Terry England was on a fifth-grade field trip when he first stepped inside Georgia’s House of Representatives at the State Capitol in Atlanta. Little did he know then that he’d become one of the chamber’s most important members, leading debate over the state’s $27 billion budget as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

England, a Republican from Barrow County, has overseen passage of 24 state budgets over his 12 legislative sessions as the House’s top budget-drafter. He’s one of the few state lawmakers who knows every nook and cranny of the budget, which funds Georgia’s public schools and colleges, Medicaid programs, state law enforcement, mental-health services and more than 68,000 government workers.

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