A proposal to expand casino-like video lottery terminals to help fund the HOPE Scholarship program appears to be dead. When Governor Nathan Deal unveiled his own plan to fix HOPE this week, he rejected expanding gambling. And that pleased officials on Jekyll Island, where Republican State Representative Ron Stephens of Savannah proposed putting terminals.
State House lawmakers Thursday passed an $18 billion midyear budget to carry the state through the end of the fiscal year June 30. The plan included the restoration of a popular meals program for seniors. Additional money, about $14 million, for hospitals that care for large numbers of poor patients. And the plan also eliminates six state-funded crime victim’s advocates and closes two youth detention centers.