The General Assembly gave its final vote Monday night to a $30.2 billion state budget that includes pay raises for state employees and Georgia teachers.

In the final hour of this year’s legislative session, the Georgia House of Representatives passed the 160-5 spending plan for fiscal year 2023. The state Senate had unanimously passed the budget more early in the day.

The budget, which takes effect July 1, will raise the salaries of most state employees by $5,000 and give state retirees their first cost-of-living adjustment in 14 years. Targeted increases will go to corrections officers in the adult and juvenile prison systems to try to stem the huge turnover rates.


Teachers, who saw a $3,000 raise in 2019, will receive an additional $2,000, honoring a campaign promise Governor Brian Kemp made four years ago to raise teachers’ salaries by $5. $000.

While state coffers are teeming with strong tax revenue from the pandemic, the budget increases spending by 10.8% over the budget passed by the General Assembly last spring. It includes an $11.8 billion investment in K-12 education, the largest in state history.

The spending plan also eliminates institutional fees that Georgia’s university system began charging students during the Great Recession and increases Medicaid coverage for low-income mothers in Georgia to a full year after the birth of their children, up from the current six months.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Blake Tillery issued a warning when he presented the budget to the Senate. While strong state tax collections have given lawmakers leeway for additional spending, there are signs of trouble for the economy, said Tillery, R-Vidalia.

“The storm clouds are on the horizon,” he said. “We need to know that and be honest with our constituents as we approach the next 12 months.”

The budget is now heading to Kemp’s office for his signature.

This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.