Around the South for Jan. 20: GA, FL & AR

Georgia: Deal budget boosts teacher pay. Gov. Nathan Deal (R) announced the first budget of his second term, which provided a 7% increase in funds for the Department of Education, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The budget raises teacher pay and, to a lesser extent, the pay for other state employees. It also provides for construction of new schools and colleges, to the tune of $800 million. Medicaid spending was also increased, by some $70 million ……. Arkansas: Recently inaugurated Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) addressed a pro-life rally at the capitol in Little Rock on Sunday, saying he hopes the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade. In an interview afterwards, however, he said his legislative goals were mainly jobs and the economy, reported KY3.com, and he would not seek stricter curbs on abortion in hopes the high court would okay them ……. Florida: GOP chooses new chair over Scott’s choice. The Republican Party of Florida defeated its incumbent chair Leslie Dougher on Saturday, who was supported by Gov. Rick Scott (R), replacing her with state Rep. Blaise Ingoglia. It was the first time in the state GOP’s history it defied a governor’s wishes in choosing a chairman …….