House passes $19.8 billion budget for upcoming year

The Georgia House on Tuesday passed a $19.8 billion spending plan for the upcoming year that includes more money for schools and about $800 million worth of borrowing for construction projects.

The budget for fiscal 2014, which begins July 1, now heads to the Senate for consideration. The measure passed the House 159-15.

House members approved filling holes in the state’s public health care programs and an increase in funding of a more than $200 million for k-12 schools.

About three-fourths of the new construction money would go for schools and libraries.

After the Senate votes on its version of the budget, the leaders of the two chambers will negotiate a final spending plan for the upcoming year. The General Assembly must pass a budget before ending the 2013 session, probably at the end of the month.