The Georgia House of Representatives on Friday approved a $25 billion state budget, which includes salary raises for thousands of state employees.
Under the spending plan, teachers and other state employees would get 2 percent pay raise starting the next fiscal year. The budget also calls for child welfare caseworkers to receive 19 percent pay raises. The budget now moves to the state Senate for consideration.
"It's about jobs, reform, education and our growing state for the future," said state Rep. Terry England, R-Auburn, chairman of the state House Appropriations Committee.
The budget also gives the Georgia Bureau of Investigation funds for more workers to process sexual assault evidence kits. Last year, lawmakers passed a bill to ensure kits got processed, some of which had been sitting in police evidence rooms or hospitals for years.
"GBI started testing these kits and, of course, like many things that we deal with here, once something like this starts there are many more than we ever realized were out there. So GBI has got quite a backlog," England said.