ATLANTA, GA (WALB) – Nathan Deal marched into the House chamber at the State Capitol for his inauguration Monday afternoon. The outside ceremony was moved because of the winter storm.
Deal took his oath of office then swore in the other constitutional officers, all of whom are north Georgia Republicans, before delivering his inaugural address.
The new Governor said, "we must justify every cent that government extracts from our economy." Deal promised to re-examine and reduce the role of state government and focus only on its core responsibilities such as education. "Our public education system in grades K-12 has failed to make the progress that we need," he said.
Despite another severe budget shortfall, Gov. Deal promised to find away to keep the HOPE scholarship program. "I was not elected to make easy decisions but difficult ones. In this legislative session, we will save HOPE for future generations."
Deal said the state must continue to be tough on violent and repeat criminals but should work to help other offenders become productive citizens. He said, "For other offenders who want to change their lives, we will provide day reporting centers, drug DUI and mental health courts, and expanded probation and treatment options." He said that will save the state money which is critically important as leaders look to cut between one and two billion dollars from the coming year's budget.
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