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Budget With Employee, Retiree Raises Heads to Governor

budget money
Posted at 9:51 PM, Mar 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-22 17:58:52-04

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia lawmakers have approved a $23.7 billion budget plan giving raises to thousands of state employees and a one-time bonus for state retirees.

The plan approved Tuesday also encourages local school boards to raise teacher pay while narrowing previous cuts to public schools.

The spending plan for the financial year starting July 1 now goes to Gov. Nathan Deal. Deal can accept, revise or reject it.

Georgia's improving economy has allowed lawmakers to focus on how to spend money, rather than cuts required during the Great Recession. Lawmakers who oversee the budget say they focused on public safety and social services agencies.

Deal proposed 3 percent salary increases, with more for jobs seeing high turnover. Lawmakers later added higher increases for public health nurses and law enforcement at state agencies.