Republican candidate for Georgia Governor, Brian Kemp, announced Wednesday his policy for veterans’ issues.
Kemp has been working with a group of veterans from across Georgia.
Melanie Caceras served in the US Air Force for 12 years and one of the hardest parts was coming home.
“I almost went back in, when I got out of active duty and came back to Georgia. I struggled for months trying to fit back into civilian life,” says Caceras.
That’s why she says it’s critical that Georgia’s next governor has a plan for supporting the military, beyond the bases.
Brian Kemp unveiled his plan Wednesday alongside a host of Georgia lawmakers and veterans. The highlight: eliminating income tax from retired military pay. A page pulled from his runoff opponent Casey Cagle.
“The message is spread. Go to Texas, go to Florida…”
Because those states do not have income for veterans, or in some cases at all. Kemp says the plan helps veterans and businesses.
“I think you can tell by today that this plan has a good return on investment, by drawing veterans here and keeping the ones that we have here. Workforce development is a huge issue,” says Kemp.
Kemp’s plan also calls to put veterans’ transition centers on the campuses of all 22 Georgia technical colleges to help them get work skills. And for a military liaison to connect veterans to resources.
“I personally have gotten calls from children of 70 and 80-year-old veterans sitting for 6 hours in waiting room at the VA center and can’t get in. As if I have a magic wand to solve that. That is how desperate they are,” says former GOP candidate for Governor, Clay Tippins.
Touching on VA healthcare, a problem perhaps too tricky to tackle on the ground in Georgia…
“Certainly the federal government has to got to be able to weigh in on the VA,” says Kemp.
Kemp says he plans to weigh in on the value of Georgia’s bases to the federal government. Bases that contribute $19 billion to Georgia per year.
That plan would cost around $60 million dollars.
Kemp’s opponent, Stacey Abrams, announced her plan for veterans in April.
Her plan calls for workforce training and transition support, defending the base budget and focusing on veterans’ mental health.