When legislators return to Atlanta in June, they should stow all nonpressing legislation. Their priority — their only one other than the budget — ought to be the state in general and what they can do to help its people and its businesses recover from the destructive influences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gov. Brian Kemp has been doing an excellent job. He and other state leaders have Georgia moving in the right direction. That’s not an easy task when the only choices fall under one of two headings: bad and not so good. Do you keep the state closed, sit back and let the already tattered economy sink into complete ruin, or do you put your faith in people and begin a gradual return to normalcy by reopening its assets?
Gov. Kemp picked the latter and so far, knock on wood, it appears to be working. Most people and businesses are exercising common sense, protecting themselves and others from the coronavirus, and breathing life into the flagging state economy.
Question now is, what’s next? What does the state do about schools and educating future generations? Include in that question colleges and universities. Do we write off practically a whole second semester, hoping virtual school sufficiently filled the void, or what? And taxes – what if people can’t pay in July? Are they fined? Do they lose their homes?
There’s a myriad of issues galloping toward the immediate future – a future hijacked by an unseen killer that claimed the lives of hundreds of Georgians and stole the livelihoods and life-savings of literally thousands of others.
How nice it would be if the men and women elected to represent the state and its citizens in the Georgia General Assembly, Republican and Democrat alike, put more than meaningless posturing into what we’re going to do about tomorrow. These elected officials come from all walks of life, all backgrounds. They as much as anyone else know what awaits us.
To pretend otherwise, to waste the remaining time of this broken session of the legislature arguing over measures that can wait another year or years, would be a great disservice to every Georgian.