On the same day that the Georgia House of Representatives adopted the Amended FY 2020 Budget, the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus (GLBC) met with Governor Brian Kemp to discuss its legislative priorities and budgetary concerns.
Governor Kemp offered remarks about his priorities – combating gangs and human trafficking, delivering the second installment of teacher raises, HIV/AIDS prevention – and also introduced his legislative team, led by former state legislator Mark Hamilton.
Caucus members addressed various policy concerns with Governor Kemp, including:
- Sen. Donzella James requested an exemption for ROTC students enrolled in dual enrollment programs;
- Rep. Mable Thomas inquired about state efforts to address maternal mortality;
- Sen. Lester Jackson asked about House Bill 426, a bipartisan hate crime measure currently in the Senate. Specifically, the Governor was asked to intervene to support passage;
- Rep. Al Williams voiced his concern about the Department of Correction’s reentry program to which the Governor offered his commitment to criminal justice reform;
- Rep. Debra Bazemore praised the First Lady for championing the campaign to end human trafficking in Georgia. The Governor mentioned opening the first residential center for trafficked youth located in Paulding County;
- Rep. Jasmine Clark called on the Governor to support science-based sex education, to which the Governor recommended engaging subject matter experts at the Georgia Department of Education;
- Sen. David Lucas made the case for expanding Medicaid, particularly to support rural hospitals. The Governor suggested that expansion would not address the financial challenges facing rural hospitals, referred to his Medicaid waiver proposal and talked about investing in rural economic development and job creation;
- Rep. Roger Bruce expressed his concern about homelessness. The Governor agreed on the severity of the issue, but indicated any real solution would emerge from federal, state, and local government collaboration.
To learn more about the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus’ 2020 legislative priorities, please visit www.gablackcaucus.org. Ohio River South is proud to call the GLBC a client and support its members in building legislative capacity, expanding outreach and growing its financial foundation.