Brian Kemp in 2019 Governor's State of the State speeches


On Budget & Economy: Georgians First Commission: more diverse economy

Through the Georgians First Commission, we will review regulations that make it difficult for job creators to hire, expand, and invest. We will work to make government more efficient and put hardworking Georgians first. I am confident that we can build a stronger, more diverse economy. We can add a new designation to Georgia's resume: #1 for small business.

With conservative budgeting, Georgia has maintained a triple-A bond rating. Our Rainy Day Fund stands at $2.5 billion. Our fiscal house is in order. Last year, the Legislature lowered state income tax rates and fully funded public school education. I am confident we can do it again.

Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Georgia legislature Jan 17, 2019

On Crime: Address the growing threat of gang activity

It's time to renew our commitment to public safety. As governor, I am committed to addressing the rise of gang activity in our state--a growing threat requiring our immediate attention. According to a recent survey conducted by the Georgia Gang Investigators Association, there are over 71,000 validated gang affiliates and 1,500 suspected gang networks in our state. These gangs are pawns for Mexican drug cartels--pushing opioids and drugs, buying and selling children for sex. My budget proposal includes $500,000 in initial funds to form a gang taskforce within the GBI. This highly qualified group of experienced law enforcement personnel and prosecutors will work with local district attorneys and law enforcement to stop and dismantle street gangs. By utilizing the Criminal Gang and Criminal Alien Database, and working with the Attorney General, federal, state, and local partners, we can undermine organized crime. Together, we can build a safer future for all Georgia families.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Georgia legislature Jan 17, 2019

On Crime: Give non-violent offenders a second chance at life

There's no doubt that criminal justice reform will be a lasting legacy of the Deal administration. Without question, the leadership of Governor Deal and the General Assembly has changed our state for the better. I look forward to supporting initiatives that save costs, strengthen communities, and give non-violent offenders a second chance at life. To keep all Georgians safe, we must build on these reform efforts.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Georgia legislature Jan 17, 2019

On Drugs: Deport drug cartel kingpins

The Georgia Gang Investigators Association [concludes] there are over 71,000 validated gang affiliates and 1,500 suspected gang networks in our state. These gangs are pawns for Mexican drug cartels--pushing opioids and drugs, buying and selling children for sex. By utilizing the Criminal Gang and Criminal Alien Database, which will be funded with existing resources from the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, we can track and deport drug cartel kingpins who are terrorizing our communities.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Georgia legislature Jan 17, 2019

On Education: Invest in those who educate: keep teacher pay competitive

To enhance educational outcomes and build a 21st century state, we must invest in those who educate, inspire, and lead our students. 44% of Georgia teachers leave the profession in less than five years. To recruit and retain the best and brightest in our schools, we must remove heavy burdens in the classroom and keep teacher pay competitive.

My 2020 budget proposal includes a $3,000 permanent salary increase for certified Georgia teachers. This is the largest pay increase for teachers in Georgia history and serves as a sizable down payment on my promise to ultimately raise pay by $5,000. We also include a 2% merit increase for all state employees. These hardworking Georgians play a vital role in serving our families and crafting Georgia's future. We must continue to reward their efforts.

Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Georgia legislature Jan 17, 2019

On Education: $69 million in one-time funding for school security grants

We must prioritize school safety. In the amended budget for 2019, I have included $69 million in one-time funding for school security grants. All 2,294 public schools in our state will receive $30,000 to implement school security priorities determined by local school boards, administrators, teachers, parents, and students. But to keep our classrooms safe, we must also address the mental health issues that often lead to school violence.

With $8.4 million in additional funding through the successful APEX program, we can focus on mental health in Georgia high schools. These professionals will engage with struggling students and provide critical resources to prevent disruptive and aggressive behavior. They will inspire, mentor, and keep our students safe. Together, we will secure our classrooms and protect our state's most treasured asset--our children.

Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Georgia legislature Jan 17, 2019

On Health Care: Rural counties deserve a patient-centered healthcare system

While different parts of our state have unique challenges and concerns, all Georgians deserve a patient-centered healthcare system that puts families first. The status quo is unacceptable. Seventy-nine counties have no OB/GYN. Sixty-four counties have no pediatrician. Nine counties have no doctor. Insurers are leaving the state, and hardworking Georgians are struggling to pay their premiums.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Georgia legislature Jan 17, 2019

On Health Care: Don't expand the broken Medicaid system

We have included $1 million in the Department of Community Health's budget to craft state flexibility options for Georgia's Medicaid program. We will expand access without expanding a broken system that fails to deliver for patients. We will drive competition and improve quality while encouraging innovation. I will work with the legislature to grow the rural hospital tax credit, tackle the doctor shortage, and build a healthier Georgia.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Georgia legislature Jan 17, 2019

On Technology: Hi-speed internet for Great Recession in rural Georgia

While places like Atlanta, Augusta, Savannah, and Columbus continue to grow and thrive, it still feels like the Great Recession in parts of Rural Georgia. Businesses are closing. Opportunities are drying up. People are losing faith. As governor, I will work to ensure that someone's potential is not determined by their zip code or county. By working with the House Rural Development Council and their colleagues in the Senate, we can expand access to high-speed internet, quality healthcare, and good education. Through strategic partnerships, we can ensure that every part of our state has access to opportunity - that kids can graduate and raise their families where they were raised, that local companies in Rural Georgia can thrive, that farmers and agribusiness leaders can get their Georgia Grown products to the marketplace, and that every Georgian is equipped with the right tools to succeed.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Georgia legislature Jan 17, 2019

The above quotations are from 2019 Governor's State of the State speeches.
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Page last updated: Mar 19, 2019