Policy / Economic Mobility /
Policy

Economic Mobility

I have a vision for Georgia where prosperity is measured by more than how well business is doing. We need to judge our economy by how many of our families can thrive. Can they afford to start a small business, send a child to camp, take a vacation and not worry about a blown tire or a new prescription? For too many Georgians, the answer is no.

Georgia families deserve a leader who will invest in every person and who has the economic vision and the experience to increase prosperity, lift families from poverty, invest in small businesses and rural development, reduce income inequality and ensure a fair and inclusive economy for all Georgians.  I have the experience to build a fair, thriving economy where every hardworking family has the chance to succeed and thrive. My Georgia Economic Mobility Plan will grow the economy for Georgians and focus on jobs and wages, rural revitalization, small business investment and economic justice.

As Governor, I will steer Georgia to becoming a state where everyone can move up and move forward, to succeed—not just survive.

Economic Justice

Our state’s economy has left too many people behind, and the next governor must ensure that all working Georgians enjoy a decent standard of living. To guarantee that more Georgians can take care of themselves and their families, we must stop waiting for change and create it ourselves.

  • Create an Earned Income Tax Credit for Georgia. Create a tax credit that will let more than 1 million working families keep more of their hard-earned wages, with the greatest impact in rural counties.
  • Increase Disability Protections. Advance economic security for disabled Georgians by ending the practice of subminimum wages and defend disabled Georgians by enforcing fair wage payments.
  • Close the Skills Gap. Partner with educators, employers and nonprofit organizations to identify and promote successful adult literacy initiatives and to develop employability skills programs at every level of our educational system.

Jobs and Wages

The foundation of a thriving economy is the ability of every Georgian to find a good job and earn a decent living, take care of their families and survive a catastrophic event knowing that their government is a partner in — not an obstacle to — recovery. 

  • End Wage Theft and Misclassification. We will Protect Georgia workers from employers who refuse to meet their obligations, costing Georgia families $300 million. 
  • Hold employers accountable for exploiting and underpaying their workers and crack down on employers who wrongly classify employees as independent contractors to avoid paying employment taxes and a fair wage.
  • Fairly Invest in Infrastructure. Georgia is on track to receive billions in federal funds for infrastructure, but right now, the powerful are first in line for contracts, jobs and projects in their communities. 
  • Create a transparent, equitable distribution of infrastructure funds across the state. Citizens can track how and where funds are spent — and who is making the decisions about where progress is made.
  • Increase Apprenticeships. Work with technical colleges, small businesses and unions to generate more than 20,000 additional apprenticeships in fields ranging from building trades and construction to coding and healthcare.
  • Protect Workers. Secure legislative and regulatory changes such as paid sick leave, expansion of unemployment insurance and the repeal of preemption laws that prevent local communities from taking actions to support workers.
  • Buy Georgia Products. Encourage state agencies, projects and contractors to buy more Georgia products and employ more Georgia workers in order to support our local economy.

Small Business Investment

Small businesses are the heart of our state’s economy and a crucial driver of economic mobility both for business owners and for workers. We need a governor who understands the barriers to small business success and is willing to invest in scaling our economy starting here.

  • Small Business Capital Growth Fund. 
    • Invest $10 million in unique, easy-to-use small business financing programs that grow customers and commerce.
    • Develop partnerships with private lenders and CDFIs to multiply investments, and support technical assistance and training programs to help business owners start, grow and scale their companies. 
    • Incentivize greater private sector financial support by directing the Department of Banking and Finance to evaluate banks’ activities in terms of outreach, financial investment, and participation in technical assistance programs.
  • Entrepreneurship Learner’s Permit. 
    • Establish an incubation program through the Georgia Department of Economic Development to assist individuals seeking to form new businesses in the state. 
    • Support first-time entrepreneurs by providing waivers for filing, permitting or licensing fees associated with the formation of new businesses and provide education and training for prospective permit holders and current permit holders. 
  • Georgia Commercial Investment Program. 
    • Use Georgia’s purchasing power to support small businesses, including those owned by women, people of color, veterans, the disabled and those in rural areas.
    • Direct the Department of Administrative Services to establish and monitor targets for purchasing by all state agencies.
    • Provide technical assistance to small businesses to help them secure and fulfill state purchasing contracts.
  • Cluster Contracts Program.
    • Reconfigure large state purchasing contracts to allow multiple entities to jointly bid on subparts of a given contract to expand opportunities for smaller businesses and disrupt the monopolies of larger firms.
  • Georgia Supplier Diversity Initiative. 
    • Direct all state agencies, when procuring goods and services, to actively seek out and support new suppliers owned by groups that are underrepresented in business ownership, including women, people of color, veterans, and the disabled. 
    • Require major state contractors to implement their own programs to encourage supplier diversity. 

Transportation

Georgia must continue to invest in a range of transportation services across the state. Improving transportation is a critical component to strengthen our state’s economy. It is a key driver of social and economic mobility for business owners, workers and families. 

  • Enhance Capacity for Growth in Transportation. Invest in transit through bonding capacity; grant general fund incentives where appropriate. 
  • Include transit as a permitted use of motor fuel taxes. All without sacrificing our current efforts on roads, bridges and economic development projects.
  • Expand transportation options to promote economic development.  Connect more people to job opportunities by investing in long-distance passenger rail lines. 
  • Partner with local communities to expand and coordinate commuter rail and bus networks. Give special attention to rural transit deserts.
  • Build Infrastructure. Invest in transportation infrastructure that workers and businesses need to succeed throughout Georgia, especially in areas that are currently underserved.
  • Increase Accessible Transportation Options. Champion more reliable, efficient non-emergency transportation to ensure seniors, disabled people and others can get to medical appointments, school and work. Promote local efforts to launch volunteer driver programs.

Regulated Gaming

An Abrams administration will restore free technical college and fund the empty need-based financial aid program by using lottery reserves to seed this fund. However, these plans to fund technical college and need-based aid are only as good as Georgia’s ability to pay for them long-term, and I am committed to permanently doing so. 

To that end, I will support legislation enabling online sports gaming and a constitutional amendment to allow casinos in Georgia, as a permanent source of revenue to underwrite broader access to education. As governor I will:

  • Use revenues from sports betting and casinos as a permanent funding source for need-based aid and technical college.
    • Use revenue to make technical college accessible to more Georgians. Restore tuition-free technical certificates and diplomas for students with a 2.0 GPA. Georgia’s technical colleges play a vital role for many students by emphasizing career-focused, hands-on training in trades and technical skills.
      Use revenue to invest in need-based aid for college students. Georgia is one of two states with no funding for need-based aid, despite having an existing mechanism that the current governor has refused to fund.  
    • Create a right-size Lottery Reserve. Lottery reserves currently total $1.6 billion, and fifty percent of the total is legislatively required to be held as a shortfall reserve. The remaining $1.05 billion is an unrestricted, excess reserve that can be appropriated at any time. 
      • My administration will transfer $300 million of the unrestricted reserve into a Need-Based Aid Trust Fund
      • This administration will also seek to increase the legislatively required lottery shortfall reserve to total 100% of the previous year’s revenues to assure the stability of lottery-funded programs.
  • Pass Legislation Providing for Online Sports Betting
    • Tax sports betting proceeds at 20% in Georgia. This is the same tax rate as Tennessee. Georgia would also implement registration and licensing fees. 
    • Appoint the Georgia Lottery Commission to oversee online sports betting. Revenue gained through taxes and licensing fees will also be primarily targeted to higher education. Other education initiatives may be eligible for funding, such as Pre-K or technology funding.
  • Champion a Constitutional Amendment to Bring Casinos to Georgia
    • Propose one to three licenses to open casinos in Georgia as an initial investment. Determination of location and size would be subject to updated studies, proposals and other components of enabling legislation.
    • Make higher education the primary target to grow a stronger skilled workforce. Other education initiatives may be eligible for funding, such as Pre-K or technology funding.
  • Provide Funding for Gambling Addiction Services and Outreach Programs
    • Use a portion of the revenue from gaming to fund evidence-based gambling addiction services. An Abrams administration will build off bipartisan work done in the legislature to address mental and behavioral health issues.
    • Include funding for outreach to prevent gaming addictions. This administration would also ensure that those suffering from gambling addiction can be met where they are when they need help.
Policy / Economic Mobility /
Stacey walking with two young supporters
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