The Georgia House is about to take up an amended budget that slashes spending for the current year by $1.15 billion.
The amended 2010 budget of $17.4 billion, which covers state spending through June 30, calls for more unpaid furloughs for teachers and budget cuts of 6 percent to 8 percent for most state agencies.
At about 11 a.m. Thursday, House members were preparing for what could be a protracted discussion of the state’s funding priorities.
In the revised spending plan, House budget writers protected Gov. Sonny Perdue’s proposal to boost funding for mental health hospitals by $2.2 million, a system that is under federal scrutiny.
Also, no further cuts were made to basic school funding — beyond the $281 million Perdue already targeted for cuts. The House proposal puts $17 million back into a fund for low-wealth school districts, money Perdue had recommended cutting. The so-called equalization grants help certain districts make up for a lagging property tax base.