Stacey Abrams proposes inclusion of “C” students in HOPE Scholarship

Kemp plans economic development announcement of his own Wednesday
Abrams highlights her plans to "create jobs...and grow Georgia’s economy."
Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 4:09 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 9, 2022 at 12:05 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - With less than three months to go before Georgia’s nationally watched governor’s race officially heads to the polls, Democrat Stacey Abrams announced she has a plan that would expand the HOPE Scholarship to include students with a “C” average or higher.

Abrams, a Democrat who is challenging Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in his reelection bid, said her plan does not involve raising taxes.

Abrams said she backs a constitutional amendment that would legalize casino gambling and sports betting. Those tax revenues would fund the expansion of HOPE and would also give Georgians free access to technical college.

She also announced she would use the state’s budget surplus to finance a tax refund.

Following the speech, the Republican National Committee released the following statement:

“Stacey Abrams gave the Peach State Joe Biden and Raphael Warnock and with it, 40-year high inflation and an economic recession. Georgians have had enough of Stacey’s economic ‘solutions.’” - RNC Spokesperson Garrison Douglas

On Tuesday, Kemp’s campaign released excerpts from an Abrams-authored February 2009 opinion piece in the Athens Banner-Herald. In the op-ed, Abrams tells Georgians to “get real” on the need for more taxes:

“Years of economic prosperity have spoiled Americans. We have grown used to a culture of credit and immediate gratification. What the current economic crisis compels us to do - as Americans and as Georgians - is to get real. We must acknowledge in a time of economic decline that services have costs, that government is a tool, not a weapon, and that taxes are a current payment and a future investment in a healthy, vibrant community.”

RELATED: What to expect in Kemp vs. Abrams, round two

A poll released late last month by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution with the University of Georgia showed Kemp leading Abrams by a margin of 48.1% to 43.1%, with seven percent of likely voters having not yet made up their minds.

A poll conducted also in July by AARP Georgia also showed Kemp leading Abrams 52% to 45%, with a larger advantage (56% to 41%) among voters age 50 and older. However, a Quinnipiac poll released in late June showed Kemp and Abrams in a dead heat at 48% each.

Last week, in a metro Atlanta speech, Kemp took aim at what he calls the “Biden recession” and spreading blame to Abrams while at the same time arguing his own state’s economy is good.

In the speech, as reported by the Associated Press, Kemp said his policies are better for voter pocketbooks than Abrams.

Abrams continues to argue Kemp’s policies have only been good for the rich and that Kemp’s distinction between the national and Georgia economy is “mathematically and economically impossible.”

The Associated Press said Kemp plans to unveil his own plans on Thursday for some of Georgia’s surplus, likely to include another round of state income tax rebates plus a property tax break for homeowners.

This is Abrams’ second bid to become the nation’s only Black female governor. She and Kemp faced each other in 2018 in a race to succeed then-Gov. Nathan Deal. Kemp won that contest by only a few thousand votes, and Abrams has yet to concede the election.