The Georgia General Assembly has approved an expansion of the state tax credit supporting scholarships at private schools.

Both the House and the Senate passed House Bill 217 on the Thursday, March 29, the final day of the legislative session. With the signature of Gov. Nathan Deal, the measure would increase the cap on the annual total of tax credits for donations to student scholarship organizations from $58 million to $100 million in 2019.

The SSOs include the Federation-established ALEF Fund, and the major beneficiaries of the law include students attending Jewish day schools and preschools.

Requests for the SSO tax credits year after year have far exceeded the $58 million cap, meaning that donors have gotten a prorated credit instead of the full amount they requested. That situation has led to a years-long battle to increase the cap.

H.B. 217 should increase the amount of scholarship money available to Jewish schools.

But the benefit is not permanent. At the insistence of Senate negotiators, the legislature includes a 10-year sunset provision, so the cap on the credit would return to $58 million in 2029 without further action.