“It’s very simple: You either support public safety officers and law enforcement and law and order, or you don’t,” said state Rep. Will Wade, a Republican from Dawsonville. “Voting ‘yes’ says you do, voting ‘no’ says you don’t. That’s an easy choice to make.”
Democratic state Rep. Saira Draper said the resolution was little more than “political gamesmanship.”
“If Democrats vote ‘yes’ on this, we give no weight to the legitimate concerns about the center and about our right to protest. But if we vote ‘no’ on this, you’ll say we’re against public safety,” said Draper, who represents Atlanta. “You’ve probably got the attack ads drafted up and ready to print for 2024.”
Objections to the center included environmental concerns for the forest and the South River, its location near residential neighborhoods in DeKalb County and a desire for a referendum that would let voters decide.
Republican Gov. Brian Kemp has prioritized the training center ahead of next year’s elections as voters consistently list public safety among their top concerns. The center is also backed by Democratic Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens.
The nonbinding proposal, Senate Resolution 6EX, previously passed the state Senate on a 46-5 vote.
Unlike bills, resolutions have no force of law and don’t require the governor’s signature.