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House passes budget, as GOP rejects Democrat Medicaid gambit

Georgia Capitol
Posted at 2:41 PM, Mar 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-05 14:41:55-05

ATLANTA, Ga. (AP) — Georgia’s House on Friday voted 136-31 to pass a $27.2 billion budget.

The spending plan puts back a fraction of the money that was cut last year. As part of the debate, Republicans are spurning a Democratic attempt to more widely expand the Medicaid health insurance program.

Republican House Speaker David Ralston and others laud the House’s effort to add more money for mental health care in, replacing most of the money that was cut last year.

The state would spend $27.2 billion in state tax money, plus billions more in federal money. That’s up from $26.6 billion this year.

Gov. Brian Kemp had already proposed spending $22 million more on mental health, but House members want an overall increase of $58 million. The House would spend more on service providers, including $12.3 million for a 5% rate increase for providers of adult intellectual and developmental disability services.

The budget begins July 1. It now moves to the Senate for more debate.