As the 2020 Georgia Assembly gets underway this week, two recent articles about local Representatives emphasized a stark contrast in the legislative priorities being promoted by each party.
Republican Philip Singleton said that one of his main priorities was a bill that he authored which would only allow transgender children to compete in a sport based on the gender specified on the child’s birth certificate.
This bill, which Singleton admitted would currently not affect anyone to his knowledge, is just another extremist bill designed to agitate his base to keep them voting for his party while deflecting from more important issues.
On the other side of the aisle, in contrast, Bob Trammell stated that one of his main priorities was expanding Medicaid under the ACA which would give healthcare coverage to 600,000 Georgians as opposed to Governor Kemp’s waiver proposal that would only cover 50,000 citizens.
Trammell correctly pointed out that 36 states are already benefitting from Medicaid expansion and that we, as taxpayers, are funding the majority of the cost for those states through our Federal taxes.
A second priority for Singleton is an anti-red flag law that would allow Georgia to override any federal red flag laws that might be passed which permits police or family members to petition a state court to order the temporary removal of firearms from a person who may present a danger to others or themselves.
He claims that red flag laws would take away some of our freedom while at the same time he supports bills such as the Heartbeat bill and the Religious Freedom bill which takes away liberty from significantly more people than any anti-red flag law ever could.
Meanwhile, Trammell is calling for legislation to promote clean air and water such as his bill concerning coal ash from power plants contaminating our groundwater. He wants the legislature to “ensure the safety of Georgia’s water, not only today but for future generations”.
Finally, both sides are at odds over the Republican-led proposal for another one quarter percent state income tax cut. The same percentage cut last year gave the median income-earning Georgian only a $46 annual increase in take-home pay but could have paid for the state’s portion of Medicaid expansion which would have been far more beneficial to many of our citizens.
At the same time, Kemp is calling for budget cuts. Reducing state revenues with another cut will only lead to more budget reductions that hurt Georgians.
When you go to the polls in November, think about where your priorities align with these candidates instead of just voting for the letter after the candidates’ names.