Kemp signs $27.3B state budget, will block police raises

Georgia

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp removes his face covering before speaking to reporters during a COVID-19 update in the Capitol, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia’s governor has signed a 2022 budget that restores some money to K-12 education, increases some mental health funding, and pays nursing home operators more.

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed the spending plan late Monday. It includes $27.3 billion in state money for the year starting July 1.

Kemp says he will block legislative plans to give raises to some state troopers and game wardens by creating new ranks, saying it would create inequities with other state law enforcement officers who won’t get raises.

The budget overall puts back a fraction of the $2.2 billion lawmakers cut last year when they feared a big drop in tax revenue because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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