In an encouraging but emotional State of the State Address, Governor Nathan Deal delivered his eighth and final speech on Thursday. In an overview of his achievements while in office, he recognized the hard work and dedication of his administration, state and local agencies, executive leadership, and members of the General Assembly. As the address was entitled “Orchards of Opportunity” Governor Deal emphasized the significance of planting “seeds of opportunity,” for future generations.

As the address was entitled “Orchards of Opportunity,” Governor Deal emphasized the significance of planting “seeds of opportunity,” for future generations. During his speech, Deal revealed his spending plan as he reminded Georgia lawmakers and the general public that there was, “much work to do this session.” His final state operating budget allocates funding for initiatives that he believes will be a tree of hope for Georgia’s youth.

Since his first tenure in 2011, Governor Deal has made significant improvements within the areas of education, economic development, infrastructure, and criminal justice reform. During his address, he cited the following accomplishments:

  • The creation of 675,000 private sector jobs over the course of 7 years
  • Decreasing unemployment from 10.4% to 4.3%
  • Countless business relocations and expansions
  • Transportation Funding Act, that invested $11 billion in statewide infrastructure
  • Expansion of state-funded accountability courts in all 49 judicial circuits
  • Projected $3.6 billion investment in education

Before receiving a standing ovation for the eighth consecutive year in a row, Governor Deal reminded his audience that the most important aspect of leadership is not the harvest you reap, but the seed you sow, “But soon we will look to you, ladies and gentlemen, to water and tend the orchards of opportunity we have planted together and to continue planting seeds and saplings of potential – not for personal gain, but for those who will in future years come during the heat of the Georgia day and be cooled by the shade of those trees.”

The Georgia Chamber commends Governor Deal for his commitment to economic development and job creation over the past seven years, and looks forward to working with his administration throughout 2018.  View the Governor’s speech in its entirety here.

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