Conservatives, Civil Rights Groups Concerned as Brian Kemp Trashes Nathan Deal’s Legacy

January 23, 2020

Kemp’s Budget Defunds Bi-partisan Criminal Justice Reform That “Drew National Praise” 

ATLANTA – Since well before his first day as Governor, Brian Kemp has proven that his drastic agenda is too extreme for Georgians – and now he’s burning down the “prized legislative achievement” of his predecessor, Republican Gov. Nathan Deal. 

Yesterday, a bombshell Atlanta Journal Constitution report revealed that Kemp’s budget effectively unravels Deal’s legacy, a nationally acclaimed criminal justice overhaul, which “saved taxpayers in prison spending, reduced the number of black inmates and expanded treatment programs for nonviolent offenders. changed how Georgia treated nonviolent offenders.” 

From the AJC: 

“The governor’s spending plan, which orders state agencies to cut their budgets 4% this year and 6% next year, slices funding for the network of accountability courts greatly expanded by Deal that allow defendants to avoid prison time if they stay sober, seek treatment and get a job.

“Barely a week after praising Nathan Deal at his State of the State, Brian Kemp is now using his budget to trash Deal’s bipartisan criminal justice legacy, which experts agree made Georgia safer and kept tax dollars in our wallets,” said Maggie Chambers, spokeswoman for the Democratic Party of Georgia. “Georgia Republicans are standing by while Kemp wages an all out war on Deal’s reforms – proving that they will always put scare tactics and partisanship ahead of results.”

Kemp’s drastic rejection of Deal’s legacy is drawing criticism from civil rights groups and even his fellow conservatives, with one Georgia Republican saying, “The concern is this is the beginning of a shift. It’s a shift that, quite frankly, doesn’t make any sense…We know these reforms work. Why would you change the approach and go back to what we know doesn’t work?” A representative from the Southern Center for Human Rights called the effort “unwise, fiscally irresponsible and will once again fail to effectively reduce crime and recidivism.” 

Last week, the AJC called into question Kemp’s motives behind his drastic policy choices. Georgia Bureau of Investigation data shows that violent crime in Georgia has lowered between 2010 and 2017 – and U.S. Justice Department data shows that violent crime in Georgia has been in decline since the 1990s. 


Other News from DPG

Questions? Tips? Call anytime.

Georgia Voter Protection Line


Democratic Party of Georgia

Help us elect Democrats in Georgia.