Video above from Kemp’s 2018 campaign
Georgia Gov Brian Kemp on the Martha Zoller radio show Feb 18, 2022. Transcription by Rev.com
Martha Zoller: (00:06)
It is the Martha Zoller show. Shaun [inaudible 00:00:08] here with me, and Governor Brian Kemp is here with me today. As he travels around Northeast Georgia, he’ll be, uh, heading over to Avocado’s today at 10:30 for a meet and greet and then you’ll be all over North Georgia today. Welcome, governor.
Brian Kemp: (00:24)
Hey, good morning, Martha.
Martha Zoller: (00:25)
Brian Kemp: (00:26)
It’s a great day to be in Northeast Georgia.
Martha Zoller: (00:28)
It is a great day to be in Northeast Georgia. So, um, how is the session going from your perspective?
Brian Kemp: (00:35)
Oh, I think it’s going great. You know, we were off and running with our agenda. A lot of other good things the legislature’s doing, whether it’s more work to go after street gangs in our state through funding at the Attorney General’s office and in the GBI. You know, mental health reform with Speaker Ralston has rolled out. Working on a just incredible budget to continue to support our educators and men and women in law enforcement and just a lot of other great things that we’re doing.
Martha Zoller: (01:02)
So I do have a concern about the level of spending. And while I know we don’t spend more than what we have, okay, I, I, I get concerned that on the other side of this high we’re on, which, you know, there will be another side at some point in time, d-… are… do you feel comfortable that we’ve got enough in the rainy day fund, and that we’re gonna have enough reserves, if anything, you know, if the economy… if we were to go to war with Ukraine and the economy tanks, who knows?
Brian Kemp: (01:32)
Well, that’s why we’re giving you back 1.6 billion, Martha. You know, the government’s got more than it needs right now. Is why I said in my state, the state, that we’re gonna return $1.6 billion to the taxpayers. Every taxpayer that paid taxes last year is gonna get at least $250 back. If you filed as a family, you’ll get 500. Uh, our fund balances are as full as they’ve ever been. Our reserve funds are as full as they’ve ever been, at the highest limit that the law allows.
Brian Kemp: (02:02)
Uh, you know, and we’re, we’re, we’re restoring austerity like for the university system of Georgia, but in return for that, they’re gonna waive a $500 semester fee that Georgia parents and Georgia students have been paying. So, we’re making, you know, substantial investments in the future of our state. But I’ll, I’ll remind you, when you take out high our education in Georgia, we still have the same number of state employees that we had in 2008. So we’re not growing government, we’re making it more efficient. We’re doing more with the people we got. We’re obviously having to pay them more in this market. That’s just the world that we’re in. Uh, but they’re also doing more. So they’re deserving of that.
Martha Zoller: (02:42)
You know, I know, and in your first election you talked a lot, we talked a lot about immigration reform and the things that needed to be done. And I, I don’t think that anybody could deny that, that the direction of all that has changed because of what’s been happening almost af- after, on the last 15 months at the border. So what is, you know, what should people expect as far as immigration reform in the state right now?
Brian Kemp: (03:09)
Well, I think the best thing that I can tell people is, look, we are in the fight at the Southern border. We’ve had national guard troops there, well over 100, over 200 at one point for well over a n-… year now. I’ve been there four different times, getting brief, briefs, investing with our troops that are doing a great job of supporting the border patrol. The problem is, the federal policy, as you know, right now is just a disaster. Uh, it’s gone from an immigration crisis to a mass migration, you know, this trauma event, quite honestly.
Brian Kemp: (03:43)
I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s terrible what’s happening. I mean, they’re using children down there as passports, the drugs cartels are. And, and is, you know, it’s really bad when drug cartels are moving people as much as they’re moving drugs, because they’re making just as much money doing that. And it’s all ’cause the Biden and, you know, abandoned president Trump’s policies [inaudible 00:04:05] working down there. Like building the wall, you know, returning people back to where they came from and making sure we had the proper number of, you know, personnel down there on the border. And that’s just not [inaudible 00:04:17] are right now. It’s the Republican governors that have been pushing back against that and doing everything that we can to help stop it.
Martha Zoller: (04:23)
So you and, you and Marty-
Brian Kemp: (04:26)
[crosstalk 00:04:26] airports.
Martha Zoller: (04:26)
Go ahead. Sorry. Governor?
Brian Kemp: (04:30)
We’ve been in-
Martha Zoller: (04:31)
Yeah, there you are. Are you there governor? Governor Kemp?
Brian Kemp: (04:39)
Yeah. Sorry. I got in a little bad spot.
Martha Zoller: (04:40)
That’s okay. I know the road very well (laughs). Listen-
Brian Kemp: (04:42)
Yeah. My apologies.
Martha Zoller: (04:42)
Uh, no, no worries. I wanted to also… you, you alluded to it about children coming across the border and, and also women coming across the border. You and, and Marty have been working very hard on, uh, the human trafficking issue and, and really, I think it’s slavery for the 21st century, this, this human trafficking issue that we’re dealing with. Um, tell us a little bit about that.
Brian Kemp: (05:09)
Well, we have been… I hope I still got you, Martha.
Martha Zoller: (05:11)
Brian Kemp: (05:11)
Uh, Marty’s been doing as much as anybody in the country at the state level to end human trafficking and also support the victims. And we’ve done six, seven pieces of legislation now. We have, uh, the one we’re working on this year that will allow, that when these folks are arrested, they can’t just get out on any kind of bail. There has to be a superior court judge that will set to fail for that. No catch and release and, you know, just allowing people to get out, go right back to trafficking and, and doing modern day slavery, as you said. It’s horrible, uh, what’s going and on out there.
Brian Kemp: (05:42)
And it’s a lot more, uh, there’s more presence there than people realize, but the state of Georgia is really leading the country and the policy initiatives to end it, but also not only that, but helping support the victims like it’s expunging their records and other things, ’cause they’ve been forced into crimes, uh, in no fault of their own. And um, it’s good work we’re doing. And we got more to do in this session. We’ll, we’ll be continuing that.
Martha Zoller: (06:07)
So just give us an update on the campaign governor, and, and really what’s what it’s like traveling around the state, what you’re no stranger to. I mean, you’ve been traveling around this state for 15 years.
Brian Kemp: (06:19)
Well, it’s awesome. We’re going to, you know, Gainesville, Cornelia, Clayton and Cleveland today. Uh, we started out in Athens at a… did a great new habitat, humanity house on the official side of things. We’re on the campaign trail. The rest of the day I’ve got Marty, Amy Porter and the Lucy’s gonna be joining us later, and we’re just working extremely hard. We’re honored to be serving. We’re getting great feedback out there ’cause Georgians know that I’ve done exactly what I told them I would do. You know, I fought for life at the heartbeat. We’ve done adoption reform, foster care reform. We’re supporting our men and women in law enforcement.
Brian Kemp: (06:55)
We make government more efficient. You know, we’ve cut taxes, we’re supporting the military and our veterans with a veteran’s tax cut this year. And just, you know, continuing to do, we’re working on constitutional carry. You know, that’s something that I have campaigned on, and we’re just gonna continue doing what I promised people I would do. And, uh, you know, hadn’t even mentioned the economy, it’s as red hot as it’s ever been in Georgia. Lowest unemployment rate history of our state, uh, lowest of the 10 most popular states. And last year in a record year, we did projects and, you know, meeting counties around our state. 74% of the deals that we did were outside of the 10 Metro counties, making sure that places like Northeast Georgia and the hardworking folks there have great opportunity in this state.
Martha Zoller: (07:41)
Absolutely Governor Brian Kemp, good luck to you. And um, I won’t be able to come down because I’m on the air, but I will look forward to seeing you soon.
Brian Kemp: (07:51)
Thanks, Martha, [inaudible 00:07:53].