Tag: Governor Nathan Deal

Here’s something you might not know about the Savannah River and Harbor expansion project.  Georgia sturgeon living about 130 miles up the river would get a new bypass to their spawning grounds.  In fact, $225 million or about one-third of total cost has been allocated to environmental mitigation, including the purchase and permanent preservation of some 2,000 shoreline acres. Dredging the Savannah River and harbor to 48 feet from its current 42-foot depth is quite possibly Georgia’s most significant economic development project since Atlanta was rebuilt after the Civil War, or perhaps more realistically, the development of Atlanta’s international airport. It is nearly impossible to overstate the critical nature of this $625 million venture.  With an improved Savannah River and… View Article
Governor Nathan Deal opened three days of House-Senate appropriations hearings by taking exception to media reports that suggest his budget is a significant spending increase. Deal proposed a $19.2 million Fiscal 2013 budget, up from $18.3 million this year.  Increases would fully fund anticipated K-12 enrollment growth, required pension and the state health care benefit obligations, improve Medicaid funding and enable the state to purchase new prison beds “for those who truly need to be locked up,” the Governor said. “Other than funding these areas of growth, my budget calls for funding increases of three-tenths of 1 percent,” Deal told assembled legislators at the State Capitol, “not the figure that you have seen in some of the media reports.”  Deal… View Article
Republicans seem almost united that the General Assembly should not consider legislation this session to create a health insurance exchange.  “The House, the Senate and the Governor have all agreed to wait on that,” Sen. Renee Unterman said Thursday morning. Well, united with at least one exception.  Former lawmaker and second-year Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens said, “I would like to see the legislature move forward with an exchange,” when he sat next to Unterman at “Health Care Unscrambled” hosted by Georgians for a Healthy Future.  Think of it as “Eggs and Aspirin” under dim lighting at the Freight Depot. “Wait on that” means wait for this summer’s hotly anticipated U.S. Supreme Court opinion that will decide whether the federal health… View Article
Governor Nathan Deal’s Fiscal 2013 proposed budget includes $700 million in new bonded projects with $235 million for the University System, $177 million for the state Board of Education and $55 million for the Technical College System.  The overall bonds package is larger than $563 million proposed by the Governor last year. The largest pieces of the University System package are $59 million to design and construct an engineered biosystems building at Georgia Tech; $52.3 million for a veterinary medical learning center at the University of Georgia; $35 million for general improvements; $28 million for a medical education commons at the Georgia Health Sciences University in Augusta; and, $25.2 million for a new health building at Georgia Gwinnett College. Other… View Article
Georgia Public Broadcasting was named in Governor Nathan Deal’s 2013 proposed budget as one of 35 programs that will participate in zero-based budgeting reviews.  GPB is the only state authority whose budget shows up in the zero-based budget review category. During his Tuesday evening State of the State address Governor Deal said 10 percent of state programs would move to zero-based budgets. Popularly known as GPB-TV and GPB Radio, the authority’s official name is Georgia Public Telecommunications Commission.  The state public broadcaster is attached to the University System Board of Regents for budget purposes.  Governor Deal’s 2013 proposed budget would give GPB a very slight budget trim to $12.3 million in state dollars, less than the two percent average reduction… View Article
Governor Nathan Deal looked to the stars for guidance Tuesday evening as he delivered his second State of the State address before the General Assembly in Atlanta.  During a 42-minute address the Governor from Gainesville described his goal to achieve another world class medical college in Georgia, announced millions of new dollars for public education, threw a lifeline to former state commission charter schools and he put his stamp firmly onto corrections reform.  Before doing that, Deal turned to the stars. “Georgians have charged us to set a course for our state and they have defined the stars that we must follow to expand opportunity; the star of education – we must provide great schools that will cultivate the minds… View Article
Governor Nathan Deal has unveiled a package of tax reforms and tax credits that he says are essential to make Georgia the number one state in the nation to do business.  One theme was familiar – reducing the energy tax on manufacturing – but other elements were new from the Competitiveness Initiative Task Force that the governor announced one year ago. “Today, in executive offices right here in Georgia, business leaders are making the business decision to  expand manufacturing activity and facilities in neighboring states,” Deal said at the state Chamber of Commerce “Eggs and Issues” breakfast.  “Every time they make that decision, we miss out on new investment in our communities and new opportunities for Georgians.” Deal’s address to… View Article
As Georgia emerges from the recession, we face a great opportunity to reshape state government for the future. Rather than blindly funding the same ineffective programs, we can rebuild smarter, more efficient programs. ● Gov. Nathan Deal and the General Assembly laid the groundwork in 2011 for the first fundamental change by establishing a panel of experts to review Georgia’s criminal justice system. The panel’s recommendations present a common-sense strategy to divert nonviolent offenders, especially those with drug or mental health problems, to more effective treatment and community-based options. This will help free up Georgia’s overcrowded prisons, reduce pressure on local jails and still protect people from violent felons. The significant long-term savings from lower incarceration costs will fund the… View Article
Next month the Georgia legislature will begin to consider whether substance abusers who are not a public safety risk should receive a stay out of jail card. How lawmakers decide the question could slow down runaway costs and impact state corrections policy for decades. Last month the Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform said options – notably, more drug courts and treatment plus more day reporting centers — could reduce state prison population growth.  Drug courts are part of an accountability sentencing movement that includes mental health courts and veterans’ courts.  Here is what the council said about substance abuse: “In 2010, Georgia courts sent more than 5,000 lower-risk drug and property offenders to prison who have never been to… View Article
The following excerpts contain all the substantial recommendations contained within the Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform report that was released today by Governor Nathan Deal’s office. There was no news conference at the time this article was posted.  The online complete Special Council report contains extensive sourcing footnotes that were eliminated here to ease reading.  Edited for length. Policies to Protect Public Safety, Hold Offenders Accountable and Contain Corrections Costs Georgia policymakers are looking for ways to increase public safety and to control corrections spending and growth in the prison population. Per its legislative mandate, the Council undertook an extensive review of the state’s data and practices to analyze whether Georgia’s laws, policies and practices were focused on reducing… View Article

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