The Senate Appropriations Committee has unanimously approved an $18.2 billion budget for the coming fiscal year. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jack Hill said Monday exploding growth in the state's Medicaid rolls and a huge hole in the state health benefit plan contributed to a $180 million gap in health funding.
State lawmakers only have seven working days left in this year’s legislative session. Monday, they reconvene for day-34 on the calendar. It begins a full five-day week. Within their work, legislators will cast final votes on some key issues, including the budget, Sunday alcohol sales and possibly immigration.
The House has approved an $18.25 billion spending plan that boosts health insurance premiums for state employees and teachers by 20 percent but also restores some money for school nurses and low-income Medicaid recipients.
The budget plan for Georgia's next fiscal year is ready for a House vote. Meanwhile, the bill to revamp and save the state's HOPE scholarship program has cleared both chambers of the Geneal Assembly, and is ready for Governor Nathan Deal's signature.
A sweeping overhaul of the state's lottery-funded HOPE scholarship has rapidly cleared two hurdles in the Georgia Legislature. The House Appropriations Committee approved the bill 60-2 Thursday morning soon after the higher education subcomittee signed off on it.
Cities and counties are losing millions in fees intended to boost 911 call centers. Now, there's a legislative push to get that money back into local coffers. At issue are fees from sales of prepaid cell phones and packages of minutes bought to restock those phones. The extra $1.50 charge is supposed to go to technology upgrades for emergency call centers. But in recent years, money from those fees has gone into the state’s general fund during tough budget times.