Pressure to raise spending clear in Georgia budget talks

Georgia News

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Blake Tillery, left, and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Terry England sign a final agreement on Georgia’s state budget on Thursday, June 25, 2020. England and Tillery say they tried to avoid budget cuts that would most directly harm citizens even as they reduced state spending by more than $2 billion. (AP Photo/Jeff Amy)

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia lawmakers are racing to revise the current year’s budget, aiming to produce a reworked spending plan as early as next week.

But pressure is building to increase spending in the upcoming budget that begins July 1.

Gov. Brian Kemp ordered most noneducation agencies to present budgets that propose the same funding as this year, when funding was slashed by an average of 10%.

More money would mean more mental health services, more state troopers on the road, and could help augment a public health departments hard-pressed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Deciding how much money lawmakers can spend is a power that legally belongs to Kemp.

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