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Gov. Kemp talks HOPE Scholarship, getting more teachers in State of the State address

On Wednesday, Governor Brian Kemp laid out his plan for Georgia in his first State of the State address since his reelection.

The speech included his proposed budget and his goals for the coming year.

WSB′s Richard Elliot was inside the State Capitol for the governor’s address where Gov. Kemp talked a bit about what he says are his accomplishments during his first term but mostly looked ahead to his second term and in particular, this year’s legislative session.

The governor spoke before a joint session of the House and Senate which also included the Georgia Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, and other department heads.

Among the things Kemp talked about were spending nearly $2 billion to fully fund Georgia’s QBE formula, getting more teachers into the classroom, and efforts to fully fund the HOPE scholarship.

“That is why, for the first time in over a decade, and in the 30th year of both this program and the Georgia Lottery, we are once again fulfilling Gov. Zell Miller’s vision and returning HOPE scholarship and grant awards to 100% of tuition,” Kemp said.

Georgia Democrats are expected to give their rebuttal to the governor’s speech later this afternoon.

Ahead of Kemp’s address on Wednesday, The Atlanta Journal Constitution released a new poll that showed the governor has “never been stronger.”

>> Poll: Kemp’s approval rating at record high ahead of State of the State address

Kemp’s approval rating now sits at a “record high, and most Georgians say the state is squarely on the right track,” The AJC’s Greg Bluestein reports.

The new poll shows about 62% of Georgia voters “strongly” or “somewhat” approve of Kemp’s performance. Bluestein adds that according to the poll conducted by the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs, “the poll has a margin of error of 3.3 percentage points.”

This marks the “highest approval Kemp has logged in an AJC poll since taking office in 2019 and a dramatic reversal from a nadir two years ago,” Bluestein explains. “Vilified by Trump and scorned by Democrats, just 42% of Georgia voters approved of Kemp’s performance back then.”

>> Read more from The AJC here.

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