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Georgia Gubernatorial Candidates Policies and Visions

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Georgia Gubernatorial Candidates Policies and Visions

The Candidates

Stacey Abrams

Forty-four-year-old Stacey Abrams, the former House minority leader who has a national profile is looking to become the first black woman to be elected as a governor in the United States. Abrams also doubles as the co-founder of NOW Account, a financial services firm that serves small businesses. As the Democratic candidate for Georgia’s governor seat, Abrams aims to change the governor’s party from Republican to Democrat, but faces questions over her debt, which entails approximately $54,000 owed to the IRS (AJC, 2018). She has answered this question by stating that a person can delay IRS payments, but cannot delay cancer treatments.

Brian Kemp-Georgia Gubernatorial Candidates Policies and Visions

Fifty-five-year-old Brian Kemp is the Republican candidate for Georgia’s governor seat. Kemp is the Secretary of State of Georgia, a seat he has held since 2010 under the then-governor Sonny Perdue. He was also the state Senator for District 46, Athens. Kemp is a graduate of the University of Georgia (Reed, 2018).

Ted Metz

According to the report by Liang (2018), at the height of the heated political climate between Republicans and Democrats, sixty-year-old Ted Metz, the Libertarian candidate seeks to make a name for himself in the upcoming Georgia gubernatorial elections. Metz is a former Republican and has held offices as the third vice chair and 39th precinct of the Thirteenth District in the GOP. Metz is also a U.S. Navy Veteran and retired from his work in the insurance industry where he worked for 20 years. He allocates most of his time in pursuing higher education and has studied at various colleges across Georgia such as the University of Georgia while undertaking different majors ranging from biology to business management and organic chemistry (Liang, 2018).

Candidate’s Policies and Visions, Significance, Implication, and Feasibility

Stacey Abrams’s Policies and Vision for Georgia Georgia Gubernatorial Candidates Policies and Visions

Education

According to Abrams (2018), she is aware that education is vital to future success and economic mobility. This is because Georgia’s economic growth is closely linked to the academic achievement of the children who ought to receive the opportunity to attain their full potential irrespective of their zip code or family’s income. As the state’s “Public Education Governor,” Abrams (2018) is committed to addressing the needs of the people of Georgia from cradle to career commencing with affordable childcare and pre-kindergarten programs, high-quality education and continuing the full funding of public schools. Based on these commitments, if elected to be Georgia’s governor, Stacey will do the following when it comes to education:Georgia Gubernatorial Candidates Policies and Visions

  1. Fully fund public schools in Georgia and protect them from privatization.
  2. Prioritize wraparound support, safe schools, as well as, child mental health services.
  3. Create opportunities for summer employment and youth civic engagement with the establishment of the Governor’s Youth Council.
  4. Make a historic investment in high-quality and affordable child care for all families via the Bold Start Scholarship Program.
  5. Provide educators with the tools they require, revere the diverse needs of students and empower parents.
  6. Fortify mechanisms to tuition-free technical college, debt-free graduation at discordant skill level via the expanded HOPE and need-based financial aid, as well as, additional programs (Abrams, 2018).

Abrams (2018) is not only vouching to deliver her education agenda for Georgia, but states her record in improving education which includes various achievements such as:

  • Partnered with educators to thwart the efforts of stakeholders to take public schools away from teachers and parents and hand them over to private interests.
  • Endorsed and espoused by the Georgia Association of Educators.
  • Helped save the universal pre-K for 4-year-olds from significant cuts in 2011.
  • Preserved the HOPE scholarship program through the prevention and stopping of prerequisites that would have otherwise brought disproportionate harm to students of color and low-income students (Abrams, 2018).

Criminal Justice-Georgia Gubernatorial Candidates Policies and Visions

Abrams (2018) asserts that she is committed to collaborating with community partners, the legislature, law enforcement and other levels of Georgia’s and U.S. criminal justice system to build trust, protect communities and improve pathways to restoration. Based on their bipartisan efforts, Abrams (2018) and her team have set on the path to a smarter approach to criminal justice and safety. As governor she promises to foster criminal justice reform through the following policies:

  1. Transition and re-entry program expansion by developing fervent public-private partnerships with housing providers, employers and educational institutions, improving the coordination of services with state agencies such as the Department of Community Supervision and the Department of Corrections, and protecting individuals from unfair discrimination based on their criminal history.
  2. Efficient community policing by engaging with community members to proactively determine and address issues that have an effect on the quality of life in neighborhoods, as well as, to further aid law enforcement agencies in securing the resources they required to protect the communities in which they serve, including data-driven solutions and training.
  3. Decriminalization of poverty by improving supervision and services, according civil penalties instead of criminal penalties for marijuana possession and traffic offenses, eradicating money bail and increasing accountability courts such as drug and veterans courts and diversion programs.
  4. Juvenile justice reform by raising the age of juvenile court jurisdiction to eighteen, improvement of the Juvenile Justice Incentive Grant Program, as well as, other necessary improvements.

Healthcare-Georgia Gubernatorial Candidates Policies and Visions

According to Abrams (2018), as a tax attorney, she developed a specialty in healthcare and hospital finance where she used that experience as House Democratic Leader. Apart from engaging with Georgia residents in suburban, rural and urban communities to expand and improve healthcare access in Georgia and protect community hospitals. As governor, Abrams (2018) promises to fight for quality healthcare and the consequent better health outcomes for all residents of Georgia. As such, Abrams (2018) Healthcare Platform contains eight pillars including:

  1. Formulation of the Georgia Premium Stability Program for the purpose of lowering premiums for self-employed Georgians and protection of the Affordable Care Act.
  2. Safeguard and support women’s health and the prerogative of women to choose.
  3. Increased espouse for people with disabilities
  4. Expansion of Medicaid and lower premiums to cover approximately 500,000 more people in Georgia, generate 56,000 novel healthcare jobs across the state and save rural hospitals.
  5. Increase funding for critical mental health services in the entire states so that people will have their mental health needs addressed by the health care systems instead of the criminal justice system.
  6. Ensure that the state system provides broad support services for elderly Georgians, including the prioritization of Alzheimer’s research.
  7. Leverage federal and state programs to incentivize more medical personnel and doctors to work in underserved areas.
  8. Implement strategies to address rural health care gaps.

Environment/Climate change issues

As Abrams (2018) states, she has always been a champion of the protection of air, people, water and coasts from environmental hazards. Based on this understanding, she aims to fortify these protections, advocate for policies that address climate change, create job opportunities under the environmental protection department and prioritize the preservation of the health of Georgia’s environment as an issue of the public good. She also believes that Georgia’s natural resources are the centerpiece of the people’s well-being and as such, if elected governor, Abrams (2018) is committed to:

  1. Protect Georgia’s communities from climate change.
  2. Advocate and fight for the provision of clean water and keeping the communities safe from coal ash.
  3. Expand and promote low emission vehicles and public transit.
  4. Invest in renewable and advanced energy through a Georgia Green Bank and other initiatives.
  5. Put an end to people drilling off of the Georgia coastline.
  6. Support and advocate for environmental justice with the purpose of ensuring that low-income communities and communities of color are not disproportionately affected by commercial and industrial projects.

Brian Kemp’s Policies and Vision for Georgia

Education-Georgia Gubernatorial Candidates Policies and Visions

According to Kemp (2018), Georgia educators are on a hunger strike in an effort to exhort the next governor of Georgia to improve the legacy of the outgoing governor, Deal and fully fund `public school education. In response to this move by teachers, Kemp (2018) has promised to improve Nathan Deal’s legacy and continue the full funding of public school education. He is of the opinion that the state must invest in the future of Georgians today and ensure that every student in the state has access to quality education irrespective of their zip code.

Kemp (2018) believes that his opponent Abrams’ pledge to fully fund public school education is unrealistic since she is more focused on funding her political ambition first. This assertion emanates from the fact that Stacey Abrams has an IRS debt, but loaned $50,000 to her campaign (Kemp, 2018).

Criminal Justice

When it comes to criminal justice policies, as governor, Kemp (2018) promises to:

  1. Fund the Criminal Street Gang Database formulated by O.C.G.A and 16-15-11 and ensure that the Prosecuting Attorney’s Council of Georgia implements the best practices.
  2. Put together a Gang Strike Team to train local law enforcement and add to the workforce and resources for large-scale security operations, as well as, partner with local leaders and District Attorneys to enhance security in Georgia.
  3. Implement a public awareness campaign to inform residents of Georgia of gang activity in their community and avail public safety resources.
  4. Empower and support the office of the Attorney general to prosecute gang cases in a multi-jurisdictional manner, and provide funding for a special unit at the state level.

According to Kemp (2018), Georgia has the strongest anti-gang legislation in the United States. As such, Kemp promises to implement these laws to the latter. Kemp (2018) will also have a Criminal Alien Database that will aid law enforcement in tracking and deporting individuals who are in the state illegally. Also, Kemp’s Gang Strike Team comprising of prosecutors, state and local enforcement leaders and policymakers will educate, train and provide additional workforce and resources to put gangs in Georgia out of commission. Based on these policies, Kemp (2018) believes that he is the only gubernatorial candidate with a plan to dismantle gangs, stop crime and put criminal offenders behind bars and as such, is the only person that Georgians can trust to fight, win and protect communities and families from violent crimes.

Healthcare-Georgia Gubernatorial Candidates Policies and Visions

Based on his profile, Kemp (2018) is fed up with lackluster coverage, outrageous insurance premiums and unacceptable provider shortages in Georgia’s rural communities. As governor, Kemp (2018) promises to formulate a patient-centered health system that he believes will be appropriate for Georgia. In addition, he will improve access to quality care, foster innovation to address systemic healthcare challenges, lower insurance costs and expand insurance options in Georgia. The five principles of Kemp’s patient-centered health system for Georgia include:

  1. Affordable insurance premiums by:
  • Reducing surprise billing through up-to-date provider directory and expanded network coverage.
  • Stabilizing small group and individual exchange markets and covering residents of George with pre-existing condition via reinsurance a program.
  1. Accessible healthcare by:
  • Fostering access to healthcare for families in rural Georgia through the improvement of the Rural Hospital Tax Credit Program thereby raising the cap from $60 million to $100 million.
  • Increasing Primary Care and OB-GYN doctors in rural Georgia through the Provider Loan Forgiveness Program.
  • Improving telemedicine services in areas that have limited connectivity through the empowerment of the private sector to provide High-Speed
  1. Expanding choices in insurance coverage by:
  • Establishing specific and achievable objectives to lower the uninsured population.
  • Lowering costs and expanding insurance choices for people and small businesses by implementing Association Health Plans.
  1. Collaboration to address mental health such as Alzheimer’s disease by:
  • Coordinating efforts among academic hospitals, the healthcare technology industry, the private sector, and research institutions to work towards a suitable cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Formulating a Commission on Behavioral Health to address the national and state problem of substance abuse and mental health including issues such as teen suicide, school security, and PTSD among veterans.
  1. Improving Quality care by:
  • Identifying specific clinical priorities of maternal and infant mortality, severe mental illness and opioid abuse which require greater focus and attention, as well as, develop a strategy for each priority to improve quality and access to healthcare.
  • Incentivize the innovation of healthcare quality and delivery by charging private, public and academic stakeholder with strategy and plan formulation.

In the comparison of his health policies or plans with those of Stacey Abrams, Kemp (2018) believes his opponent’s extreme agenda continues the systemic failures of Obamacare by moving the state towards a government-run and single player healthcare system that will result in huge costs for the state, worsen doctor shortage, reduce access to quality healthcare, triple state income taxes and finally bankrupt the state unlike patient-centered healthcare policy.

Environmental/Climate Change Issues

Regarding environmental/climate change issues, as governor, Kemp will:

  1. Allow local communities to decide their own environmental regulations.
  2. Support “fact-based efforts” to protect Georgia’s environment. According to Kemp, a one-size-fits-all approach implemented by the state government is not the environmental/climate change solution that the residents of Georgia need (MyAJC, 2018).

Ted Metz’s Policies and Vision for Georgia

Education-Georgia Gubernatorial Candidates Policies and Visions

When it comes to education Metz (2018) believes that the government, state or location should not limit an individual’s potential and as such, he advocates for the freedom and independence of learners. As such Metz (2018) promises to do the following as governor of Georgia:

  1. Formulate a Volunteer Statewide Mentoring Program that focuses on the 3R’s that entail writing, reading, and
  2. Close failing schools in Georgia and retain the teachers.
  3. Retain adults in Georgia for the 21st-century
  4. Expand and nurture learning opportunities in all schools including private, online or homeschool, public and charter schools.
  5. Provide raises and merit pay for good teachers.
  6. Consolidate school systems to save on administration.
  7. Develop tech school or college pathways in every middle school in Georgia (Metz, 2018)

According to Metz (2018), federal education standards have not improved the outcome or results of education; instead, they have been a hindrance to favorable outcomes. He bases his assertion on the argument that teaching to the lowest denominator ends up lowering the overall quality and increasing the workload of the teachers in terms of tracking and reporting prerequisites for funding which ultimately, decreases the time available for connecting with students. In this regard, Metz (2018) espouses the following when it comes to education in Georgia:

  • Getting the government out of education and enhancing less influence on education from the federal government.
  • Return to vocational training through apprenticeship programs.

Criminal Justice

After his retirement in 2012, Metz (2018) has been present in most of the committee hearings regarding the legislation aimed at fostering criminal justice reform for the last six legislative sessions. From these meetings, he was able to come up with suitable criminal justice reforms that he believes will be suitable for the state of Georgia including:

  1. Enabling judges the discretion to set bail based on resources.
  2. Advocating for reforms that do not prey on the accused or individuals caught by the system such as the elimination of cash bail.
  3. Reduce the powers of the judiciary and the state while significantly decreasing the authority of private companies when it comes to probation, imprisonment, and
  4. Insist on proper judicial qualification as part of the exercise to clean Georgia’s judiciary from bad judges.
  5. Push for police officer standards and training with the aim of shifting away from aggressive enforcement tactics by the men and women in uniform to de-escalation.
  6. Exclude or eliminate the arrest and prosecution of individuals using cannabis for personal consumption.
  7. Add more layers of qualified immunity and protection to District Attorneys, Law Enforcement agencies, Judges and Prosecutors.
  8. Increased recognition of community service roles and mental health factors (Metz, 2018).

Healthcare-Georgia Gubernatorial Candidates Policies and Visions

Metz (2018) suggests the following policies to fix Georgia’s healthcare crisis:

  1. Permit physician assistants and nurse practitioners to write prescriptions.
  2. Use Tele-medicine for specialty and general services over the internet.
  3. Enforce the Clayton Act, the Sherman Act, and the Robinson-Patman Act to decrease health care costs.
  4. Re-open and rebrand every rural hospital as a family clinic with the use of free-market
  5. Advocate for preventive screenings for early detection.
  6. Implement federal waivers with the objective of blocking grant Medicaid for the qualifying residents of Georgia.
  7. Implement low-cost catastrophic health insurance pool for the residents of Georgia.

Metz (2018) justifies his healthcare policies by stating that his experienced and rational view on Medicaid expansion is that the problems or challenges of the healthcare system are poised to only get worse with increased government involvement and spending. As such, Metz (2018) believes that the solutions to healthcare coverage and delivery dilemma in Georgia are the elimination of Certificates of Needs for competitive facilities, free-market clinical models, increasing tax deductions for charitable contributions to rural hospitals and healthcare facilities and enabling more private insurance collectives.

Metz (2018) also believes that if Georgia elects an Attorney General with a strong constitutional backbone, it can decrease overall healthcare costs through the enforcement of the Clayton Act, the Sherman Act and the Robinson-Patman Act. Moreover, he is of the opinion that it can be possible for Georgians to take Medicaid Block Grants devoid of the stipulations and qualifications that accompany Medicaid expansion and utilize the funds to improve rural clinics and hospitals, as well as, supplement medical practices for the provision of healthcare to individuals with limited resources (Metz, 2018).

Environmental/Climate Change Issues

According to Metz (2018), environmental conservation is a key factor in improving the health of the people of Georgia. As such, he aims to implement environmental conservations regulations so as to reduce climate change and protect Georgians from maladies resulting from environmental hazards. As governor, Metz (2018) will:

  1. Foster clean-up of environmental pollutants from Georgia’s food supply.
  2. Encourage farmers to grow food for local distribution to reduce the harmful chemicals used by large-scale farmers who only grow monoculture cash crops.
  3. Sponsor clean-up programs and efforts to improve people’s health from staying in clean environments.
  4. Encourage companies and manufacturers to implement eco-friendly production processes and raw materials, as well as, start recycling initiatives.

Analysis and Comparison of the candidates’ policies and visions

Education-Georgia Gubernatorial Candidates Policies and Visions

Kemp’s objective is to keep funding Georgia’s QBE formula and has mentioned that he is willing to work with the state superintendent to determine how the formula could be improved (Reed, 2018). He also plans to issue a one-time $5,000 increase in pay for teachers, implement novel school safety measures and include a new rating system for education at child care centers. Abrams will also fully fund the Quality Basic Education formula, but she hopes to reassess the formula to help communities and districts with meager resources and address poverty. Unlike, Abrams and Kemp who seek to re-evaluate the QBE formula, Metz believes that it should be fully funded, but not reassessed. Metz also wants to cut down on administrative positions to free up funds (Reed, 2018).

Criminal Justice

When it comes to criminal justice, Kemp aims to expand the powers the office of the Attorney General by fostering its ability to prosecute gang cases across various jurisdictions, as well as, formulate a gang strike team to train law enforcement and provide workforce and resources. Abrams’ criminal justice reform policies are less stringent with the candidate proposing to have the age of juvenile court jurisdiction raised to 18, eliminating the fines and cash bails for people charged with small amounts of marijuana possession and expanding the court’s accountability. Just like Abrams, Metz also takes a less strict stance when it comes to his criminal justice policies by suggesting that nonviolent offenders should be kept out of prison to tackle crowding, people should be legally allowed to possess small amounts of marijuana for recreational use and inmates should be trained for careers to help decrease recidivism (Reed, 2018).

Healthcare

Kemp’s healthcare policy is mostly focused on improving Georgia’s rural hospital tax credit program by raising the cap from sixty million dollars to one hundred million dollars (Reed, 2018). Kemp also supports waivers to foster reinsurance programs and association health care plans and aims to reduce surprise billing. Abrams, on the other hand, espouses Medicaid expansion while also aiming to devote more resources to Georgia’s Community Care Services program and prioritize research on Alzheimer’s disease. Metz has taken a different stance when it comes to healthcare by focusing on improving catastrophic healthcare rather than primary healthcare since he believes people use the former more than the latter. He has also made a controversial proposition that physician assistants and nurse practitioners should be allowed to write prescriptions (Reed, 2018).

Environmental/Climate Change Issues

When it comes to environmental/climate change, Kemp does not have any clear policy or detailed plans to take overt preventive measures or restore Georgia’s shoreline (MyAJC, 2018). Instead, he believes that the local communities should be allowed to decide their own regulations and codes. On the other hand, both Stacey Abrams and Ted Metz have environmental/climate change policies, with the former having a more detailed plan than the latter. Abrams considers climate change to be real and aims to fortify environmental protections and also create 45,000 high-wage jobs in the emerging alternative energy sector (MyAJC, 2018). Metz’s environmental/climate change policies are cleaning up pollutants from Georgia’s food supply and encouraging Georgia’s local farmers to produce food for local consumption rather than engage in mass production of food for commercial purposes whereby they use more chemicals that pollute the environment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Abrams, S. (2018). Education. Retrieved from https://staceyabrams.com/vision/education/

Abrams, S. (2018). Energy and Environment. Retrieved from https://staceyabrams.com/vision/energy-environment/

Abrams, S. (2018). Health Care. Retrieved from https://staceyabrams.com/vision/health-care/

Abrams, S. (2018). Justice for Georgia: A Plan for Fairness and Community Safety. Retrieved from https://staceyabrams.com/criminaljusticereform/

AJC. (2018). Georgia 2018: Meet Stacey Abrams, Democratic nominee for governor. Retrieved from https://www.ajc.com/news/state–regional-govt–politics/georgia-2018-meet-the-democrats-running-for-governor/pra9Nm75Uo79OqxvruTHQI/

Kemp, B. (2018). Brian Kemp’s Patient-Centered Health System Proposal. Retrieved from https://www.kempforgovernor.com/posts/news/brian-kemp’s-patient-centered-health-  system-proposal

Kemp, B. (2018). Kemp Vows To Fully Fund Public Education, Abrams Will Only Fund Her Political Ambition. Retrieved from https://www.kempforgovernor.com/posts/press/kemp-vows-fully-fund-public-education-abrams-will-only-fund-her-political-ambition

Kemp, B. (2018). Stop and Dismantle. Retrieved from https://www.kempforgovernor.com/gangs

Liang, S. (2018). Georgia governor race: Libertarian candidate Ted Metz proposes lower tax rates, legalized marijuana and more. Retrieved from https://www.redandblack.com/athensnews/georgia-governor-race-libertarian-candidate-ted-metz-proposes-lower-tax/article_4cc00c10-ca9a-11e8-9809-37484c42e74c.html

Metz, T. (2018). The 2018 Issues | Ted Metz for Governor. Retrieved from https://tedmetz.com/the-2018-issues-2/

MyAJC. (2018). Georgia 2018: Where the candidates for governor stand on the issues. Retrieved from https://politics.myajc.com/news/state–regional-govt–politics/georgia-2018-where-the-candidates-for-governor-stand-the-issues/N1YoGuvGdkQKEgrjFYxiCI/

Reed, M. (2018). Election 2018: Where the candidates for governor stand on the issues. Retrieved from https://www.forsythnews.com/local/state-government/election-2018-where-candidates-governor-stand-issues/