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Kemp to give State of the State address bolstered by historic surplus

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Georgia Governor Brian Kemp speaks at an event honoring the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 13, 2023.

When Georgia Governor Brian Kemp gives his annual State of the State address Wednesday morning, expect him to tout the state’s economic success in recent years and its rising prominence on the national and international levels, as he did when speaking to lawmakers about the state’s budget last week.

"When you see us announce the four largest economic development projects in history in a single year with just those projects alone bringing 20,000 new jobs and over $17 billion of investment, [people] start to notice," Kemp said on the first day of hearings on the state's budget.

Georgia's roaring economy is buoyed by a historic budget surplus of over $6 billion, although economists have warned of leaner times ahead.

Kemp is likely to talk about what he wants the state to do with that surplus, including a pair of tax breaks – an income tax rebate and a property tax giveback. The price tag on those two items is expected to exceed $2 billion.

Kemp will also likely talk about his plans to pump more money into the state’s public schools.

Speaking to lawmakers last week, Kemp said, " I'm proposing an additional $1.9 billion between the amended and FY24 budgets. These funds will provide a $2000 pay raise for teachers and support staff, to help recruit and retain our best and brightest in the classroom."

In addition to teacher raises, Kemp is floating a plan to provide every K-12 school in the state with a $50,000 school safety grant.

Governor Kemp will give his State of the State address tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. WUGA will air the speech live.

Martin Matheny is WUGA's Program Director and a host and producer of our local news program 'Athens News Matters.' He started at WUGA in 2012 as a part-time classical music host and still hosts WUGA's longest-running local program 'Night Music' which is heard on WUGA and GPB Classical. He lives in Normaltown with his wife, Shaye and dog, Murphy.
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