He touted his administration’s achievements, including education spending, which, he said, has increased by close to $4 billion in the last seven years.
“We seek to make Georgia a leader in all industries,” Deal said, “which is why we have invested so much into our K-12 education system. Because we know that the students of today are the workforce of tomorrow.”
Deal also lauded the criminal justice reform his administration accomplished.
He said due to achievements by his administration, Georgia has a bright future.
“Today, I can say with great authority that the state of our state is not just strong, it is exceptional,” Deal said.
In the Democratic response, Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson said more money needs to go toward education.
“I hope that he will find some money in the budget to help our teachers with pay increases,” Henson said. “I hope that we will find some money to reduce the crowded schools.”
Henson pointed out that Deal did not mention health care in his State of the State address at all.
Henson said there are more than 40,000 uninsured Georgians, and health care remains an important issue.
Deal became emotional a couple of times throughout his speech. Especially when thanking his wife and those who’ve helped him along the way.
His final budget proposal is about $50 billion, with $26 billion coming from state revenues. The rest is from federal sources.
State revenues increased over 2017, but Deal has not proposed major spending increases for most programs.