor's Office of Planning and Budget sent a memo asking agencies to prepare for cuts of 14% across the board, totaling nearly $4 billion. The memo made clear that no areas would be spared, including funding for education and public health.

Gov. Brian Kemp earlier this year had set a $28 billion revenue estimate for fiscal year 2021, which begins July 1. But that was before the coronavirus pandemic shuttered business across the country and left more than a million Georgians out of work. And a good part of the $2.8 billion in reserves that the state started the year with may be needed to plug holes in the current year's budget.

The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute last month suggested state revenues could drop by $3 billion or more next year. It's unclear whether the state will get federal aid to make up part of the gap.