House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams Previews Session Priorities

On WABE this morning, host Denis O’Hayer shared a conversation he had with House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D-Atlanta) on the eve of session, noting that the House democrats hold just enough seats in the House to block a Constitutional amendment.

Their conversation centered on:

  • Governor Deal’s proposals for education reform –
    • “Money following the child is a nice sentiment, but the question is how much money, and which children are we following?” And, “The state should not invest in private schools with public money.”
  • The HOPE scholarship –
    • “If we decide to move in the direction of gaming, we should invest those new revenue – and what I’m calling ‘Hope 2,’ which is a need-based program. Georgia is one of a handful of states that does not provide need-based aid… By moving [HOPE] to merit-based aid, we left thousands of kids behind.”
  • Her own leadership in the House –
    • “My job as leader is not to put people in line. My responsibility as leader is to present legislative options and to say, “Here is the best way for us to serve our constituents together,’ and to a person my caucus members have said they agree.”

The link above features their in-depth conversation (around 30 minutes long), as well a Reader’s Digest version. The longer version expands the dialogue to include casino gambling, MARTA, Georgia’s voting laws, and Rep. Abrams’ own political goals.

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gsupantherfan1
gsupantherfan1

First off… I like the new site and wish all the contributors well in this new venture.
Secondly, while I support legalizing casino gaming and horse racing, I don’t necessarily believe that dedicating this revenue for need-based scholarships is a good idea. With new options for gaming, it is my guess that revenue currently generated by the lottery will drop leading to less money for the current HOPE scholarship. I do like the idea of using it as an extra source of funds for education, but don’t like the idea that Rep. Abrams is pushing.

Pete Gibbons
Pete Gibbons

This is not an endorsement of northeast Georgia wanting a casino but I find it weird that all of NE GA, Athens, and Augusta would be lumped into the same zone as Atlanta. This would most likely mean there would never be any casino development in these areas as Atlanta would always be the number one choice. Northeast Georgia has been severely hurt by the downturn and has yet to come back in many areas. This is one area of the state that always seems to be passed over for development, yet its possible one of the most in need.… Read more »