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Thursday, March 10, 2011 - 6:37am

House To Vote On Budget

The $18.25 billion spending plan expected to be up for a full house vote Friday has some changes from Governor Nathan Deal’s proposal.

The budget had to account for a loss of some billion dollars in federal stimulus funds for education and Medicaid.

Herb Garrett with the Association for Schools Superintendents says most schools will be worse off financially next year.

"The simple fact of the matter is that local school systems know that because of loss of federal funds and continuation of the austerity cuts that they’re going to have less money next year than they do this year but they’ve known that for some time."

Garrett says many schools will have to furlough teachers. The budget also calls for a 20 percent hike of their insurance premiums to help make up for a $250 million hole.

Overall, Margaret Cicarelli with the Professional Association of Georgia Educators says it’s going to be rough year.

"It’s going to be very difficult for teachers who haven’t seen a cost of living raise in several years and many have seen a reduction in local salary supplement given to them by local school systems. This 20 percent hike couldn’t have come at a worst time for them and their families."

On Medicaid…the governor proposed cutting doctor reimbursement rates one percent—half of it has been restored.

House lawmakers also put podiatry and dental services back in for adults.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.