published Friday, March 22nd, 2013

Georgia Senate approves state spending plan

ATLANTA — The Georgia Senate has adopted its version of a state operating budget.

With three days left in the session, top House and Senate members must reconcile their different versions.

Both chambers propose spending almost $41 billion in state and federal money during the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Each house approved cuts to most state agencies. But they also endorsed Gov. Nathan Deal’s proposals to spend more to extend the pre-kindergarten calendar from 170 days to 180 days and to add money to HOPE grants for technical college.

But there’s a long list of differences. The House version rejected Deal’s recommendation to cut payments to health care providers treating Medicaid recipients. The Senate scaled back Deal’s cut, but didn’t eliminate it. Instead, they direct new money to charter schools.

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