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January 12, 2016

Legislative Look Ahead Presented at Chamber's Eggs & Issues


The Georgia Chamber's annual Eggs and Issues Breakfast today drew a packed crowd at the Georgia World Congress Center.  As is customary, the audience comprised of business leaders and economic development professionals received a preview of the 2016 legislative session.  Governor Nathan Deal, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and House Speaker David Ralston each shared their policy priorities.  U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson also provided attendees with an update and federal issues pending before Congress.

The Governor, who will deliver his State of the State Address tomorrow, congratulated the Georgia Department of Economic Development for its recent recognition as the best team in the country.  He spoke to education, workforce, and infrastructure during his remarks. Some of the highlights:

"The number of Fortune 500 companies that choose to call Georgia home has increased every year that I have been in office, and Atlanta ranks in the top three cities in the nation for number of Fortune 500 headquarters. Since July 2014 alone, we have announced at least 15 corporate headquarter relocations to Georgia."

"We are now the Silicon Valley of the South, and after last year’s film and entertainment numbers, we might as well be called the Hollywood of the South, too. In fact, feature films and television productions generated a statewide economic impact of more than $6 billion during fiscal year 2015."

"...since the last time I came before you, we have successfully passed an historic transportation bill that paves the way forward in meeting the demands of both commuters and companies that operate in Georgia. It will allow us to maintain our current roads and highways, improve our freight corridors and provide congestion relief for those who are tired of having to spend hours on the road getting to and from work when they could be spending that time with their families."

"The promise of the stadium has already made Georgia a contender to host major sporting events, including a possible Super Bowl, a FIFA World Cup, a College Football National Championship, and an NCAA Men’s Final Four Tournament. Combined, just these four events alone have a potential economic impact of hundreds of millions. So my goal as governor is to bring more investments of that nature and scale to Georgia and to ensure that we have enough skilled hands to bring them to completion and maintain their use over the course of generations.

In opening remarks, Chamber President Chris Clark announced the launch of the newly-formed Georgia Travel Association.  Clark explained that the organization is the manifestation of a year's worth of work to bolster support for Georgia tourism, the state's second largest industry after agriculture.

And, Georgia Power CEO and outgoing chamber chair Paul Bowers took the stage to the sounds of music legend James Brown and lyrics, "I feel good."  Bowers shared that he felt good about the state's economic future and he felt great about turning over the reigns to 2016 Chair Hank Linginfelter of AGL Resources.

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