Recession and the state budget
● That obviously is the greatest challenge that faces our state. We have to continue the process ... of trying to review current programs and expenditures. I do believe in a zero-based budgeting approach; it does take more time and effort, but I do believe that, in that process, we can continue to find areas of spending that can be eliminated or significantly reduced.
● I realize, too, that we can’t tax our way out of this downturned economy; we have to grow our way out of it. That’s why the first proposal that we initiated during the campaign was what we call the “real prosperity plan.” We think it is a progressive way of looking at reasons and ways to create jobs in our state. It focused on trying to make our tax laws fairer and ... more attractive to business.
● I think we have to continue lower-cost options for delivering services that we perhaps acknowledge are important to be delivered.
● It’s very difficult to talk about job creation in a very small vacuum. You have to talk about it in the context of things that lend themselves to growing businesses. That’s why things like education and transportation obviously are a component of making your state a more business-friendly state.
● I think tax incentives are a great way of trying to attract the businesses that you want.
Education funding adequacy
● I don’t think you can answer that question until you have a very thorough review of QBE [Quality Basic Education formula]. That’s one of the things I have proposed early on is to appoint a group of individuals representative of every aspect of the public education system, also from the private employer and the parent communities, to take a very serious look at QBE. It’s time we had a serious review, but it’s also time we put a deadline on when those reviews are undertaken and come back with concrete proposals.
● We think that you can achieve better results without having to spend a lot more money.
Federal dollars in education
● I do have a concern any time that conditions are placed as a prerequisite of receiving federal dollars, or requiring states to change their state policies or their state laws, as has been case in some examples. I would have great problems with that.
● It is one Georgia that is competing against one North Carolina and competing against one Alabama and other states. If we give the impression to the rest of the country and to businesses that we are a divided state, I think that does not serve us well. Does that mean we face the same challenges uniformly across our state? Absolutely not.
● We have to try as much as possible to do away with the feeling that the needs of an Atlanta do not serve the needs of the state and the converse of that — that the needs of a Savannah, or Augusta or Columbus, that their needs don’t serve the greater needs of the state.
● Obviously, funding has been a problem for us and will probably continue to be a difficult situation into the near future.
● I do support the T-SPLOST [special-purpose local-option sales tax] approach. It will give us additional revenue if it is approved, but it will not solve all our problems by any stretch of the imagination. ● I think everybody has the same ultimate objective — and that is to facilitate the more rapid and convenient movement of people in and around the [Atlanta] metropolitan area.
It’s going to require the cooperation of adjoining communities to be willing to work together and, to some extent, come to trust either an agency or trust each other.
● I am hopeful that Governor Perdue will be able to make significant progress in that direction before he leaves office, but if not, I will aggressively tackle that issue early next year.
● I do think there are things we have to do in preparation for the unknown. One is conservation ... . I think we have to put greater emphasis on fixing the leaking water pipes within our systems. We have to do a better job of treating and returning clean water either to the basins or the reservoirs.
The Nathan Deal file
Education: Received undergraduate and law degrees from Mercer University.
Professional and political experience: Was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 to 2010. He became chair of the health care subcommittee of the energy and commerce committee. Served in the state Senate from 1981 to 1993, where he was judiciary chair and ethics chair and president pro tem. Served as a prosecutor and judge in Hall County. Was a partner in a private law practice. Half-owner of Gainesville Salvage and Disposal, which was started in 1990.
Family: Married to wife Sandra for 44 years; they have four grown children and six grandchildren.
Source: Deal campaign
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