ATLANTA, Ga. – On February 10, Governor Brian Kemp announced plans to pay nearly 60,000 state employees a one-time bonus of $1,000.
Speaker David Ralston (R – Blue Ridge), flanked by Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan (R) and other lawmakers, said that the proposal was actually an extension to Kemp’s plan outlined in the State of the State speech last month.
“We wanted to extend that $1,000 bonus beyond our teachers to many of our frontline state employees who have also served our citizens through the worst days of this pandemic,” said Ralston.
Kemp reiterated that this bonus couldn’t come at a better time for many families that struggled through the pandemic.
“Our state employees have worked incredibly hard despite a global pandemic. They have been going above and beyond the call of duty to deliver essential services to our most vulnerable, keeping our businesses open and delivering financial assistance to those who quite honestly many days were losing hope,” said Kemp. “Like so many hardworking Georgians, they juggled jobs and school and the new normal for their kids and their families like we all have and to those of [you] here today we just simply cannot thank you enough.”
Much of the flexibility that allows Georgia to have an opportunity to propose legislation like this comes from the federal CARES Act passed by Congress and a 6.1% increase in state revenue compared to this time last year.
In total, $59 million will be set aside to cover the bonuses.
Not all state employees will be eligible. Those making over $80,000 a year or who work for the Board of Regents may not see these bonuses.
State law still requires that both the House and Senate have to agree on the proposed amendment before it moves to the Governor’s desk.
ATLANTA, Ga – Georgia Republican Leaders Governor Brian Kemp, Speaker of the House David Ralston, and Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan spoke out against the violence in the United States Capitol.
Kemp called the actions of the extremists “un-American” and a “disgrace.” He commented on the peaceful protests that took place in Georgia over the summer, but “we did not allow anarchy and we certainly will not allow that now.”
He condemned those breaking into government buildings and berating police officers. The governor also alluded that a special session in Georgia would have ended in similar violence and denounced Rudy Guiliani for his “trial by combat” comments.
Kemp extended the National Guard executive order as well.
Duncan “strongly and vehemently condemned the rioting and violence at the U.S. Capitol and other places across this country.” He asked President Donald Trump to deliver clear instructions to those in Washington DC and tell them to peacefully leave the Capitol. As for Georgians, Duncan implored them to “put down their differences, their partisanship, and pick up their freedom.”
Speaker Ralston called it a “sad day.”
“The shocking images we have seen from our nation’s Capitol today are indefensible, un-American, and frankly heartbreaking. I stand here with our governor, out lt. governor, and the support of the members of the General Assembly to condemn in the strongest possible terms these acts of lawlessness,” Ralston stated.
He remarked that the loss of an election isn’t a reason to “jeopardize” the safety of other citizens and reminded everyone that “we are one nation under God.”
Kemp added that they are looking into increased safety protocols ahead of the legislative session which begins on Monday.
“We will move forward together working on the things that really matter to the people of our state,” Kemp ended.
Earlier today, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and staff were evacuated from their offices because of threats.
One woman was shot to the chest at the Capitol and the streets in DC continue to be filled with people. At this time, capitol police and other officers are working to clear out the Capitol. Some senators and representatives are hopeful they will return to Congress tonight.
Atlanta, GA – On Monday, April 27, Governor Brian P. Kemp will join Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan, Speaker David Ralston, and faith leaders from across Georgia in holding a Day of Prayer service in the rotunda of the Georgia State Capitol at 10:00 a.m. As the state continues to battle COVID-19, Kemp, Duncan, and Ralston are calling on all Georgians and members of the faith community around the state to participate by posting videos of their prayers on social media throughout the day.
“Our unprecedented battle with COVID-19 has proven the resolve of the people of Georgia to fight hard, come together, and do what is necessary to stop the spread of the virus,” said Governor Kemp. “While we cannot all be together right now, we can join with one another in prayer for our frontline healthcare workers, first responders, law enforcement, business owners, local leaders, and fellow Georgians as we continue the important work of fighting COVID-19 and safely reopening our state. On Monday, I am calling on all Georgians to participate in our Day of Prayer by posting on social media and showing their support for their fellow citizens.”
“COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on countless lives across our state and nation. In the midst of tremendous loss, uncertainty, and anxiety, I look forward to joining together in prayer,” said Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan. “Faith and prayer are a comfort to millions of Georgians, and whatever your background, I hope Monday will be a chance for us to focus on those who are hurting and seek wisdom for the hard road ahead.”
“I’m very proud of the response to this crisis by our state government and local and federal partners as well as healthcare workers and frontline personnel,” said Speaker David Ralston. “In such trying times, it is appropriate that we come together to pray for those battling this disease and its impact as well as those who have tragically lost loved ones. I join with Governor Kemp, Lt. Governor Duncan, and all Georgians in praying for the mercy and comfort of our Lord as we look forward to brighter days ahead.”
To ensure adherence to social distancing guidelines, the Day of Prayer service will not be open to the general public. Georgians are encouraged to participate via livestream at www.facebook.com/GovKemp at 10:00 a.m.
Atlanta, GA – Today Governor Brian P. Kemp, Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan, and House Speaker David Ralston announced plans to extend Georgia’s public health state of emergency through May 13, 2020, to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Under state law, the Governor may renew the public health state of emergency, which was otherwise set to expire on April 13, 2020. Lt. Governor Duncan and Speaker Ralston agree it is necessary for the public health emergency to be renewed and will not be requesting a special legislative session, which was tentatively scheduled for April 15, 2020.
“To ensure the health and well-being of Georgians, I will extend the public health state of emergency through May 13, 2020. This measure will allow us to continue to deploy resources to communities in need, lend support to frontline medical providers, and keep preparing as we brace for potential patient surge in our healthcare facilities. We deeply appreciate the hard work of Georgians who are sheltering in place, using social distancing, and helping us flatten the curve. We are in this fight together,” said Governor Kemp. “I appreciate Lt. Governor Duncan and Speaker Ralston continuing to work with us to ensure resources are available to proactively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and I thank them for their support of an extended emergency declaration. In these unprecedented times, we ask Georgians for their continued patience and prayers, especially for first responders, law enforcement, and the healthcare workers caring for the medically fragile. They are going above and beyond to keep us all safe, and we will never be able to repay them for their sacrifices.”
“We must continue our aggressive fight against COVID-19,” said Lt. Governor Duncan. “By extending the public health state of emergency, we can ensure Georgians have access to every available state resource during this crisis. Together, Speaker Ralston and I are working closely with Governor Kemp to do all we can to make sure we are meeting the needs of every Georgian. The General Assembly will continue to remain vigilant and available to assist our citizens in any way possible.”
“The entirety of our state government is working to protect the health and safety of our citizens, and I appreciate the work of our state personnel and first responders during this challenging time,” said Speaker David Ralston. “While we have difficult days ahead, we continue to coordinate with both local and federal partners in responding to needs as they arise. As Georgians, we will persevere and emerge stronger on the other side.”