(Part-1) Political differences in Gov. Brian Kemp's election-year State of the State speech

 Gov. Brian Kemp used his State of the State speech to contrast his Republican mindset with Democrats in an election year when the presidency and all of Georgia's state House and Senate seats are on the ballot but Kemp doesn't run.

State and public school teachers' wallets benefit from that strong dosage of politics. Kemp proposes a 4% cost-of-living boost for public employees and a $2,500 teacher salary. Despite declining tax receipts, the state is on course for another multibillion-dollar surplus and has about $11 billion in cash.

Kemp on Thursday echoed his 2022 reelection economic message and his 2018 campaign promise to put “Georgians First” by calling on voters to reject “Washington D.C.” in reference to Democratic President Joe Biden due to high inflation and overregulation.

Kemp said, “They will see what we've achieved together at the state level to make Georgia an even greater place to live, work and raise a family.” They will see the problems Washington, D.C. has brought to every family and dinner table in our state.

Kemp compared Georgia's low unemployment, significant industrial developments, and billions in tax savings and refunds to high prices that squeeze Georgians.

“These are the people Washington, D.C. has left behind,” Kemp remarked. “Because for every challenge our nation faces, the federal response is to spend more, regulate more, tax more, and create another government program to cure every ill.

Democrats of course criticized Kemp's remarks, saying his unwillingness to extend Medicaid means people go without health care and his support of vouchers would hurt public schools. Kemp's easing of gun regulations, support of stringent abortion restrictions, and failure to spend more of the surplus on government services were all criticized.

“The governor is uninterested in fighting for ordinary everyday Georgians,” Stone Mountain Rep. Billy Mitchell said in a Democratic press conference following the address. "In fact, his legislative priorities are harming average Georgians."

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