Georgia Senate leaders back big state law enforcement raises

Senate Appropriations Chairman Sen. Jack Hill, R-Reidsville, will present the mid-year budget containing 20 percent raises for more than 3,000 state law enforcement to his chamber on Thursday. JASON GETZ / JGETZ@AJC.COM

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Senate Appropriations Chairman Sen. Jack Hill, R-Reidsville, will present the mid-year budget containing 20 percent raises for more than 3,000 state law enforcement to his chamber on Thursday. JASON GETZ / JGETZ@AJC.COM

Georgia Senate leaders approved a midyear spending plan Tuesday that adds $600 million to this year’s budget and provides money to give state law enforcement 20 percent raises.

On Thursday the full Senate is expected to approve the supplemental budget, which runs through June 30. The House passed the measure last month, and the Senate made few changes to the bill.

It includes about $27 million to give a 20 percent pay raise to thousands of state law enforcement officers, $50 million for a new cybersecurity program in Augusta and $109 million more for public schools.

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The raises go to about 3,300 state law enforcement officers.

Most of what the House approved and the Senate will consider Thursday is included in Gov. Nathan Deal’s budget proposal that was released during the first week of the session.

House leaders, however, added $5 million to Deal's emergency fund to deal with the killer tornadoes that struck South Georgia, and the Senate agreed with the move.

The House, meanwhile, has begun concentrating on the $25 billion spending plan for fiscal 2018, which begins July 1.

Both chambers must approve the budgets before the General Assembly session ends.