Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Governor Perdue, Lt. Governor Cagle and Speaker Richardson

Governor Sonny Perdue, Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle and House Majority Leader Jerry Keen today began a tour of Georgia to discuss their shared priorities for the 2008 legislative session. Representative Keen traveled on behalf of Speaker Glenn Richardson, who was unable to attend on Wednesday, due to obligations trying a case in court.

The three state leaders announced today that they share a vision for continuing Georgia’s success in improving education, ensuring the sustainability of our water resources, strengthening the state’s transportation infrastructure and protecting the health of Georgia’s citizens. The three started in Albany this morning and will travel to nine cities over the next day and a half.

“We are traveling the state today to show that we are unified on the issues of education, water, transportation and healthcare,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “This year, we plan to give Georgians what they expect: sensible and effective legislation that will continue our progress in improving education, establish plans to protect our water resources, improve Georgia’s transportation system and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges.”

"We have come together to highlight critical issues that unify us as we look to bring essential and positive changes to Georgia’s transportation infrastructure, educational system, water needs and healthcare,” said Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle. “As elected officials, our main priority should be to provide the kind of leadership that brings positive results to our state and that is our goal this session."

"Now more than ever our state is faced with many challenges and issues that we must address,” said Speaker Glenn Richardson.

“Whether it be protecting our water resources, educating Georgia’s children, or providing affordable health care, we must band together and work towards a common goal with common ideas. During this legislative session the Governor, the Lt. Governor and I are committed to improving the way of life for all Georgians, and because we share this common thread, I know we will succeed.”

Among the priorities discussed today was continuing Georgia’s success in improving education.

Georgia’s high school graduation rate is currently higher than it’s ever been before. Today the Governor, Lt. Governor and House leadership committed to work to increase the graduation rate to at least 80 percent by 2010. They agreed on the importance of tougher curriculum standards as well as more parental involvement and control over a child’s education. They indicated that innovative approaches to education such as charter schools and special needs scholarships are all components in moving Georgia’s educational system forward.

State leadership also committed today to address funding for a statewide trauma care network during the 2008 legislative session. They agreed that innovative and creative approaches should be examined to ensure that effective and affordable healthcare coverage is available to Georgians.

The sustainability of Georgia’s water resources has been a critical topic leading up to the 2008 legislative session. The three leaders agreed today that the passage of the Statewide Water Plan is imperative to ensure that our water resources are managed effectively. They also agreed that in 2008, local governments must examine adding storage capacity through reservoir construction and enhancements, with the state’s support.

Transportation is another area that state leadership agrees must be addressed as Georgia’s economy and population continue to grow. Today each of the three leaders supported internal changes at the Georgia Department of Transportation to ensure projects are completed on time and on budget, allowing Georgia to foster economic growth and development for generations to come.

Following the first stop in Albany this morning, Governor Perdue, Lt. Governor Cagle and House Majority Leader Keen plan to visit Brunswick, Savannah, Augusta and Atlanta on Wednesday. Speaker Richardson hopes to join the group as his court obligations allow. Thursday they visit Macon, Columbus, Cartersville and Gainesville.

For more information on these and other initiatives, you can visit Governor Perdue’s website at, Lt. Governor Cagle’s website at or Speaker Richardson’s website at

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