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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
March 18, 2020
Hon. Brian P. Kemp
Governor of Georgia
Office of the Governor
Suite 203, State Capitol
206 Washington Street
Atlanta, GA 30334
RE: Economic Resilience During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Dear Governor Kemp:
We write as a group of first-term members of the Georgia House of Representatives who, like you, are
committed to ensuring Georgians’ economic prosperity and survival during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
We applaud your swift action yesterday in requesting assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration
in the form of Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
As a result of the crisis’s impact on businesses, we are already seeing an unprecedented burden on
Georgia’s workers. This crisis threatens to cause an economic downturn unlike any in recent memory because
of its unique cause: the need for physical distance between people. Corporate offices are closing, bars and
restaurants are shuttered, and factories may soon follow. The whole country should expect a precipitous drop in
economic output and a massive increase in unemployment. Just this past week, for example, the State of Ohio
saw a sevenfold increase in the number of unemployment insurance applications it received, from 6,500 to
45,000. Last night, the U.S. Treasury Secretary cautioned that nationwide unemployment could hit 20%. Every
day—and every hour—now matters.
To protect Georgia’s small businesses and workers, we will need to rapidly employ a variety of creative
solutions that draw on the emergency powers authorized by the General Assembly this week. In our opinion,
these solutions need to be laser-focused on keeping capital in the hands of small businesses and workers:
dollars in pockets. It will not be enough to employ traditional forms of stimulus. Tax credits and payroll tax
cuts would take too long to have the desired effect, and ideas like public works projects are contrary to the need
for social distancing.
In the spirit of urgency and direct action, we ask that you consider ideas such as the following:
• Deferring the March 20 sales tax deadline for businesses until a later date, or allowing payment
plans (and considering similar relief for future deadlines as necessary);
• Further expanding the scope and duration of unemployment insurance (along with extra staffing
at DOL to expedite claims);
• Removing restrictions on “approved foods” and other limitations on nutrition subsidies like those
available through Georgia’s Women, Infants, and Children program.
These actions would help to ensure that small businesses and workers have the dollars-in-pockets that they need
to survive and thrive during the pandemic. We ask that you consider any policy that achieves that result.
We are praying for your success in leading our State through this unprecedented crisis.
RESPECTFULLY SIGNED, with permission:
______Rep. Josh McLaurin, HD 51______ _______Rep. Mary Robichaux, HD 48_____
_____Rep. Shelly Hutchinson, HD 107____ ______Rep. El-Mahdi Holly, HD 111______
_____Rep. Angelika Kausche, HD 50_____ ______Rep. Jasmine Clark, HD 108_______
___Rep. Mary Frances Williams, HD 37___ ______Rep. Betsy Holland, HD 54________
_______Rep. Beth Moore, HD 95________ ______Rep. Gregg Kennard, HD 102______
_______Rep. Erick Allen, HD 40_________ ______Rep. Matthew Wilson, HD 80______
_______Rep. CaMia Hopson, HD 153_____ ________Rep. Viola Davis, HD 87________
_______Rep. Becky Evans, HD 83________

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Freshman House Democrats Letter to Governor Kemp - 03.18.20

  • 1. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES March 18, 2020 Hon. Brian P. Kemp Governor of Georgia Office of the Governor Suite 203, State Capitol 206 Washington Street Atlanta, GA 30334 RE: Economic Resilience During the COVID-19 Pandemic Dear Governor Kemp: We write as a group of first-term members of the Georgia House of Representatives who, like you, are committed to ensuring Georgians’ economic prosperity and survival during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We applaud your swift action yesterday in requesting assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration in the form of Economic Injury Disaster Loans. As a result of the crisis’s impact on businesses, we are already seeing an unprecedented burden on Georgia’s workers. This crisis threatens to cause an economic downturn unlike any in recent memory because of its unique cause: the need for physical distance between people. Corporate offices are closing, bars and restaurants are shuttered, and factories may soon follow. The whole country should expect a precipitous drop in economic output and a massive increase in unemployment. Just this past week, for example, the State of Ohio saw a sevenfold increase in the number of unemployment insurance applications it received, from 6,500 to 45,000. Last night, the U.S. Treasury Secretary cautioned that nationwide unemployment could hit 20%. Every day—and every hour—now matters. To protect Georgia’s small businesses and workers, we will need to rapidly employ a variety of creative solutions that draw on the emergency powers authorized by the General Assembly this week. In our opinion, these solutions need to be laser-focused on keeping capital in the hands of small businesses and workers: dollars in pockets. It will not be enough to employ traditional forms of stimulus. Tax credits and payroll tax cuts would take too long to have the desired effect, and ideas like public works projects are contrary to the need for social distancing. In the spirit of urgency and direct action, we ask that you consider ideas such as the following: • Deferring the March 20 sales tax deadline for businesses until a later date, or allowing payment plans (and considering similar relief for future deadlines as necessary); • Further expanding the scope and duration of unemployment insurance (along with extra staffing at DOL to expedite claims); • Removing restrictions on “approved foods” and other limitations on nutrition subsidies like those available through Georgia’s Women, Infants, and Children program.
  • 2. These actions would help to ensure that small businesses and workers have the dollars-in-pockets that they need to survive and thrive during the pandemic. We ask that you consider any policy that achieves that result. We are praying for your success in leading our State through this unprecedented crisis. RESPECTFULLY SIGNED, with permission: ______Rep. Josh McLaurin, HD 51______ _______Rep. Mary Robichaux, HD 48_____ _____Rep. Shelly Hutchinson, HD 107____ ______Rep. El-Mahdi Holly, HD 111______ _____Rep. Angelika Kausche, HD 50_____ ______Rep. Jasmine Clark, HD 108_______ ___Rep. Mary Frances Williams, HD 37___ ______Rep. Betsy Holland, HD 54________ _______Rep. Beth Moore, HD 95________ ______Rep. Gregg Kennard, HD 102______ _______Rep. Erick Allen, HD 40_________ ______Rep. Matthew Wilson, HD 80______ _______Rep. CaMia Hopson, HD 153_____ ________Rep. Viola Davis, HD 87________ _______Rep. Becky Evans, HD 83________