Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Good morning from the World Congress Center

Comments from the governor, lt. gov and Georgia speaker of the house at the Georgia Chamber of Commerce's Eggs and Issues breakfast ...

9 a.m.: That's it, folks. I'll write a new post fleshing out details on some of these proposals shortly. Particularly, whether Lt. Gov. Cagle is supporting tax cuts and details on Gov. Perdue's education reforms bolded below.

8:54: Perdue on education: Will introduce a bill allowing teachers to opt into a new program where pay isn't based on getting new degrees, but student achievement. They will be able to make as much as administrators and top coaches. Current teachers can stay in the current system or opt into the new one. New hires will be in the new one.

Giving salary increases for degrees "may have been the right thing to do." But "why would we continue to base pay on a proxy of an advanced degree" when we can base it on "student growth and achievement?"

8:51: Perdue on transportation: Now that the planning process has changed it's time to talk about new funding. "And with apologies to Forest Gump, that's all I have to say about that today. Stay tuned." Note: Gov. Perdue's state of the state speech is tomorrow at 11 a.m.

8:48: Perdue: Will introduce legislation this year to allow insurance policies to be sold across state lines. "The restriction on interstate commerce, frankly, has never made sense to me."

8:47: Perdue: Congress' actions on health care have been "Unmanageable and unimaginable when you look at the numbers." Cutting pecial deals for votes instead of building a good nationwide plan is wrong. "If they did that in Dodge county we'd prosecute them. In fact, we have."

8:46: Perdue: We're working on a plan "that will not only encourage, but expect conservation" of water.

8:44: Perdue on tri-state water negotiations: We hope to propose an agreement for legislative approval this fall. Myself and the governors of Alabama and Florida would like to solve this issue before leaving office this year.

8:43: Perdue: Worst Roy Barnes joke ever.

8:42: Perdue: I've got 362 more days as governor. And I've learned a few things "that may come in handy" this year.

Gov. Sonny Perdue is up next. The chamber is running a slide show to introduce him. The upshot: Gov. Perdue is awesome for business.

8:37: Ralston: Obamacare "A very unwise policy that Congress appears to be on the verge of adopting." "We need to let the free market work."

8:35: Cagle: "One size fits all doesn't work" in education. Career academies (which he supported the creation of a few years back) are relevant to kids, who see how the training can lead to jobs and "this I think is the future of our state." Focused on expanding that opportunity to every child in this state.

8:31: Cagle on transportation: "I think the T-SPLOST concept makes sense, particularly as a regional" tax. But it's just one tool. "Looking at toll roads and other revenue sources are going to be very critical." Ralston: Optimistic the House and Senate will work together on this.

8:28: Ralston: Hopeful that we get an interstate compact on water before sessions end. Short of that, we'll be talking conservation in the legislature. "It's one that we're going to have to quit talking about" and do "what we should have been doing" 10-20 years ago. Cagle: "Speaker Ralston hit it right on the head." We need to plan on regional reservoirs. "We've got to do a better job of capturing that water, managing it responsibly ... make sure Atlanta has an abundant supply."

8:27 - Ralston: We need to "ask some really probing questions" of state programs as we look for cuts.

8:26: Cagle: We need to "focus very deeply on cutting taxes." My goodness, did he just say we're going to have deep tax cuts this year? Update: Apparently not. Cagle said he was referring to some of the job-creating tax breaks, and the capital gains tax, vetoed last year by the governor.

8:25 - Cagle: I'm pro job creation. No tax increases. "Right-size" state government for the 21st Century. "We've got to have foundational changes," particularly since we just spent a bunch of federal stimulus money. "And so we've got to have a real change."

8:20 - Lt. Gov. Cagle and Speaker David Ralston are on stage, seated in tall chairs, for a Q&A session.

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