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State employees, school workers to get raise
Gov. Brian Kemp - photo by Associated Press

ATLANTA –- Gov. Brian Kemp signed a $30.3 billion mid-year budget Wednesday that includes pay raises and bonuses for state employees and school workers.

The General Assembly increased state spending through June 30 by nearly $450 million above the mid-year budget Kemp recommended in January. Rising state tax collections gave lawmakers the added leeway.

Kemp cited his decision to keep the state’s economy open during the coronavirus pandemic for the strong revenue numbers.

“Georgia is in a unique position as we lead the nation in the great economic recovery,” the governor said during a signing ceremony at the state Capitol. “We chose to protect both lives and livelihoods during the pandemic.”

The mid-budget is highlighted by a $1.6 billion refund to Georgia taxpayers.

It also restores spending cuts to K-12 education imposed during the early months of the pandemic, and provides $2,000 one-time supplements to school nurses, custodians, cafeteria workers and school bus drivers.

State employees will see their annual pay increased by $5,000, with an additional $2,000 going to correctional officers in the juvenile and adult prison systems to reduce high turnover rates.

“These investments are all possible because of strong conservative leadership over the last few years,” said Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan. “The legislature and governor have worked together to understand how we shepherd through some of the toughest moments in our state’s history.”

The state House and Senate passed the mid-year budget last week.