Nathan Deal On Why He’s Running For Re-Election

Governor Deal this morning released a wide ranging statement on policy objectives he hopes to accomplish during a second term.  It is posted below, in its entirety.

 Staying No. 1. It’s why I’m running.

By Nathan Deal

In my first term, I’ve worked every day to make Georgia the No. 1 place in the nation in which to do business and create jobs, and together, we accomplished that goal, with top rankings from CNBC and Site Selection magazine in the past year.

In my second term, I want to keep Georgia the No. 1 place for business and jobs, not so that we can have a banner hanging from the rafters but so we can attract businesses, investors and top talent from around the country and the globe to create more good-paying jobs for Georgians. Jobs for Georgians. A high standard of living for our families. Investment in a better future for our children. That’s what this is about. That’s my motivation. That’s why I’m running for governor once again.

I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished working with the General Assembly these past four years, but we have only just begun. To stay No. 1, your team has to go out on the field every season and prove again and again that you’re the best.

In the game of state governance, I plan on doing that by continuing the work we’ve started in education, transportation, economic development, criminal justice, health care and government accountability.

EDUCATION

Rebounding from the Great Recession, we’ve increased k-12 spending for the past four years, including an additional $530 million this year. This funding allowed most districts to end furlough days and increase teacher take-home pay. We also put in money to connect classrooms to the Internet, opening up tremendous possibilities for bringing world-class instruction to every corner of the state.

In the next four years, I will:

  • Continue to prioritize education spending, which comprises more than 54 percent of the state budget this year.
  • Incentivize more technology training through a plan to let computer programming substitute for foreign language, math or science requirements needed for high school graduation.
  • Update the 1985 school funding formula to meet the needs of a 2015 classroom. I will offer reforms that will give school districts more flexibility and help our best teachers stay in the classroom.

TRANSPORTATION 

Transportation plays a role in staying No. 1 too. Our infrastructure must allow us to move goods quickly to market and allow for the workforce to get to the workplace in a reliable and timely fashion. In my second term, I will deliver the following that will create new jobs:

  • Begin work on the deepening of the Savannah harbor.
  • Complete the Jimmy DeLoach Parkway Extension near the Port.
  • Construct and pay for a major overhaul of the economically important Ga. 400/I-285 interchange, one of the most congested corridors in the country.
  • Add badly needed new lanes and options for commuters on I-75 north and south of Atlanta.
  • Finish the last segment of the Fall Line Freeway in Middle Georgia.
  • Begin construction on widenings from Albany to Valdosta and from Valdosta to Waycross in South Georgia.
  • Ensure freight and rail corridors meet needs of expanded port.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Since I took office, we have created nearly 300,000 private sector jobs in Georgia, placing us at No. 5 in the nation in net new jobs and in the top one-third in jobs created per capita. We lowered taxes on families and job creators, eliminating the sales tax on energy used in manufacturing.

In my next term, I will:

  • Expand the Strategic Industries Workforce Development Grant — which pays for full technical school tuition for specified industry sectors with workforce shortages — to include additional areas of study.
  • Make it easier for small businesses and Georgia-based businesses to gain state contracts so we can keep jobs here.
  • Implement the High Demand Career Initiative, which partners our University System and Technical College System with private sector employers so that our institutions are offering the specific skill sets that Georgia employers seek.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM

The criminal justice and juvenile justice reforms that I have signed into law are already working. We’ve changed historical patterns, saved tax dollars and increased public safety. We have eliminated the once-huge county jail  backlog, created drug and mental health courts that provide cheaper and more effective alternative sentencing. Recent reports say that the number of African-Americans being sent to prison has dropped by nearly 20 percent. The next goal is to give them the skills they need to keep a job so they don’t return to a life of crime.

In my next term, I will:

  • Focus on re-entry into society for inmates who have completed their sentences. This includes assisting with transitional housing and job placement.
  • Help more inmates attain their high school diploma while in prison and expand job skill training for inmates that already have a high school degree.
  • Establish veterans courts for returning service members facing issues related to their service.

HEALTH CARE

Health care costs continue to rise, squeezing state revenues more and more. Yet, as a state we’ve continued to invest in health care. We’ve begun work in Augusta on the state’s second National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center, invested in Georgia Regents University to make it a top 50 medical school in the nation, added autism coverage to the State Health Benefit Plan and increased the number of residency slots to keep more young doctors in Georgia.

In my next term, I will:

  • Continue to seek block grant funding for Medicaid from the federal government so that we can receive our fair share of federal funding without additional state spending that we can’t afford.

CAMPAIGN TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY

I will work to pass major reforms to the Georgia Campaign Finance and Accountability Commission. In order to remove any appearance of conflict of interest, I will expand the commission and include equal numbers of appointments from the executive, legislative and judicial branch. Cases against a member of one branch of government would be handled by appointees of the other two branches.

15 comments

  1. John Konop says:

    As many of you know I was a Karen supporter…..with that said Governor Deal has done a very good job on implementing work skilled education, prison reform and promoting Georgia via business. Transportaion has been the big problem…..but this problems is in the house and senate not with the governor. We need more adult leadership like Casey Cagel, Brandon Beach, Fran Miller……to foster a real trasportaion plan…..and less of the irrational spewing with no real plan from many others….

  2. HueyMahl says:

    Staying No 1 in Corruption – it’s why I’m running.
    Staying No. 1 in most unemployment – it’s why I’m running.
    Staying No. 1 in worst public education – it’s why I’m running.
    Staying No. 1 in most uninsured – it’s why I’m running.

    Rebuilding my fortune – it’s why I’m REALLY running.

    • John Konop says:

      I am so tired of the education blanket statements which do not represent the issue.

      1) Our metro Atlanta schools are very good….in fact many are nationally ranked.

      2) Our college system is very strong Georgia Tech top 10 in the country in hard math/science, UGA top level liberal Arts school with strong business and bio med…KSU top level nursing school, engineering and business…., GSU top level business, Emory national recognized private school with excellent reputation in medical, SCAD……….Governor Deal has done a good job promoting this….

      3) Governor Deal has done a very good job in opening up vo-tech opportunities…something that was lacking under Barnes and Perdue…..

      Please do not let facts get in the way you feel about the topic…..

      • HueyMahl says:

        I agree with you to a point – wealthy parts of the metro area are doing pretty good. Almost cracking the national average.

        The Hope scholarship has been great for colleges.

        But last time I checked, our governor represented the entire state, not just the rich areas. Anyone who claims, as you appear to be doing by putting forth sunny anecdotal evidence, that we are not at the bottom of the barrel nationally, is the one really not letting the facts get in the way of their agenda.

        Here are a couple of those pesky “facts” you refer to:

        Georgia in bottom five in SAT scores:
        http://www.commonwealthfoundation.org/policyblog/detail/sat-scores-by-state-2013

        “According to the latest set of national statistics, released in 2012, high school graduation rates were the lowest in the District of Columbia (59 percent), Nevada (62 percent), New Mexico (63 percent), Georgia (67 percent) and Oregon and Alaska (both with 68 percent)”
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matthew-lynch-edd/high-school-dropout-rates_b_5143126.html

        And if you REALLY want to get wonky: http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2014/2014391.pdf

        Have fun. Looking forward to seeing the facts you rely upon to support your position.

        • John Konop says:

          1)……..I agree with you to a point – wealthy parts of the metro area are doing pretty good. Almost cracking the national average……….

          Fact are top high schools are way above the average…..Newsweek picks the best high schools in the country based on advanced placement college-level courses and tests. Just over 1,600 schools— six percent of all the public schools in the U.S.– made the list. In the list of 1,600, there are 55 Georgia high schools, most from metro suburban systems….

          2)….Georgia in bottom five in SAT scores:……..

          Once again not true, we test we more than most states % of students taking the SAT test when equalized we are above average. …….”It is common for scores to decline when the number of students taking an exam increases, because more students of varied academic backgrounds are represented in the test-taking pool,” said Barge. “As the number of SAT takers in Georgia has increased 18 percent among all students and 19 percent among public school students since 2007, score declines like Georgia has experienced can be expected.”……..

          …..For that reason, the College Board has a disclaimer on the site noting “media and others often rank states, districts and schools on the basis of SAT scores despite repeated warnings that such rankings are invalid. The SAT…should never be used alone for such comparisons because demographics and other non-school factors can have a strong effect on scores.”…

          http://www.northfulton.com/Articles-c-2011-09-21-189145.114126-SAT-scores-fall-as-more-students-take-the-college-entrance-exam.html

          BTW as we rolled out academy style vo-tech scores did improve last year…..if we track students better you well see a continuing rise in SAT scores via more 4 year college bound students taking the test verse vo-tech students….

          • HueyMahl says:

            I appreciate you passion, but saying certain parts of our system don’t suck is hardly a ringing endorsement.

            That is why I included a link to the detailed review of our public education system as compiled by the department of education. Taken as a whole, we have little to be proud of.

            Are we improving? Maybe, or maybe it is just a statistical aberration. In my opinion Governor Deal has done little other than talk about the issue. Funding is down, teachers are fewer, graduates are fewer, student debt is higher.

            I applaud all those trying to make it better. But for Nathan Deal to claim he is helping education is like Commission Goddell claiming he is helping battered wives.

        • FranInAtlanta says:

          Georgia may be in the bottom five is SAT scores but –
          1) Our whites, blacks, and Hispanics outperform their counterparts nationally.
          2) Our Nation Merit Scholarship scores have been in the top 12 or near over the last few years.

  3. Three Jack says:

    I’m definitely not supportive of the crook posing as governor, but at least he puts forth an agenda for his re-election. Perdue and Nunn should check it out.

  4. Bull Moose says:

    I wasn’t going to post anything in regards to this because I’ve largely given up on trying to sway minds on this site as it relates to Nathan Deal, but as I’m sitting here a commercial came on for Rick Allen and it made me think.

    Under Governor Deal, our state has had to pay out over $3 million in settlements because of the ongoing ethics issues surrounding Deal. $3 million and not a sole, besides Holly LaBerge, his hand picked candidate to lead the Government and Transparency Commission, has been fired.

    I’m sorry, but in looking at all the facts from his Congressional Campaign Disclosures and the 2010 campaign, I don’t know how anyone could look the other way. I know all too well that if it Nathan Deal still had a D behind his name, everyone of you cheering him on and supporting him would be calling for his scalp. There comes a time when this type of duplicity catches up with you and I’d submit we are at that point.

    I would urge readers to look beyond party label and look at the candidates on even footing and really determine who is the best candidate outside of the letter behind their name.

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