$350 for Medicaid, SNAP and TANF recipients
On August 15, Georgia's Governor Brian Kemp confirmed that he has allocated $1 billion of state funds towards one-off payments to some of the state's residents most in need. The assistance will be available in $350 payments targeted at those who were already enrolled in either Medicaid, SNAP or TANF benefit schemes within the state as at July 31, 2022.
The Governor took to Twitter on August 16 with a video message to his followers, outlining the scheme.
The announcement came just days after Kemp had suggested that together with state legislators he would be considering ways to help the state by distributing some of its budget surplus to the people.
This help will be on top of other measures, such as the suspension of tax on gasoline which is still ongoing into September.
Economic situation "exacerbated by the Biden administration"
Like many Republican politicians, Governor Kemp has been keen at every turn to blame the federal government and the Biden administration for what amounts to mismanagement of the economy and which has led to the current, record levels of inflation seen across the United States. He stated this clearly in the latest announcement of benefit payments:
"This assistance will help some of Georgia's most vulnerable citizens cope with the continued negative economic impact of the COVID-19 public health emergency and 40-year-high inflation caused by disastrous policies that were implemented by the Biden administration."
While the latest numbers showed that the rate of inflation hadn't accelerated (something that President Biden mistakenly announced as an inflation rate of zero), the level remains at 9.1% - higher than has been experienced in over 40-years.
Stacey Abrams remains skeptical
Meanwhile, the Democratic challenger to Kemp's position as governor - Stacey Abrams - has reacted to the announcement with skepticism. She shared her thoughts in a tweet:
In response to the news of targeted payouts of $350 to some of Georgia's most needy citizens, a spokesperson for Abrams has been quoted as saying:
“Kemp’s PR stunt is too little, too late. Georgians need a real leader, not more election-year vote-buying schemes.”
The timing of the announcement may seem like a coincidence, as the state approaches the gubernatorial election - but there can be little denying that those who receive the payments will be glad of them. The real question may be whether all those who need help will be eligible to receive payments from the state?
Do you think the measures being taken by Georgia to help its citizens deal with the cost-of-living crisis are wide-reaching enough? Is there more that Governor Kemp should be doing? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.