Ga. Democrats respond to Kemp’s State of the State address

State Sen. Harold Jones was among several Democrats who held a news conference after a State of...
State Sen. Harold Jones was among several Democrats who held a news conference after a State of the State speech by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Jan. 13, 2022.(WGCL)
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 3:28 PM EST
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ATLANTA (WGCL/CBS46) - A state senator for Richmond County accused Brian Kemp of focusing on made-up issues in Georgia schools when the governor gave his State of the State address Thursday.

Democratic state Sen. Harold Jones said the governor instead should have discussed funding to support schoolchildren who live in poverty.

Jones was among Democrats who held a news conference at the state Capitol after the Republican governor spoke, addressing issues that were not mentioned in the speech.

The Democrats said Kemp should use the budget surplus for Medicaid and raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour in addition to helping state employees.

Sen. Gloria Butler also said she was not surprised Kemp did not mention voting rights.

House Minority leader Dr. James Beverly said the governor is more concerned about getting guns in the hands of people than vaccines in the arms of Georgia’s residents. He also said constitutional carry — the governor’s plan to allow people to carry guns without having a permit — is 100% political and 0% public safety.

Sen. Elena Parent chimed in and said the timing of the reckless push to deregulate could not be worse.

Rep. Billy Mitchell said millions need to be spent on expanding rural broadband access. He also said farmers don’t care if a politician is Republican or Democrat; they just want to see results in rural communities.

Regarding transgender athletes and critical race theory, Rep. Matthew Wilson said Georgia’s children are the governor’s last political football.

The Democratic Party of Georgia also sent a statement saying, in part:

Today, Brian Kemp delivered his annual State of the State address, in which the embattled governor attempted to rewrite his disastrous record and proposed extreme policies that would leave our state further behind. In response, Rebecca Galanti, spokesperson for the Democratic Party of Georgia, released the following statement:

“Today’s State of the State address reeked of election-year grandstanding and showed us that Brian Kemp will continue to shamelessly put politics ahead of the actual needs of Georgia families and kids. If Kemp actually cared about Georgians’ wellbeing, he would fully expand Medicaid or mount a meaningful campaign to protect Georgians from COVID-19 – not work to ban books and put more guns on our streets. Make no mistake: the misguided priorities Kemp outlined today would endanger communities, threaten our kids’ education, and drive our state further apart.

“Despite his best efforts, Kemp will not be able to distract Georgians from his failed leadership with last-minute, long-overdue financial bumps for workers. Today’s address made it clearer than ever that Georgia deserves a strong Democratic governor who will put the people first and invest in hardworking Georgians all the time, not just during an election year. Georgia is ready for change, and come November, voters will make sure that this was Brian Kemp’s final State of the State address.”

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