Key House panel backs record $23.7 billion state budget

A record $23.7 billion state budget for the upcoming fiscal year won support from a key House panel Thursday in the spending plan’s first major step toward becoming law.

The budget for fiscal 2017, which begins July 1, includes a 3 percent payroll increase meant to allow school districts and state agencies to give raises to 200,000 teachers and state employees.

House budget writers also added millions to increase payments to doctors and nursing homes who treat or house Georgians on Medicaid, the government health care program. In addition, the plan bills school districts an additional $60 million to provide health care to non-certified employees, such as school bus drivers and cafeteria workers.

The spending plan is expected to be considered by the House Friday, and then will head to the Senate.

Check back for updates on later today.

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