This past Thursday, Feb. 16, Georgia House Leaders have thrown their support behind the state budget for the upcoming fiscal year. This budget includes a pay raise for 200,000 state employees and teachers and over $1 billion would fund construction projects.
The fiscal year for 2018 begins July 1 and a lot of the spending plan corresponds with what Gov. Nathan Deal suggested during the first week in session. This plan would give a 2% salary increase for most state employees and teachers. Deal signed the mid-year budget, which ends June 30, this past Wednesday and it includes a 20% pay raise for state law enforcement.
These plans would bring overall state spending to $25 billion, $49 billion if you include federal funds. When population growth and inflation are taken into account, officials say, the state is spending about the same as it was at the end of the 1990s.
To ensure the states’ Teachers Retirement System remains strong this year’s budget will include $223 million. Officials stated that this payment is one of the biggest subsidies, if not the biggest, in the history of the program.
The House voted on the budget on Friday, Feb. 17. It will be headed to the Senate next. Final approval must be given by all lawmakers before the 2017 session is closed.