The first guest at the 2019 Resurgent Gathering was Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia. Last year, he joined us at the Gathering as a candidate, and now that he has a few months of leading the state under his belt, his perspective on the state he calls home is worth listening to.
He spent the first portion of his conversation with Erick Erickson talking about Georgia’s economy. Kemp expressed his gratefulness on previous GOP governors Sonny Perdue and Nathan Deal for steering Georgia’s economy in a positive direction in different times.
Governor Kemp understands that the economy isn’t always going to be strong, and he wants to position Georgia to be successful no matter how the economy is performing. “We can’t control everything about the economy, but we need to keep the environment strong so that we can keep our economy as good as it can be,” he said.
Part of his plans to bolster Georgia’s economy includes spending caps and making government smaller and more efficient. He told the crowd, “Don’t wait for tough times to enact spending cuts.”
Kemp is having the state’s Department of Economic Development partner with local economic development agencies, particularly in rural areas. He also wants to work with the legislature to make Georgia the best state in the nation for small businesses.
One of the governor’s biggest campaign promises was a significant pay raise for teachers. He believes that, even when working on streamlining the state budget, Georgia cannot afford to lose the best teachers in all parts of the state. He sees the pay raise as an investment in the state for both the present and the future.
When Erick asked the governor about threats from the film industry over Georgia’s “heartbeat law,” which bans abortions after a heartbeat is detected, Kemp declared that, “We can stand for life and support the film industry in Georgia.”
“I’m not angry [about the industry’s threats],” he continued.
At the end of the day, Kemp says that the real question facing not just Georgia but the rest of the nation boils down to what system we want to live under.
“We have to decide if we’re going to be a country where people can do what they want or whether we want the government controlling everything,” he said.