Brian Kemp

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Gov. Brian Kemp declared on Monday a state of emergency in Grady, Harris and Talbot counties after a tornado killed at least 23 people in southeastern Alabama on Sunday.

The death toll may rise, Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones told reporters Monday morning.


On this edition of Political Rewind, it’s been some time since legislators have taken a serious look at further restrictions on abortion in Georgia. But now, a move to all but make the procedure illegal is up for consideration and Gov. Kemp has added his voice to the debate. Our panel looks at what might be the most explosive issue of the 2019 session.

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

A bill that will be filed in the Georgia House would virtually ban abortions if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns its Roe v. Wade decision or if states are allowed to outlaw abortion.

In a press release Thursday, Gov. Brian Kemp announced support for the bill, which provides a maximum penalty of $100,000 fine and 10 years in prison for someone who performs an abortion.

On the campaign trail, Kemp vowed to pass the "toughest abortion laws in the country."

Ezra Morris / GPB

It's a week before Crossover Day, the last day a bill can survive this session without passing either the House or the Senate.

That means it's crunch time for bills that have been filed, as well as a slew of bills that are both new and controversial.

Here's some highlights:

-The House passed the record $27.5 billion FY 2020 budget, which adds a $2,775 raise for teachers - and other school staff. Also included is $150 million for new voting machines, training for local poll workers and other maintenance costs.

Donna Lowry / GPB News

Gov. Brian Kemp announced on Thursday a boost for Georgia’s workforce. Solar energy will power 400 new jobs in Early County, in the southwest part of the state.

Donna Lowry / GPB

Students who suffer from bullying, have been adopted from foster care, live in poverty or have a specified disability may be part of a group that would qualify for a state-funded private school voucher to provide alternatives to public education

GPB News

On this edition of Political Rewind, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen is continuing his appearance before the House Oversight Committee on capitol hill. Have we learned anything new from his public testimony? Meanwhile, the President is in Hanoi meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

First Lady Marty Kemp announces the creation of a sex trafficking commission at the State Capitol on Tuesday.
First Lady of Georgia Marty Kemp / Facebook

First lady Marty Kemp announced a new initiative Tuesday aimed at combating human trafficking in the state.

Speaking in the governor’s office, Kemp announced the creation of the Georgians for Refuge, Action, Compassion and Education, or GRACE Commission. The commission will be chaired by the first lady along with GBI Director Vic Reynolds and Speaker Pro-Tempore Jan Jones.

Kemp spoke about her time traveling the state on the campaign trail and hearing about Georgians’ concerns.

Brian Kemp, center, walks with President Donald Trump, right, and Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga) as Trump arrives for a rally in Macon.
John Bazemore / AP Photo

U.S. Sen. David Perdue told members of the Georgia House of Representatives that he expects a disaster relief package to help victims devastated by Hurricane Michael to be signed by the president this week.

House Speaker David Ralston steps away form the podium after speaking on the House floor on Feb. 11, 2016.
David Goldman / AP Photo

On this edition of Political Rewind, as David Ralston faces calls for his resignation from GOP colleagues, Gov. Kemp and former Govs. Roy Barnes and Nathan Deal have voiced their support. We discuss the future for the state house speaker.

Brian Kemp waves after being sworn in as Georgia's governor during a ceremony at Georgia Tech's McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta.
John Bazemore / AP Photo

On this edition of Political Rewind, two major policy proposals are taking shape at the legislature right now. A Senate committee has voted to give Gov. Kemp the power to determine the future of Medicaid expansion in Georgia. The measure is sure to be hotly contested by Democratic lawmakers.

Division of Youth and Family Services

A proposal to allow Gov. Brian Kemp to pursue Medicaid waivers from the federal government was approved by a Georgia Senate committee Tuesday.

The Senate Health & Human Services Committee voted 9-4 to approve a bill authorizing Kemp's office to pursue the waivers after lawmakers sped through testimony and questions in a one-hour meeting.

David Goldman / AP Photo

On this edition of Political Rewind, House Speaker David Ralston is pushing back against an AJC investigative report that alleges he used his position to delay criminal proceedings against a number of his clients. We’ll look at the latest developments in the story.

GPB News

Gov. Brian Kemp on Friday signed his first law since taking office.

"This was a team effort from the general assembly, law enforcement, educators and concerned citizens to do the right thing and help save kid’s lives," Kemp said.

Senate Bill 25 was the first measure Republicans passed under the Kemp Administration, and the law makes it illegal for oncoming traffic to drive past a stopped school bus in a road divided by a turn lane.


Georgia has a new tool to help those suffering from mental health issues.

Gov. Brian Kemp announced an app to go along with the Georgia Crisis and Access Line or GCAL. The hotline, which launched in 2006, receives almost 1,000 calls each day. Now, the state is adding a GCAL app.

Kemp Names Members of Georgians First Commission

Feb 12, 2019
 a press conference Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at the State Capitol.
Donna Lowry / GPB

Gov. Brian Kemp announced his elected officials for Georgians First Commission Tuesday.

Kemp named Cade Joiner and James Whitley to co-chair the commission. The two will lead the 18 member organization and report recommendations back to the governor's office. 

It’s been another busy week in Georgia politics.  Gov. Brian Kemp has just announced his intention to seek a Medicaid waiver from the federal government.  Meanwhile, legislators are a quarter of the way through the session.  They’re tackling issues ranging from the $27.5 billion budget to offshore drilling and its effect on the coast.

GPB Politics Reporter Stephen Fowler offered his weekly recap to “On Second Thought” listeners.

Gov. Brian Kemp speaks after being sworn in as Georgia's governor during a ceremony at Georgia Tech's McCamish Pavilion, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, in Atlanta.
(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

On this edition of Political Rewind, Governor Kemp says he’ll ask the legislature to approve a plan for Medicaid waivers that will make health care more available to poor and middle-class Georgians.  How will the plan fare among lawmakers and Georgia voters?

Cobb County DA Office / Facebook

Incoming Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vic Reynolds said taking down criminal gangs throughout the state is a priority.

The Cobb County District Attorney was appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp, who also sees gang activity as a major problem.

GPB News

A move toward expanding school choice is expected to come up during this legislative session because both  Gov. Brian Kemp and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan campaigned on the issue.

School choice can range from private to charters to magnet schools. Each are funded differently.

Donald Trump speaking at the White House Thursday, January 31, 2019.

On this edition of Political Rewind, Gov. Brian Kemp announces a new director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. We’ll look at the career of the man he’s putting in charge of state law enforcement.

Vic Reynolds Named New GBI Director

Feb 1, 2019
Vic Reynolds was named director of the GBI on Friday, February 1, 2019.
Vic Reynolds/Cobb DA / Facebook

Gov. Brian Kemp announced Friday that Vic Reynolds will be the new director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Kemp and Reynolds are allies in targeting gang violence in the state of Georgia. Kemp has been searching for a new director since Vernon Keenan, GBI head for 15 years, announced his plans to retire in mid-December.

Reynolds is a former police officer, chief magistrate judge, prosecutor and criminal defense attorney. He was elected as Cobb’s District Attorney in 2012.

Gov. Brian Kemp speaks to Scott Slade on GPB's Lawmakers, Tuesday January 29, 2019.
Lawmakers / GPB

On this edition of Political Rewind, Stacey Abrams is in the national spotlight after the announcement that she’ll give the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s State of The Union address. What impact will this high-reward, high-risk assignment have on her political future?

Rogelio V. Solis / AP Photo

On this edition of Political Rewind, Gov. Brian Kemp says the state is prepared and hopes to avoid the catastrophe that has gripped North Georgia during past winter storms.


A new front has opened in the ongoing "religious liberty" legislative battle, this time over religious expression in schools.

On Monday, State Rep. Kasey Carpenter, a Dalton Republican, filed House Bill 53 known as ‘The Student and Educator Faith Protection Act,’ the first religious liberty measure to be put forth during the 2019 state legislative session.


On this edition of Political Rewind, as wintry weather moves into the state Gov. Kemp is making plans to minimize the impact it might have on residents in the northern part of the state.

President Donald Trump announced a deal to temporarily reopen the government, in the Rose Garden of the White House.
The White House

On this edition of Political Rewind, after two bills failed to break the standoff between Republicans and Democrats, President Donald Trump announced a deal to temporarily reopen all the agencies of the federal government.


At the state Capitol, it’s time to take a deeper dive into Gov. Brian Kemp’s proposed budget.  GPB's "Lawmakers" will continue work on the amended budget for the fiscal year 2019 and the general budget for the fiscal year 2020, which begins July 1, 2019.

Screenshot | Governor's Office of Planning and Budget

Everyone has a budget, including the state government.

Over the course of three days and hours upon hours of hearings, the state house and senate appropriations committees heard from Gov. Brian Kemp and state agencies about the record $27.5 billion budget proposal which starts July 1.


Gov. Brian Kemp will appear on GPB TV's "Lawmakers" at 7 p.m. Monday.

Host Scott Slade has the one-on-one interview for viewers on GPB TV.

Kemp was inaugurated as the state's 83rd governor last week, and in his first speech to Georgians reiterated some of his campaign’s focus areas like education, and made a pledge to unify the state following a tight and prolonged contest with Democrat Stacey Abrams.