ATLANTA – In his Friday column for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, AJC reporter Jim Galloway joined Georgians across the state in pointing out a key flaw in Gov.* Brian Kemp’s legislative agenda — it’s full of extreme solutions in search of a problem.
Galloway points out that right after Kemp bragged about economic growth, he took the drastic step of ordering “hundreds of millions of dollars in austerity cuts” from the budget, which promise to hurt essential services for Georgians.
But there’s more to Kemp’s distractions:
“In his annual State of the State address on Thursday, Kemp also declared gang violence to be a crisis in the state, even as U.S. Justice Department figures show that in 2018, violent crime in Georgia was down 13% from 2011 – and in fact has been in sharp decline since the 1990s.”
Kemp’s extreme and unnecessary focus on gang violence is sharpened by his willingness to scrap the successful bipartisan criminal justice reform efforts that were the legacy of his predecessor, Republican Gov. Nathan Deal. Kemp’s proposed budget cuts Deal’s legacy by over $2 million — and is already drawing criticism from Republicans.
Jason Pye, a Republican operative, criticized Kemp’s choices, saying “It’s really frustrating to see the reforms that corresponded to a subsequent decline in violent crime in Georgia aren’t being recognized by this governor as the success that they are.”
This certainly isn’t the first time Brian Kemp has put his commitment to his extreme agenda over Georgians, or even the facts — and it certainly won’t be the last.