ATLANTA (AP) - House and Senate leaders have formally approved a roughly $41 billion state operating budget comprised of state and federal money for the next fiscal year.
The next stop is the desk of Governor Nathan Deal. The final version looks a lot like what Deal pitched in January.
The state portion includes $19.9 billion, an increase of around $56 million.
The budget largely spares K-12 education from budget cuts, while many state agencies will see slight cuts. The pre-kindergarten school year will be expanded, as will HOPE grants for technical college students. Some of that money will also go to the Education Center at Robins Air Force Base and to Mercer University, though dollar amounts aren't certain yet.
Deal has called for cutting payment rates to health care providers treating Medicaid patients. Lawmakers rejected that idea.
The budget year begins July 1.