ATLANTA — Tonight, Georgia lawmakers adjourn a historic 2020 legislative session as Georgians continue to call for action on police brutality, dangerous budget shortfalls, and coronavirus, which continues to spread across the state. But in the face of these crises, Georgia Republicans have refused to take real action — instead endangering Georgians’ future.
Here’s what happened:
As the coronavirus surges in Georgia, hitting record highs in the last week, Georgia Republicans have refused to take action to fully expand Medicaid or make health care more accessible. Instead, Governor* Brian Kemp said that his lack of action “has done very well for us” as the rising spread of the virus threatens to erase what little progress Georgia had made.
Instead of taking steps to repeal the Stand Your Ground Law that helped kill Ahmaud Arbery or engage in strong criminal justice reform, Georgia Republicans undermined a hate crimes bill by forcing through an expansive police protections bill that advocates say is dangerous for the Black community.
Republicans’ budget slashes nearly a billion dollars from public schools and defunds public health programs in the middle of a global pandemic— instead of making common-sense steps to increase revenue and protect public services.
“Throughout this legislative session, Georgia Republicans have shown that even a global crisis won’t guilt them into doing the right thing, whether they’re defunding health care during a pandemic or hijacking a hate crimes bill as Black Americans die from police brutality,” said Democratic Party of Georgia Chairwoman Nikema Williams. “Every step of the way, Georgia Republicans have failed to meet this moment in history and help the people of this state — which is why this will be their last session in the majority.”