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Athens News Matters for March 29, 2023

On the final day of the 2023 legislative session, Georgia House and Senate leaders have come to a compromise on the $32.4 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year that includes raises for teachers, some state and university employees, and law enforcement officials.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the senate pushed to cut $105 million from the University System of Georgia, but after negotiation with the House, the cut was reduced to $66 million.

The state will spend $13 billion on K-12 schools during the 2024 fiscal year. Also in this deal, both chambers agree with Kemp’s proposal to fully fund HOPE scholarship awards at 100% tuition but are currently closer to a 90% funding agreement aside from high-achieving students who earn Zell Miller scholarships.

The spending plan additionally would borrow over $600 million for new construction projects, millions of that going towards projects at several of the state’s public universities.

Georgia Public Broadcasting would also receive a slash in funds with this deal but not the original 26% first proposed by the Senate.

The House and Senate both supported $1.25 million to open a Georgia State Patrol satellite post in Buckhead. This comes after efforts by some residents in the Atlanta neighborhood who were frustrated with Atlanta’s response to high rates of violent crime.

The final spending plan will be voted on later on Wednesday.

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.
Alexia Ridley joined WUGA as Television and Radio News Anchor and Reporter in 2013. When WUGA TV concluded operations, she became the primary Reporter for WUGA Radio. Alexia came to Athens from Macon where she served as the News Director and show host for WGXA TV. She's a career journalist and Savannah native hailing from the University of Michigan. However, Alexia considers herself an honorary UGA DAWG!
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