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Opening Georgia to the world

January 9, 2007

Atlanta -- Governor Sonny Perdue wants more jobs for Georgians and to get those jobs he plans to open Georgia to the world. The Governor gave Chamber of Commerce members a preview of what he'll outline in Wednesday's state of the state including a new global initiative.

Tuesday was the first time three top Republican speakers have addressed the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. Among the issues were education, jobs, and less government.

Eggs, grits, and politics were the order of the morning as Georgia's top republicans laid out their legislative plans for 2007. While Education, education, education were the top three priorities last year, developing Georgia economically will also play an important role.  

Governor Sonny Perdue believes the main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing in 2007. Perdue's main thing remains education. Last year he pushed the legislature to put graduation coaches in Georgia's high schools and now he's strengthening the team.  

"This year I'll recommend to the general assembly that we fund coaches in every middle school to help those young people make that important transition," he said.

Just behind education are job growth concerns. To grow Georgia jobs, Perdue's calling on the Department of Economic Development to launch a new international initiative called Global Georgia. "We will grow our Georgia brand in emerging economic engines like Asia and strengthen our presence in our biggest trading partner like Canada," said the governor.

Lt. Governor Casey Cagle echoed the call for jobs with plans to create a jobs advocate in the general assembly to build a relationship between business and the state government. "We need to send a clear message that we want these business in Georgia," said Cagle.

But there may be less legislation to come out of the general assembly than ever before, House Speaker Glenn Richardson said he plans to cut down on non productive bills. "I really do believe that less is more I really do believe we ought to slow down the legislative process. I really do think I'm a gatekeeper," Richardson said.

One of the things Richardson did say he would focus on would be taking a close look at the state's tax structure. Richardson plans to closely examine Georgia's tax code and propose tax relief for Georgia's residents.  

Richardson has signed a contract with economist Dr. Arthur Laffer, to look at Georgia's tax structure. Laffer introduced President Ronald Reagan to the concept of cutting taxes to increase economic activity.

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