House okays FY ’19 state budget, Deal signs amended budget

[private]The Georgia House voted 155-14 Friday to adopt a $26 billion state budget for fiscal year 2019.

The spending plan, which totals $51 billion when federal funds are included, now moves to the state Senate with eight days to go in this year’s General Assembly session.

The “new money” in the budget includes $361 million to shore up the fiscal stability of the state’s Teacher Retirement System.

Lawmakers also included $8 million in grants to local school districts to bolster security efforts in the wake of a recent shooting at a Florida school. House Appropriations Chairman Terry England (R-Auburn) said he hopes the Senate will add another $8 million.

Although the budget passed overwhelmingly, some Democrats were dismayed that the Legislature still won’t fund Medicaid expansion.

“Sick people or those without health coverage living in rural communities will die, because Georgia has left them no choice,” said Rep. Kim Schofield (D-Atlanta). “We’re spending money on a pedestrian mall at the World Congress Center but we won’t spend the money to expand Medicaid.”

“When do people become number one?” said Rep. Derrick Jackson (D-Tyrone), noting the ranking of Georgia as “number one for business” by a real estate magazine. “We’re number 38 in our public education.”

Shortly before the House adoped the “big budget,” Gov. Nathan Deal signed the amended state budget for fiscal year 2018.

© 2018 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: state budget