State of the State: Gov. Kemp reflects on Georgia’s COVID-19 battle, touts economy

Georgia

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has delivered his annual State of the State address, a speech that began sketching out reelection hopes on a strong economy.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp leads Speaker of the House David Ralston, back left, and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan into a news conference Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta. Kemp has denounced the violent protesters who stormed the U.S. Capitol, calling their actions a “disgrace and quite honestly un-American.” (AP Photo/Ben Gray)

Thursday’s speech was shadowed by Georgia’s soaring COVID-19 death toll and historic Democratic wins in the state for president and two Senate seats that shifted the balance of power in Washington.

It marks the halfway point of four years in office.

The first-term Republican reflected heavily on the crisis created by the virus, but also celebrated some victories.

He argued that the state’s economy is growing and its budget picture has brightened considerably since lawmakers made $2.2 billion in cuts last year.

Read Kemp’s address as prepared for delivery:

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