Gov. Kemp Bans Vaccine Passports in Georgia

Passport

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed an executive order on Tuesday banning the use of vaccine passports throughout the state. 

The order explicitly states that no state agency, provider of state services, or state property is allowed to implement any vaccine passport program or require proof of vaccination in order to enter the premises of a location or conduct business. Additionally, vaccination will not be required to enter the state of Georgia.

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Brian Kemp Warns Georgia About Critical Race Theory, but Vernon Jones Says He Has a Plan to Get Rid of It Altogether

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp this week submitted a letter to members of the state board of education and warned about the dangers of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in public schools. But Vernon Jones — Kemp’s declared Republican opponent for next year’s gubernatorial race — also denounced CRT and said, if elected, he’ll do more than just warn about it.

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GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Vernon Jones Calls for ‘An Immediate Forensic Audit of the Georgia 2020 Election’

Georgia GOP gubernatorial candidate and former State Rep. Vernon Jones called for “an immediate for an immediate forensic audit of the Georgia 2020 election” at a press conference on Wednesday. Here is a transcript of that press conference: Jones: The integrity of our election is nonnegotiable. It is non-negotiable. Zero…

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Georgia Gov. Kemp Officially Launches 2022 Campaign

Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia has officially launched his 2022 campaign, according to a press release from his campaign.

“Brian Kemp has a strong, conservative record of fighting for life, standing up for law enforcement, cutting taxes, protecting lives and livelihoods against the COVID-19 pandemic, and defending election integrity,” Kemp’s campaign manager said the statement. 

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Georgia’s Embattled Secretary of State Raffensperger to Seek Another Term

Controversial Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger confirmed on Tuesday that he will seek another term. 

Raffensperger has been the focal point of criticism of Georgia’s election from both sides of the political aisle. He routinely ignored the widespread concerns over election security throughout the state.

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Trump Releases Statement on Georgia Lieutenant Governor

President Donald Trump released a statement on Monday celebrating the decision that Georgia Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan will not seek a second term. 

“Good news for Georgia and the Republican Party. Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan won’t be running again for office. He was the one who, along with Governor Brian Kemp, stopped the Georgia State Senate from doing the job they wanted to do on the 2020 Presidential Election Fraud,” Trump said. 

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Kemp Extends Suspension of Georgia Gas Tax by a Week

"Sorry out of service" bag covering gas pump

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp extended the state’s temporary suspension of the fuel tax through May 22 as Colonial Pipeline works to become fully operational after a cyberattack.

Kemp issued an executive order Monday that suspended the gas tax, increased weight limits for trucks transporting fuel and prohibited price gouging. The order was set to expire Saturday before Kemp extended it Friday.

“While Colonial Pipeline is now operational, the company has informed the public that it will be a few days until full service is available statewide,” Kemp said in a statement. “This executive order will ensure fuel supply chains have every resource needed to deliver gas quickly and safely, and that Georgians aren’t hit with state gas taxes at the pump during this shortage. I continue to ask Georgians to only purchase the fuel they need for essential travel through the upcoming weekend.”

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Gov. Kemp Signs Georgia Lodging Tax, Income Tax Credit for Teachers Bills

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp

Hotels, motels, short-term rentals and most lodging facilities in Georgia will be required to pay a $5-a-night excise tax as of July 1.

Gov. Brian Kemp signed House Bill 317 into law. It imposes the fee on all lodging facilities and rooms except those that do not provide shelter and extended-stay rentals. Extended-stay rentals allow guests to occupy a room or facility for at least 30 consecutive days.

HB 317, which Kemp signed Wednesday, also requires online short-term rental companies such as Airbnb to collect hotel and motel excise taxes and pay them to local governments.

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Black Panther and Marvel Studios Director Blasts SB 202, but Films at Georgia Facility That Requires ID to Enter

Trilith Studios

Marvel Studios director Ryan Coogler will soon arrive at the Fayetteville-based Trilith Studios to film the Black Panther sequel. But if Coogler wants to set foot on the Trilith Studios property then he and everyone else with business there have to present their personal IDs. A sign at the front of the facility says so.

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Vernon Jones Promises Aggressive Campaign to Unseat Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp

Standing across the street from the Georgia State Capitol, in Liberty Plaza, and addressing a crowd of supporters Friday, former State Rep. Vernon Jones answered “the $64 million question you all have been asking.” “I am planting my flag on the hallowed grounds of the Georgia State Capitol. I am officially announcing my candidacy for the great state of Georgia’s governor. I am so excited I have to say it again. It’s so nice I have to say it twice,” Jones, a Democrat-turned-Republican and political ally of former U.S. President Donald Trump said.

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Vernon Jones Expected to Explain Friday Why He Wants Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s Job

Former Georgia State Rep. Vernon Jones is expected to announce Friday that he will again run for office next year — but this time to challenge current Gov. Brian Kemp. Jones tweeted Thursday that he will host a national press conference at 10 a.m. Friday at the Georgia State Capitol, Liberty Plaza. Jones said he will address “his future efforts to put Georgia first.”

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GOP Movement Afoot in Georgia to Censure Brian Kemp, Geoff Duncan, and Brad Raffensperger

Republican officials in two Georgia counties this week formally censured Gov. Brian Kemp, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on the grounds that they betrayed former U.S. President Donald Trump last November. Conservative activist Debbie Dooley told The Georgia Star News Wednesday that the GOP pushback against those three Georgia officials has only just begun.  

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Electric Vehicle Plant in Georgia Gets Word on Whether it Will Keep 2,500 Jobs Going

Georgia officials announced Sunday that SK Innovation will continue to operate its battery manufacturing plant in Jackson County, thus saving 2,600 jobs. Gov. Brian Kemp announced the news in an emailed statement.

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Georgia to Lift All COVID-19 Restrictions

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) announced on Wednesday that Georgia is lifting all COVID-19 restrictions.

“We know hard-working Georgians cannot endure another year like that last. That is why beginning tomorrow we are loosening the remaining restrictions on our economy here in Georgia,” Kemp said in a video statement Wednesday.

Starting from Thursday, Georgia businesses will no longer be required to enforce social distancing, the ban on gatherings will be eliminated and the ability for authorities to shut down businesses that violate restrictions will be taken away, according to The Hill. 

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Joe Biden Has Sunday Deadline to Save 2,600 Georgia Jobs

U.S. President Joe Biden may have to decide this week whether to overturn an International Trade Commission ruling against SK Innovation and, thus, save thousands of jobs in northeast Georgia directly tied to the project. More than 2,500 Georgia jobs are at stake at this Electric Vehicle (EV) battery plant in Commerce.

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Donald Trump Says Georgia’s Voter Integrity Law Didn’t Go Far Enough, Faults Brian Kemp and Geoff Duncan

Former U.S. President Donald Trump criticized Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan this week and suggested Democrats in the state got the better of them. “Too bad the desperately needed election reforms in Georgia didn’t go further, as their originally approved bill did, but the governor and lieutenant governor would not go for it. The watered-down version, that was just passed and signed by Governor Kemp, while better than before, doesn’t have signature matching and many other safety measures, which were sadly left out. This bill should have been passed before the 2020 Presidential Election, not after,” Trump said in a written statement.

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More Corporations, Including Google, Microsoft, and American Express Denounce Georgia’s Voter Integrity Law

More corporations are speaking out against Georgia’s voter reform law, otherwise known as Senate Bill 202. Officials at Microsoft, American Express, Google and others this week condemned SB 202 as a form of voter suppression.

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Brian Kemp, Others, Tell Corporate America They Will Not Retreat on Georgia’s Voter Integrity Law

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Saturday told Major League Baseball officials and executives at Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines that he will not buckle under to their pressure. Kemp, flanked by several supporters at the Georgia State Capitol, said he will not do away with the state’s new voter integrity law, Senate Bill 202. The governor also told state residents that Democrat and former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is lying about the new law and fundraising off of her lies.

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Delta Airlines, for Now, Keeps Tax Credit Georgia House Members Voted Not to Renew

Members of the Georgia House of Representatives this week struck back at Delta Airlines and decided not to renew a jet fuel tax credit that they bestow upon the company. The vote, however, was merely symbolic. Delta still has the tax credit.

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Gov. Brian Kemp Blasts Major League Baseball ‘Cancel Culture’ Decision to Pull All-Star Game Out of Georgia

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Friday evening said Major League Baseball officials caved “to fear, political opportunism, and liberal lies.” This, after MLB officials announced earlier in the day that they will relocate the 2021 All-Star Game and MLB Draft, originally scheduled for Atlanta, to another location. They specifically cited Georgia’s new voter integrity law, Senate Bill 202.

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Georgia Legislature Approves $27B Budget for New Fiscal Year

Blake Tillery

The Georgia General Assembly has approved a $27.2 billion spending plan for the 2022 fiscal year, which starts July 1.

The Senate and House agreed to spend more money on health care, education, transportation, state positions, internet access and economic initiatives.

The House approved the measure, 148-21, late Wednesday night after it cleared the Senate unanimously, 52-0. Lawmakers now must send the proposal for state spending through June 30, 2022, to Gov. Brian Kemp for consideration.

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Delta Airlines, Coca-Cola Require Government ID for Their Own Needs, but Still Condemn Georgia’s New Voter Integrity Law

Delta Airlines, according to its website, requires its passengers prove they are who they say they are and present a government-issued ID. Coca-Cola officials, according to their corporate website, mandated that anyone who attended their 2020 annual shareholders’ meeting also present proper identification.

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Georgia Democrat Responds to New Voter Integrity Law with Bill of Her Own

A Georgia state senator this week responded to the newly-passed Senate Bill 202 voter reform measure with a bill of her own. Georgia State Sen. Sally Harrell (D-Atlanta) this week filed a bill that she said would give county election supervisors and local elections boards the option to allow out-of-precinct voting on Election Day.

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Republican National Committee Chair Defends Georgia Senate Bill 202

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel this week defended Georgia Senate Bill 202, which Democrats nationwide have described as a form of voter suppression. As The Georgia Star News reported Saturday, this new voter reform law requires the following:

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Leftists Target Georgia for Boycotts After Election Integrity Law Passed

Left-wing activists groups are targeting the state of Georgia after Gov. Bill Lee (R) signed an election integrity bill into law last week. 

One of the most high-profile targets of the boycotts is the Augusta National Golf Course, home to the Professional Golf Association’s (PGA) Masters Tournament, the most storied professional golf tournament in the United States. 

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Brian Kemp Asks Joe Biden to Overturn Trade Commission Ruling to Help Northeast Georgia

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp this week asked U.S. President Joe Biden to overturn the International Trade Commission ruling against SK Innovation to save thousands of jobs in northeast Georgia directly tied to the project. Kemp formally requested this in a letter Friday. He attached a copy of his letter to the president in an emailed press release.

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House Approves Georgia Adoption Tax Credit Increase

The Georgia House approved a bill Monday that would increase foster care adoption tax credits in the state.

House Bill 114 increases the annual tax incentive for adopting a foster child from $2,000 to $6,000. Proponents of the bill, including Gov. Brian Kemp, hope the legislation encourages more Georgians to adopt foster children. 

The bill cleared the House, 158-0, without debate.

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Georgia to Provide More Than $550M in Rental, Utility Assistance

Georgia will provide $552 million in rent and utility assistance to landlords and tenants, Gov. Brian Kemp announced Friday.

The federal government provided the COVID-19-related aid through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, and it will be paid directly to landlords and utility companies.

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After COVID-19, New Bill Pushes for Georgia to Produce Medical Devices

One year into COVID-19, Georgia State Rep. Jodi Lott (R-Evans) has introduced a bill that she says will incentivize people to manufacture medical devices within state lines. Sponsors say that this legislation, if enacted into law, would limit Georgia’s need to compete with other states or foreign nations for critical supplies.

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Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp Unveils New Plan He Says Will Upgrade Public Schools

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Tuesday proposed a plan that he said will “recruit, prepare, mentor, and retain the best educators” and give teachers more power to influence the state board of education. Kemp unveiled his proposal at the Georgia State Capitol. Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R-Cumming) and Speaker Pro-Tempore Jan Jones (R-Milton) stood alongside Kemp to show their support.

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Georgia Attorney General’s Office Recommended Compromise Settlement Agreement with Stacey Abrams

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said he entered into the controversial Compromise Settlement Agreement and Release with Stacey Abrams because members of the Georgia Attorney General’s Office Chris Carr recommended he do so. In a letter dated January 6, Raffensperger told former U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) that the agreement strengthened Georgia’s signature verification system.

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Georgians Demand Answers from Department of Labor on Missed Payments

Georgians are circulating petitions demanding that the state government, particularly the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) begins responding to their requests for information. 

“This petition was started and organized by residents all throughout the State of Georgia that have filed claims with the Georgia Department of Labor,” says a Change.org petition started by Felicia Primus. “Many of Georgia Residents [sic] haven’t received any updates on claims or they’re missing payments from the Department of Labor. GDOL has not provided better Self-service [sic] options for its website or phone support to help with the increasing demand of unemployment claims, during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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Georgia Lawmakers Say Tax-Credit Audit, Tobacco Tax Hike Could Deepen State Coffers

State leaders and economists believe Georgia’s fiscal outlook is promising despite the economic strain from the COVID-19 pandemic, but some lawmakers say the state can do more to secure additional revenue.

Sens. Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome; Jen Jordan, D-Atlanta; and House Minority Leader James Beverly, D-Macon, said the state needs to re-evaluate its tax incentive programs to eliminate waste and ensure tax equity.

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Georgia Health Officials Won’t Check Residency for COVID-19 Vaccines as ‘Vaccine Tourism’ Occurs

Despite reports of individuals engaging in “vaccine tourism,” state officials said they won’t be checking residency before administering COVID-19 vaccines. In a press conference on Tuesday, Dr. Kathleen Toomey responded to a reporter’s inquiry about individuals admitting they were traveling from out of state to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Georgia. 

“I think it’s important that everybody know: we’re not going to be checking driver’s licenses, we’re not going to police this process. Does that mean somebody may slip in from out of state? Possibly,” stated Toomey. “I think it’s important that we don’t want to be policemen. We want to encourage as much vaccination as we can.”

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Senator Rand Paul, Likely Citing Georgia, Says Secretaries of State Violated Constitution in 2020 Election

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) didn’t cite Georgia by name, but he said Sunday that officials in different states may have enabled voting irregularities to occur last year. And if that did happen then Paul said he wants to help repair the damage.

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Georgia Democrat State Lawmaker Rejects Gov. Kemp’s Call for Unity

After Thursday’s annual State of the State speech by Gov. Brian Kemp (R), which heavily focused on unity and Georgia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Peach State’s top Democrat lawmaker rejected Kemp outrightly.

“Do I think the governor is going to be more conciliatory? No. No I do not,” state House Minority Leader James Beverly (D-GA-143) told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “His policies have shown who he is.”

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Brian Kemp Tells Georgia Legislators to Move Past 2020 and Focus on COVID-19 During State of State Address

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp delivered an optimistic State of the State address Thursday and proposed what he said were new ways for state officials to invest taxpayer money to counteract the effects of COVID-19. At one point in his speech, the governor apparently referred to the November 2020 elections and alleged voter fraud and other voter irregularities.

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Bipartisan Push by Georgia Lawmakers to Replace Confederate Statue at U.S. Capitol

Republican lawmakers in Georgia appear ready to cave and work with Democrats on the removal of yet another Confederate statue. 

“The state legislative effort to remove the figure of Alexander Stephens from the National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol and replace it with a likeness of the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis will begin in earnest on Wednesday with a bipartisan resolution promoting the change,” according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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Senator Kelly Loeffler Concedes to Raphael Warnock

United States Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) conceded her race to Democrat challenger Rev. Raphael Warnock Thursday evening. 

“I want to thank every Georgian, and every single American who believed in me and our campaign,” Loeffler said in a video posted on her Twitter page. “We accomplished so much in a short time. From delivering relief to hard-working Georgians during this pandemic, to funding our rural hospitals and healthcare, advocating for our farmers, our veterans, for school choice and families, for standing up for conservative American values.” 

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State Rep. Alleges Georgia House Speaker David Ralston ‘Lied to Trump’ About Following Through on Efforts to Convene a Special Session

In an interview with The Georgia Star News on Friday, State Rep. David Clark (R-Buford), alleged that Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) has no intention to follow through on a promise he made to President Trump in a phone call earlier this month.

Clark alleged that in that phone conversation, Ralston promised President Trump he would use his power and influence to convene a special session of the Georgia General Assembly, for the purpose of reviewing the qualifications of Electors in the aftermath of the November 3rd election, fraught with allegations of voter fraud.

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Georgia Gov. Kemp Awarded $107 Million Contract to Dominion Two Weeks After Meeting With People’s Republic of China Consul General

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp awarded a $107 million contract to Dominion Voting Systems two weeks after he met with the Houston-based Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Atlanta.

Kemp met with Li Qiangmin, Houston Consul General of the People’s Republic of China, on July 12, 2019.

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Gov. Brian Kemp Silent on Whether He Might Use Powers to Move Date of Georgia U.S. Senate Races to February

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp would not say Tuesday whether he favors a special legislative session to change the date of the state’s two U.S. Senate elections from January 5 to February 1 of next year. Moving back the date might give members of the Georgia General Assembly additional time to coordinate and develop ways to prevent potential election fraud.

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