Georgia Democrats criticize Kemp over teacher raises
Democratic lawmakers in the Georgia General Assembly say that Governor Brian Kemp’s proposal to raise teacher wages not enough.
State Senator Elena Parent of Atlanta gave the Democratic response to Kemp’s annual state of the state address.
"I'm pleased that the governor's budget proposal includes a $2000 wage increase for teachers, but we have the finances to do better," Parent said. "And it's not enough to save an education system in crisis."
Parent said that Democrats were instead proposing a $10,000 wage increase for teachers and public safety employees.
Parent also called on the Republican majority to do more to address low-income housing.
"We must protect people from evictions and negligent landlords and expand housing options for people to trying to get back on their feet - those who are working hard to simply stay afloat," she said.
Kemp has acknowledged housing availability as a major challenge to the state’s booming economy. In his state of the state address, the governor proposed the creation of a partnership between state and local governments to build additional workforce housing, especially in rural areas.
Parent also criticized Kemp and Republican lawmakers for not using available federal funds to expand Medicaid and for a controversial gun law passed last year, which allows gun owners to carry a concealed weapon in public without a license.