GEORGIA – Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a new budget proposal Friday that calls for $32.4 billion in state funds and $55.9 billion overall including federal and other spending.
The governor increased spending in the current budget year by $2.4 billion from the original state budget of $30.1 billion set earlier this year.
A large chunk of the spending will go toward education.
All state employees including public school teachers, technical college employees, librarians and public university employees will receive a $2,000 raise while K-12 school cafeteria workers, bus drivers and nurses will get a 5% salary boost.
Georgia is also reinstating covering full tuition for HOPE Scholarships for all high school graduates earning a B average starting next fall, and HOPE scholars who have below B average will have 90% of tuition paid.
Kemp said restoring full eligibility for the HOPE Scholarship would save the average student $444 per year.
In addition, the budget also boosts HOPE Scholarship payments to private college students in Georgia.
The state will also cover full tuition for Zell Miller Scholars who earn higher grades and a minimum standardized test score.
The bill also includes an incentive for the police.
Law enforcement officers including state troopers will also get a $6,000 raise under the new proposal.
The changes are expected to go into effect on July 1.