(The Center Square) – Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is once again turning to the federal government to distribute more money to residents of the Peach State.
The governor funneled more than $1 billion in money from the US Bailout State Fiscal Stimulus Fund to the state Department of Human Services. The agency will pay up to $350 in cash to recipients of Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Temporary Needy Family Assistance in Georgia.
Kemp, a Republican, said the single document is needed to help recipients weather a sluggish economy amid the lingering COVID-19 pandemic and high inflation.
Democrats criticized the governor for disparaging federal spending plans like the ARP while using the money and taking credit for donating to Georgians. Stacey Abrams, Kemp’s Democratic challenger in the November gubernatorial race, chastised him for making such a move as Election Day approached.
“Whereas [U.S. Sens. Reverend Warnock and Jon Ossoff, both D-Georgia,] brought millions of dollars in COVID relief to Georgians, Brian Kemp slammed the plan and urged our senators to ‘vote down’, Abrams said on Twitter.
“Kemp cares about winning political points, not ordinary Georgians,” Abrams added. “…I won’t wait for an election year to fight for you.”
According to state figures, in 2019 about 1.8 million Georgians were on Medicaid, up about 1% from 2018. Spokespersons for Kemp and DHS did not respond to a request for additional data on Georgians on Medicaid.
The cash gift is open to Georgians who were enrolled in one of the programs before July 31.