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State Senate committee passes $53 billion state budget

Blake Tillery
Senator Blake Tillery (R-Vidalia) chairs the Georgia Senate Appropriations Committee

A Georgia Senate committee has given the go-ahead to a $53 billion dollar state budget, and the full Senate could vote as early as tomorrow. But that doesn’t mean the budget is a done deal.

There are a few key differences between the senate’s version of the state budget and the version passed by lawmakers in the State House earlier this year. Those differences will have to be worked out before state lawmakers can send the budget over to Governor Brian Kemp for his signature or veto.

Among those differences are additional pay raises for health care providers at mental hospitals and more money for some prison guards. Those pay bumps were included in the House version, but senators cut them in favor of more money to reward good outcomes in the Medicaid program and local mental health service providers.

If the Senate passes their version of the budget, the next stage for lawmakers will be negotiations over a final proposal that both chambers can support.

Martin Matheny is WUGA's Program Director and a host and producer of our local news program 'Athens News Matters.' He started at WUGA in 2012 as a part-time classical music host and still hosts WUGA's longest-running local program 'Night Music' which is heard on WUGA and GPB Classical. He lives in Normaltown with his wife, Shaye and dog, Murphy.
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