Posted: 12:57 pm Thursday, January 16th, 2014
By Greg Bluestein
Amid yesterday’s sharp-edged attack on Gov. Nathan Deal, Democrat Jason Carter outlined the first concrete legislative proposal of his campaign: A plan to separate education funding from the rest of the state’s budget.
My colleague Kristina Torres has the story on his proposed constitutional amendment, which requires a two-thirds majority in both chambers before it gets on the ballot. Suffice to say it’s the longest of long shots; Carter said he still lacks a single GOP co-sponsor.
But the presence of key House Democrats at his Wednesday and Thursday events, including House Minority Whip Carolyn Hugley and House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, shows that Carter has emerged as the go-to spokesman for his party in the Legislature.
Expect a slow roll-out of other legislative priorities he’ll propose to draw a contrast with Deal. Carter said the proposals involve lottery-funded programs, rural economic development and problems plaguing the child welfare system. He also hinted that a tax overhaul plan is in the works.
“I would like to see much broader tax reform than there was before,” said Carter. “I don’t think taxes should be raised, but we need an honest discussion about tax reform.”
About the Author
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He joined the newspaper in June 2012 after spending seven years with the Atlanta bureau of The Associated Press. He also contributes to the AJC's Political Insider blog. Bluestein has traveled to Haiti with President Jimmy Carter, journeyed to Panama with Gov. Nathan Deal and tracked down a suspected Ponzi schemer in suburban Kansas. He spent weeks in Louisiana covering the Gulf Oil Spill, became an unwitting expert on capital punishment after witnessing almost a dozen executions in Georgia's death chamber and was part of award-winning teams that descended upon the biggest breaking news events in the Southeast. Bluestein has covered a range of beats, including environment, legal affairs and economic development. He's now the AJC's political writer, charged with covering the intricacies of Georgia's lively government on the newspaper's front pages and in the Political Insider blog. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and two daughters.