As 2020 Session Begins, One Thing Is Clear: Brian Kemp and the GOP’s Extreme Agenda is Bad For Georgians

January 13, 2020

ATLANTA – Today, lawmakers convene at the Gold Dome for Georgia’s 155th legislative session with the opportunity to lower healthcare costs, create jobs, and grow our economy – but Brian Kemp and Georgia Republicans have already set the stage for the most extreme session yet for Georgians. 

In the time leading up to session, Republican legislators and Governor* Brian Kemp have pushed through healthcare proposals that would gut essential health benefits for Georgians with pre-existing conditions, proposed a budget that slashes vital services for vulnerable Georgians, and doubled down on their commitment to an extreme agenda – even threatening to cut the immensely popular film tax credit, which is responsible for nearly 100,000 jobs. 

“Brian Kemp and the Georgia GOP have already shown their hand: by viciously slashing essential services and refusing to fully expand Medicaid, along with forcing through extreme, anti-business legislation, Republicans have chosen every time to stand with their own agenda over the people of Georgia,” said Nikema Williams, Chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Georgia. “While the GOP continues to advance extreme bills that legalize discrimination, Democrats will keep fighting them every step of the way. This session promises to be a desperate gasp of extremism by the Georgia Republican Party because Republicans know that this session will be their last one in the majority.” 

Here’s what we know: 

The Georgia GOP, led by Kemp, is waging an all-out assault on Georgians’ healthcare. 

  • Instead of fully expanding Medicaid to half a million people, which is supported by 7 in 10 Georgians, Kemp and Georgia Republicans put forward a reckless plan that guts essential health benefits for people with pre-existing conditions. 
  • Republicans’ healthcare plan “falls far short” of what full Medicaid expansion would do for the state, and allows for sham health insurance plans that don’t meet federal standards, putting Georgians at risk. 
  • The Kemp administration continues to be a part of the toxic Republican lawsuit that would repeal the Affordable Care Act, gutting protections for pre-existing conditions, and stripping 21 million Americans of their healthcare. 

Kemp’s disastrous budget cuts are hurting everyday Georgians by slashing essential services needed to survive. 

  • Kemp’s budget slashes state agencies by over half a billion dollars in “a picture of austerity not seen since the Great Recession.” 
  • These budget cuts have a real human cost, by primarily impacting programs that help vulnerable Georgians, including foster children, domestic violence and sexual assault victims, war veterans, and new mothers. 
  • An AJC poll last week revealed that 76% of Georgians oppose slashing essential programs for children, rural Georgians, and low-income families. 

Georgia Republicans won’t stop putting their extreme, partisan agenda before the needs of Georgians – taking our state backwards and ruining our economy. 

  • In 2019, Georgia Republicans proved that they’ll put their extreme agenda before the economy and women’s bodily autonomy by forcing through the abortion ban, causing top employers to threaten to leave the state. 
  • Republican legislators have already proposed anti-LGBTQ legislation that would legalize discrimination against Georgians based on who they are and who they love. 
  • Kemp has promised to sign the bill that “legalizes discrimination against LGBTQ Georgians,” which 500 businesses opposed and was even too extreme for former Governor Nathan Deal. 

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