Gov. Nathan Deal, state of Georgia, bank a record $2 billion

Saving money isn’t politically sexy.

But Gov. Nathan Deal is showing he's pretty good at it.

An end-of-the-fiscal year report (state fiscal years end June 30) shows the state's savings account hit a record $2.05 billion in fiscal 2016.

That’s up from $116 million in reserves - or about what it costs to run state government for a day - the year before Deal took office in 2011.

His predecessor, Gov. Sonny Perdue, had to deal with two recessions, including the Big One - The Great Recession - that forced him to dip into that savings account to do things like pay teacher salaries and keep parks open.

Deal has made it a priority to leave office in 2019 with the state's piggy bank holding at least $2 billion, and he is ahead of schedule.

The skyrocketing reserves are due largely to Deal and his staff making purposefully conservative estimates about how much tax money will be collected. Legislators can only budget to spend what the governor estimates the state will take in. The state collected a record amount of taxes in the past fiscal year because of the strong economy. It collected far more than the government spent.

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