Photo courtesy of Andrea Briscoe, Office of the Governor

Governor Nathan Deal delivered his annual “State of the State” address to the Georgia General Assembly on Jan. 11.

Deal focused on accentuating accomplishments over his tenure as governor while discussing his recommendations for the upcoming year, invoking Georgia songwriter Johnny Mercer’s 1944 single, “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive,” in his speech.

Deal noted that Georgia did not raise taxes to improve its financial situation from 2011’s, instead courting business, tourism and film production to increase the revenue of the government while simultaneously attempting to encourage the creation of private-sector jobs to reduce unemployment.

Georgia unemployment is currently at 5.3 percent; when Deal took office, the rate was 10.4 percent. Among the proposals Deal highlighted in his address was an increase in salary for the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) averaging 19 percent per employee, citing the necessity of providing competitive pay and comparing DFCS workers to state law enforcement officers, who received a 20 percent pay raise in September 2016.

Deal also encouraged state lawmakers to be patient and await decisions from Congress and the incoming presidential administration before making large decisions on
healthcare policy.