Since taking office, Gov. Nathan Deal has focused his message on fiscal conservatism and reducing the size of the state government – a message that has seemingly resonated with GOP lawmakers statewide.
“Gov. Deal’s emphasis on prioritizing spending in crucial areas will help grow our state’s economy by preserving our most important assets,” state Sen. John Albers, R-Roswell, said in a news release.
“Gov. Deal’s call for increasingly limited government will help build on the work that Georgia’s conservative leadership has already done to find efficiencies throughout state government,” state Sen. Tommie Williams, R-Lyons, said in a statement after Deal’s State of the State Address. “As the governor pointed out, it’s our responsibility to practice the principles of conservative government that we preach. I agree with him that government cannot and should not do for people what they can do for themselves.”
Deal, a former Congressman, was elected governor in November. He is only the second Republican in Georgia since Reconstruction.
As part of his State of the State Address, Deal cut this year’s revenue estimate by more than $27.5 million. Of the decision, he said: “Even though there are some signs of economic recovery, I do not believe we should spend additional revenue, if actual collections exceed the estimate.”
Of reducing the number of state government employees, Deal said: “Many politicians have long talked about reducing the size of the government. My friends, we are doing it.”
Still, many seem to recognize that Deal and state lawmakers have tough decisions ahead.
“Clearly, tough decisions are ahead in order to re-shape our government to operate in a more fiscally-responsible environment,” Albers said. “I am confident that the General Assembly is up to the task and look forward to working with my colleagues to ensuring that our legislative policies move the state forward in the best interest of all Georgians.”