Budget writers in Georgia’s House want to preserve money for mental health, substance abuse, public defenders, agricultural research and diverting people away from prison.

While overall spending won’t rise above the cuts proposed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, the House Appropriations Committee voted Tuesday to shift tens of millions to protect programs lawmakers have been trying to build up.

“Those are and have been priorities of the General Assembly, of the House and the Senate, and we feel very strongly about making sure those efforts continue,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman Terry England, an Auburn Republican.