Gov. Brian Kemp delivers first State of State address

- Georgia Governor Brian Kemp delivered his first State of the State address Thursday.

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"I am confident that we can build a stronger, more diverse economy," Kemp said, calling the State of the State "rock solid." 

The governor outlined his plan to improve Georgia's public education system, including what he describes as a historic pay raise for teachers. 

"My 2020 budget proposal includes a $3,000 permanent salary increase for certified Georgia teachers," said the governor. 

Kemp said he ultimately wants to raise teacher pay by $5,000. He also announced a 2% merit increase for all state employees. 

"As governor, I will work to ensure that someone's potential is not determined by their zip code or their county." 

"These hardworking Georgians play a vital role in serving our families and crafting Georgia's future," Kemp said.  "We must continue to reward their efforts."

 

While Democrats in the General Assembly said they were encouraged by many of Governor Kemp's proposals, he did not offer many specifics about his plan and they would like more details about what is to come.  

The Governor spent some time during his speech talking about the problem of healthcare in Georgia and Democrats hoped the Governor would make a pledge to expand Medicaid.  

"The easy solution is just to expand Medicaid. I mean, they money is there," said State Senator Emanuel Jones, D-Decatur. "We are hemorrhaging jobs. We are hemorrhaging hospitals. As he mentioned, we are hemorrhaging physicians and all the kind of healthcare workers in rural Georgia."  

While Democrats in the General Assembly said they were encouraged by many of Governor Kemp's proposals, he did not offer many specifics about his plan and they would like more details about what is to come.

Lawmakers begin work on the state budget next week.  

RELATED: Governor Kemp announces budget priorities

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