James Magazine Mar Apr 2020 - Page 41

efficient … and this budget gives us the opportunity to
do that. Often, when answering the questions from the
media and the naysayers who ask how we can make
the government smaller and more efficient while
paying for teacher pay raises and starting a gang task
force— well, it’s all about funding our priorities.”
Kemp says his priorities are to make government
more efficient, using technology, eliminating vacant
positions and doing more with less. “And with these
savings we can take care of some of the big issues
facing the state such as teacher retention, school
security initiatives and other things the government
should be doing. And that’s exactly what my budget
does this year.” (By the way, the governor estimates
his cuts would save the taxpayers about $200 million
this year. One modest example: At least $18 million
would be cut over the next year-and-a-half on
unnecessary travel by agency employees, especially
to conferences.)
As this is written in late February, the governor
noted: “Obviously the legislators haven’t put their stamp
of approval on it . . . and that’s what we are working on
now.” But Kemp said he sees no reason why the
legislative session “can’t end by March, as planned.”
“We spent a lot of time preparing the budget. Our
reductions are very well thought out, and our additions
clearly demonstrate my priorities,” he emphasized.
Georgia is facing a critical presidential election
year— especially with two U.S. senators on the
November ballot. “We have too much at stake to give the
Democrats any opportunity to win any kind of statewide
race,” he said in addressing this topic. “My call to folks is
to unite behind our two sitting senators, Kelly Loeffler
and David Perdue. I know my family and I will certainly
be on the campaign trail with both. They are doing a
great job. They are standing with our President to
continue to put Americans first and keep America great.
Why we would want to change from that is beyond me.”
Kemp concluded by saying he and his
administration have a good relationship with the
president. “We are communicating with his office
every day on our (healthcare) waivers and a lot of other
issues. The leadership and team the president has in
place is incredible.”
Cindy Morley is a staff writer for James and InsiderAdvantage Georgia.


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