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Text of Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's State of the State Speech

ATLANTA (AP) — Text of Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s State of the State speech given on Jan. 25, 2023. Remarks as ready:

Lt. Governor Jones, Speaker Burns, President Professional Tem Kennedy, Speaker Professional Tem Jones, contributors of the Normal Meeting, Constitutional Officials, Mayor Dickens, contributors of the judiciary, contributors of the consular corps, and my fellow Georgians:

After I delivered my first State of the State cope with on this chamber 4 years in the past, little did we all know the unparalleled demanding situations that have been prior to us.

Now, at the different aspect of my first time period, we’ve got conquer each and every of the ones demanding situations, in combination, and we’ve got risen to the instance each and every time alternate has come.

Talking of alternate, each and every chamber has new management than after I started my first time period, and I wish to congratulate Lt. Governor Jones and Speaker Burns once more on their elections, in conjunction with the newly elected leaders and appointed committee chairs in each the Senate and Space. I additionally wish to congratulate my fellow Constitutional Officials on their contemporary victories.

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During the last 4 years, our best achievements have been completed when each chambers labored hand-in-hand with my administrative center to position the folks of our state first – forward of the established order.

Our long run as a state depends on that partnership, to do the suitable factor for our voters, even if it will not be simple.

Every of you has my dedication to proceed that paintings, in combination.

That’s nice for our whole state, as a result of I imagine this consultation can be one in every of end result.

I’m proud to document that on account of the root we’ve got constructed, in combination, during the last 4 years, on account of the resilience proven via the folks of Georgia, on account of the unravel they proceed to turn, the state of our state hasn’t ever been more potent and extra resilient!

This consultation, we can now not best construct at the huge achievements of the previous 4 years, we can set Georgia on a trail of greatness for generations to come back.

This previous yr particularly used to be unparalleled for financial good fortune within the Peach State.

In not up to three hundred and sixty five days, we introduced 4 of the biggest financial building tasks in state historical past. Simply the ones 4 tasks by myself will deliver over 20,000 new jobs and over $17 billion in funding to rural communities throughout Georgia.

The ones good-paying jobs are in fields that may outline the following era of producing, and that long run can be made proper right here in Georgia.

And we aren’t slowing down.

Simply final week, we discovered that within the first part of this fiscal yr, our top-ranked Division of Financial Construction helped to announce 17,500 new jobs and greater than $13 billion in funding coming to Georgia.

I’m particularly proud that, as soon as once more, 85% of the ones jobs are coming to spaces out of doors metro Atlanta!

And the excellent news is our metro spaces proceed to thrive on this atmosphere, with natural expansion generated via nice insurance policies and a pro-business method that we’ve got all labored with companions within the non-public sector to create.

I wish to thank the hardworking women and men of the Georgia Division of Financial Construction who helped us deliver the ones exceptional ranges of alternative to communities all throughout our state!

One member of that workforce is right here with us nowadays. Yoonie Kim serves as Director of Korean Funding, and she or he’s been instrumental in bringing actually billions of greenbacks and hundreds of jobs to Georgia communities.

Yoonie, will you please stand and allow us to thanks for that nice paintings?

I additionally wish to thank the Normal Meeting for his or her contributions to this effort. I can’t overstate how important your toughen is with regards to successful in those aggressive environments, whilst additionally offering a nice go back on funding.

Due to the collective paintings of the ones on this chamber, those that got here prior to us, and native management throughout Georgia, we’ve been named the No. 1 state for enterprise for 9 years in a row.

However regardless of all we’ve got accomplished, there’s a rising chance to that No. 1 standing – the will for extra staff and high quality properties the place they may be able to lift a circle of relatives in the similar group the place they paintings.

This yr, the budgets I offered to you’re making vital steps in addressing each problems.

We’re striking treasured state bucks the place our priorities are, together with each and every stage of training to develop a era of extremely professional staff.

In truth, between each budgets we can dedicate an extra $1.9 billion to training and completely fund the QBE Formulation.

We’re increasing and reinforcing the body of workers pipeline at each and every stage, together with the place it starts – in our Ok-12 school rooms.

Hardworking lecturers are probably the most impactful components of this pipeline. We’re lucky to have one in every of them right here with us nowadays. She’s a first-grade trainer at Hahira Basic College in Lowndes County. All the way through the pandemic, like such a lot of others who serve in our school rooms, she went above and past for her scholars.

Lauren Plair, will you please stand and allow us to thanks on your provider?

Lauren is now in her 5th yr of training, a milestone when educators frequently really feel burnt out and believe leaving the occupation.

To stay our highest and brightest in the study room, after I first ran for governor, I promised to boost trainer pay via $5,000. Along with your assist, we totally delivered on that pledge.

To praise those that proceed to serve after the hardships of the pandemic, my FY 2024 funds proposes but any other $2,000 pay lift for lecturers like Lauren.

Whilst some politicians have endured to grouse about trainer pay in Georgia, let me provide the details:

In overall, we can have given hardworking educators a $7,000 pay lift in simply 5 years. No different Normal Meeting or governor may have raised trainer pay via such a lot, so briefly, in state historical past!

With the passage of this funds, the common trainer wage in Georgia may even now be over $7,000 upper than the Southeast regional moderate.

However we all know that lecturers don’t simply want extra pay and sources, additionally they want reinforcements.

That’s why I’m furthering the trainer body of workers pipeline measures we put into position all the way through my first time period thru certification grants that may assist paraprofessionals turn into lecturers.

With this one funding, we can upload with reference to 5,000 new lecturers to our training body of workers!

However we additionally know the body of workers pipeline extends into our world-class universities and technical schools.

For this reason, for the primary time in over a decade – and within the thirtieth yr of each this program and the Georgia Lottery – we’re as soon as once more satisfying

Governor Zell Miller’s imaginative and prescient and returning HOPE Scholarship and Grant awards to 100% of tuition!

These days, we’re joined via one of the crucial scholars and long run staff who has benefited from Governor Miller’s legacy and the toughen of this Normal Meeting.

“Oba” Samaye is a HOPE Scholarship scholar at our Nationwide Championship successful College of Georgia. He’s a first-generation

faculty scholar and the oldest of 5 youngsters. His father is a retired Army veteran and pastor and his mom could also be lately at school operating to turn into a health care provider.

By way of masking 100% of tuition – a coverage lengthy labored on via contributors of either side of the aisle – a scholar like Oba will obtain kind of $1,000 in more monetary help within the coming faculty yr.

Oba, will you upward thrust as we would like you endured good fortune?

We look ahead to your shiny long run and hope that you select a occupation right here in Georgia.

We will be able to additionally proceed to concentrate on apprenticeships, twin enrollment pathways, and levels aligned with the wishes of task creators to develop our skill pipeline.

However the place will scholars like Oba and the ones Lauren teaches reside once they get into the body of workers? As a result of our efforts, there’s better alternative in each and every ZIP code in Georgia, however a lot of the ones communities fight to offer ok body of workers housing.

However transformational tasks, good-paying jobs, and new funding are price little if there aren’t choices for hardworking Georgians to reside the place they paintings. We’re speaking concerning the people who find themselves instructing your youngsters, maintaining your group protected, who supply life-saving toughen in occasions of hassle, and people who make the products and give you the services and products that make a group this kind of great spot to name house.

For this reason I’m developing the Rural Personnel Housing Fund, enabling the state to spouse at once with native governments to expand websites around the state for body of workers housing.

I’m additionally keen to peer answers that may come from others in the following couple of months.

And as hardworking Georgians in finding alternative and the standard housing that includes it, additionally they should reside, paintings, and worship in protection.

That is one thing everybody on this chamber can agree on, and no factor of public protection has won extra bipartisan toughen than the regulation championed via the country’s highest first woman – Marty Kemp – and our 3 ladies.

Running along companions at the Grace Fee, like Speaker Professional Tem Jones, Lawyer Normal Chris Carr, the GBI, and others, they have got helped to make Georgia a opposed position for traffickers and a protected haven for sufferers.

Marty and her companions have labored tirelessly to make Georgians all the way through the state acutely aware of this evil trade.

Due to that nice paintings, lives were stored, youngsters were got rid of from unhealthy eventualities, and offenders were put at the back of bars the place they may be able to now not make sufferers of the blameless.

I’d like to invite Marty, the women, and others representing the GRACE Fee to face in order that we will be able to thank them.

This yr, we can construct on their nice paintings via expanding consequences for the ones organizations required to offer sources on the best way to spot human trafficking and what movements are had to prevent it, however who sadly fail to take action.

Like Marty’s prior regulation, I’m positive it is going to obtain overwhelming, bipartisan toughen!

I additionally wish to thank the Normal Meeting once more on your toughen of the receiving facilities the place sufferers in finding assist and hope. This is definitely a useful resource that used to be and remains to be severely wanted.

We will be able to additionally proceed to take violent offenders out of our communities. For a long way too many Georgians, the security in their households and houses is put in danger via the unchecked crimes of side road gangs.

Early in my first time period, we created the GBI’s Anti-Gang Job Pressure to take the combat to those criminals. And final yr, you gave the state a brand new device to verify justice – the Gang Prosecution Unit within the Administrative center of Lawyer Normal Chris Carr.

I’m thankful that the Lawyer Normal and his workforce have already indicted over fifty gang contributors in simply the primary six months of status up this unit, with extra at the manner!

The place native district legal professionals are unwilling to confront those violent offenders, the Gang Prosecution Unit is greater than succesful and prepared to step in.

These days, the legal professional normal is joined via the pinnacle of his Prosecution Department, John Fowler; the pinnacle of the Gang Prosecution Unit, Cara Convery; and the pinnacle of the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit, Hannah Palmquist. Would you 4 please stand and allow us to thanks?

We now have made nice strides in curtailing crime. However now, this combat is coming into a brand new section, and regulation enforcement wishes your assist to proceed to reach good fortune.

In communities throughout our state, gangs are actively recruiting youngsters as younger as fundamental faculty scholars into a lifetime of crime. They’re focused on probably the most blameless amongst us, pulling them down a dismal trail that too frequently results in both a jail cellular or the cemetery.

For this reason, in conjunction with the Lawyer Normal, I’m proposing regulation that may build up consequences for the ones seeking to recruit our youngsters right into a gang.

Let me be transparent: come after our youngsters, and we can come after you!

I do know Lt. Governor Burt Jones and his workforce also are actively operating at the broader factor of gang violence… and we look ahead to partnering with

them on the ones efforts. My management is grateful for his willpower to this pressing downside.

I additionally know there’s robust, bipartisan toughen for our state regulation enforcement, together with the courageous women and men of the state patrol beneath Col. Chris Wright’s management.

Simply final week, we have been reminded once more in their steadfast braveness and the risks they face each day.

Whilst serving to to transparent the website online of the longer term Atlanta Public Protection Coaching Facility of militant activists, a trooper used to be shot with out caution or simply motive. He used to be rushed to the health facility and persisted more than one surgical procedures and days of critical ache, however identical to all soldiers, he has refused to surrender.

Only some blocks from the place you’re sitting, he continues to recuperate. He and his spouse have each our thank you and our prayers.

I had the danger to satisfy with them previous this week, and his unravel remains to be robust, however he continues to want our prayers.

Simply this previous weekend, when out-of-state rioters attempted to deliver violence to the streets of our capital town, State Patrol, sheriff’s deputies, and the Atlanta police briefly introduced peace and order. That’s simply the most recent instance of why right here in Georgia, we’ll at all times again the blue!

This morning, we’re joined via any other trooper, one that serves from the skies.

Ultimate yr, helicopter pilot Sergeant Brad Harrison – in conjunction with a tactical flight officer and a spotter – won a decision to lend a hand with a seek and rescue operation in Chattooga County. Somewhat boy, not more than 5 years previous, used to be misplaced, and like several people could be, his circle of relatives used to be frantic.

Due to the talent and fast paintings of Sergeant Harrison and his staff, they have been in a position to find the boy in a box, information soldiers to his location whilst circling above, and make certain that the kid used to be safely returned to his folks.

Sergeant Harrison, please stand and make allowance us to thanks on your nice paintings and commemorated provider.

Those and different public protection officials on each the state and native ranges are the unsung heroes we don’t at all times pay attention about as a result of their acts of provider are given with out expectation or reservation.

In gentle of this previous weekend’s occasions, when women and men in uniform are striking themselves in hurt’s manner and actually within the line of fireplace, you’ll be able to consider their frustration when the sort of criminals finally ends up proper again out in the street in a question of hours simply to terrorize the ones streets additional.

I recognize {that a} Fulton County pass judgement on denied bond for 4 of the six rioters arrested final Saturday, and gave the opposite two bonds of over $355,000, in conjunction with a 24-hour curfew and ankle screens. Sadly, this method isn’t common around the judicial device.

Whilst some won’t take this factor significantly, I will guarantee I do. We will be able to and we will have to do something positive about the revolving door of prison justice! And I look ahead to operating with this legislature to get it executed.

Along with our public protection officials, we’re additionally thankful for our healthcare heroes, and easily put, we want extra of them.

At the moment, there are 67 counties with not up to 10 physicians. And Georgia’s want for extra nurses is easily documented. That’s why I’m proposing over $4.5 million in mortgage compensation techniques to develop the choice of healthcare staff in Georgia. I’m additionally calling for an extra 102 residency slots thru an funding of $1.7 million. With those additions, we can exceed the preliminary objective choice of this program.

And I’m proud to document that the cutting edge answers we’ve delivered to Georgia’s healthcare demanding situations proceed to deliver nice effects. After I first signed the bipartisan Sufferers First Act in 2019, no counties had greater than two medical health insurance carriers. These days, 86% of Georgia counties have 3 or extra carriers.

And whilst others have known as for increasing one-size-fits none, large executive well being techniques, due to our insurance policies, enrollment within the person marketplace has greater than doubled since 2019 to over 700,000 Georgians.

Due to our reinsurance program, we’re additionally saving hardworking households increasingly of their wallets. In all, we’ve lowered premiums via a mean of 12.4% around the state. That represents a mean annual top class relief of virtually $1,000 a yr.

In rural counties, the place top class costs have been the least reasonably priced after I took administrative center, the reinsurance program has lowered premiums from 25% to over 40%.

Along with those inventions, along with your assist we expanded Medicaid protection to a complete yr after a mom offers beginning. To toughen new moms much more, my workforce is proposing regulation that may permit pregnant ladies who qualify to obtain TANF advantages. Prior to now, they have been not able to use for such help till after the kid used to be born.

I do know this measure is supported via many on this chamber, and I’m thankful on your backing.

Since 2018, our state has spent over $15.3 billion on Medicaid, with a 9% build up in spending over that point. However whilst the state spends increasingly, Georgians aren’t seeing an development in care they obtain. Right here in Georgia, we’re taking an cutting edge and sustainable method.

The Georgia Pathways to Protection program used to be negotiated in nice religion with the government in order that shall we make bigger get admission to to medical health insurance for many who want it probably the most, whilst additionally maintaining the standard of protection.

However it used to be the Biden Management that not on time its release for over a yr, till a pass judgement on threw out their biased objections to this cutting edge method.

Sure, the ones are the details. In the case of healthcare for hardworking Georgians, the Biden Management would moderately play partisan politics than get other folks insured and decrease prices.

Other people, we don’t have time to attend on Washington, and I don’t have a lot endurance for D.C. posturing!

We’re shifting ahead, and we’re on track for a release date of July 1 of this yr. To satisfy that objective, I’m allocating $52 million to face this program up and fasten the ones in wish to its advantages.

Right here’s any other truth, upwards of 345,000 Georgians may just qualify for the Pathways program and healthcare protection for the primary time, with out a adjustments for many who qualify for normal Medicaid.

And in contrast to Medicaid growth, Georgia Pathways won’t kick 200,000 Georgians off their non-public sector insurance coverage.

In our state, we wish extra other folks to be coated at a lower price with extra choices for sufferers. And I’m proud to mention that Georgia Pathways and Get admission to achieve this objective!

All the way through this legislative consultation, I wish to inspire the women and men all the way through this chamber to believe now not simply the Georgia of nowadays, however the Georgia of generations from now.

3 years in the past, at my State of the State simply prior to the pandemic hit, I shared the phrases of Nehemiah who refused to decelerate or prevent his efforts to rebuild his fatherland, regardless of heavy drive to take action. He at all times delivered the similar message: “I’m doing an excellent paintings and will’t come down.”

All the way through the pandemic and later on, we’ve got been reminded that our paintings continues. And all the way through this consultation, we must be too busy to come back down into the dust of politics. We now have a lot paintings to do, and we wish to get it executed for the folks depending on us.

Right here firstly of a brand new consultation, a brand new time period, and a brand new technology for our state, we’ve got a chance to make choices that may affect our youngsters’s grandchildren, if we do it proper and in combination.

The campaigns have all been run and the folks have spoken. They’ve given us our marching orders, and it’s time to get again to paintings! So, for the Georgians of nowadays and day after today… let’s get it executed.

Thanks, God bless you, and would possibly God proceed to bless the nice State of Georgia.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This subject matter will not be printed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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