Georgia gov. urges unity in first major speech

Georgia gov. urges unity in first major speech

In his first major speech since the election, Georgia Governor-Elect Brian Kemp told more than 100 legislators that it was time to “put politics behind us,” and asked them to “join me in the journey forward.” “It’s time to shed the labels and work together as Georgians,” said Kemp, speaking at the biennial training session in Athens Tuesday. “It’s time to stand up for our communities, our families and our Georgia values. It’s time to protect the vulnerable. It’s time to do the right thing — even when no one is looking.” “On January 14, I will raise my right hand and officially become your Governor,” he continued. We will begin — in earnest — the journey forward. I humbly ask you to join me. Join me as we build on our successes. Join me as we tackle the challenges ahead. The next four years are not about me. This is about the men, women and children we are honored to serve. This is about our families. This is about our future. I am confident that our state’s best days are ahead if we stand together. We will create a lasting legacy of success when we put hardworking Georgians first.” Continuing his call for unity, Kemp acknowledged that the 2018 election for Governor was the most expensive in state history, as well as the most divisive. “I understand that we weren’t all on the same team in the primary, the run-off or even the General Election,” Kemp said. “But the campaign is over, and it’s time to put politics behind us.” Kemp stressed that his plan for Georgia would...
Georgia’s First Lady completes 1,000th school visit to read to children

Georgia’s First Lady completes 1,000th school visit to read to children

  In her dedication to early reading and literacy, First Lady Sandra Deal has visited schools in all 159 counties across the state. Last week while visiting The Academy Child Development Center in Oakwood, Georgia’s First Lady marked her 1,000th school visit since Gov. Nathan Deal took office in 2011. She was joined by Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) Commissioner Amy M. Jacobs in her milestone visit.   “My goal is to encourage students to enjoy reading so that they will be prepared for a lifetime of learning,” said Mrs. Deal. “Reading is the gift that keeps on giving and education is essential for all children to succeed in their pursuits. I believe that knowledge is power and when we teach students to love reading, we give them the confidence to learn on their own and acquire that power far into the future.” Mrs. Deal — a former teacher of 15 years in Georgia public schools– is dedicated to promoting statewide childhood literacy. When visiting a school, Mrs. Deal typically meets with office staff, reads to a class of students, recognizes educators and discusses the importance of childhood literacy. She has visited as many as eight schools in a single day. “Since Gov. Deal took office, Mrs. Deal has demonstrated her passion for childhood literacy and inspired others through her hard work,” said Chris Riley, Gov. Deal’s chief of staff. “By reading to students and listening intently, Mrs. Deal connects with students and guides them to see the importance of academic achievement. I’m not surprised that she reached the 1,000th visit threshold...
Deal signs off on bills from special session

Deal signs off on bills from special session

Georgia lawmakers met in special session last week, and walked away Saturday morning with a hurricane relief package, a tax credit for certain taxpayers within Southwest Georgia’s timber industry who incurred significant expenses due to Hurricane Michael and suspension of the collection of the state’s 4 percent sales and use tax on jet fuel through the end of FY 2019. “The work of the General Assembly this week will help the families, businesses, farmers and communities that were most severely impacted by Hurricane Michael,” said Gov. Nathan Deal. “By providing roughly $270 million to help our neighbors in Southwest Georgia, the appropriations in this amended budget will provide critical support for devastated communities, including those most heavily dependent on agriculture and the timber industry. I appreciate the General Assembly working together diligently and quickly to see that this relief funding will be delivered to those in need as rapidly as possible, as the rebuilding process is just beginning for some of Georgia’s citizens. I thank the leadership of both chambers and legislators from all over the state for coming together this week to support those most heavily impacted by this natural disaster.” On Saturday morning, at the close of the special session, Gov. Deal signed legislation (HB 1EX) which amends the Fiscal Year 2019 Appropriations Act to provide roughly $270 million in emergency funding for state agencies and local governments in areas most heavily impacted by Hurricane Michael. This bill passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 162-1 and passed the Senate by a vote of 52-0. The Governor also signed HB 4EX, which allows timberland owners...
University System of Georgia Announces creation of Georgia FinTech Academy

University System of Georgia Announces creation of Georgia FinTech Academy

University System of Georgia officials announced a statewide initiative Tuesday to create a talent pipeline for Georgia’s fast-growing financial technology (fintech) business sector. According to the announcement by Chancellor Steve Wrigley and the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, they are creating a hub at Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business for all 26 colleges and universities in the system to learn and train more students for careers in the financial technology industry. This, they say, is designed to address a labor gap in the state. Fintech is one of six sectors identified by Gov. Nathan Deal’s High Demand Career Initiative. A segment of the financial services industry, Fintech uses new technologies to lower the costs and decrease time of financial transactions. In Georgia, more than 40,000 people are employed in fintech, which generates more than $72 billion in annual revenue “When we released the College 2025 report, we meant what we said about preparing graduates with innovative approaches,” said Wrigley. “The Georgia FinTech Academy is an innovative response to the call from the fintech industry for more and better workers. With the strength of all 26 institutions of the University System of Georgia behind it, I believe fintech will see immediate results from this new program.” Officials say the Georgia FinTech Academy will prepare individuals to enter fintech or transition from another career through degree programs, executive and continuing education, and apprenticeships and internships providing the practical experience required by employers. Continued growth and expansion of Georgia’s fintech sector is predicated on meeting an escalating demand for talent, including producing 5,000 new hires by...
2018 Farm Bill Includes Southern Agriculture Priorities

2018 Farm Bill Includes Southern Agriculture Priorities

U.S. Senators David Perdue (R-GA) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) praised Senate passage of the Farm Bill last week — which they say include many benefits for Georgia farmers and rural communities across the state. According to Isakson, the bill will provide certainty and predictability to farmers and ranchers by improving crop insurance coverage and reauthorizing and improving farm and conservation programs. It also provides assistance to rural communities through expansion of broadband, opioid addiction treatment programs, and support for agriculture programs for veterans. “Our farmers feed the world, and it’s essential that we do everything we can to anticipate challenges down the road and make sure our policies reflect the needs of our farmers for the long term,” said Isakson. “This important legislation provides numerous benefits for Georgia agriculture and for our rural communities, which are struggling with the opioid epidemic and with lack of access to modern-day essentials such as broadband. The 2018 Farm Bill will help our commodity producers when prices go down, expand trade assistance to ensure we remain competitive worldwide, and invest in the future of American agriculture.” Calling the bill a ‘jobs bill,’ Perdue said “Agriculture is Georgia’s number one industry and a major reason why our state continues to be the best state in the country in which to do business. I’ve traveled across Georgia to listen to farmers and stakeholders in the agriculture industry. One thing is clear – this Farm Bill is a jobs bill. America’s food security is economic security. This bill saves more money than the last Farm Bill, cracks down on food stamp fraud, and preserves programs that have...