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Traffic is only one of the side effects of growth.
– Roy Barnes
And one of the things I’ve tried to do in my first months in office is to give more Georgians – reporters and members of the general public alike – a closer look at how their government works.
After all, I have spent the better part of my adult life insisting that government be open… that government be accessible… and that government be held accountable to people who voted us into office.
The First Amendment rejects red tape, cover-up and double-speak.
We are all one – or at least we should be – and it is our job, our duty, and our great challenge to fight the voices of division and seek the salve of reconciliation.
Business and the state have a common interest; not an adversarial interest.
We live in a state with a wonderful climate and plenty of natural beauty, from the shores of Cumberland Island to the Chattahoochee River to the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The time has come to end social promotion in our schools.
Neither political party is clean when it comes to tactics that divide our people.
I am committed to making Georgia a model for open and honest government.
What I am proposing this year are not lofty concepts far removed form the daily struggle so of ordinary Georgians. They are proposals that directly effect the lives of the people we serve.
But the fact is, no matter how good the teacher, how small the class, how focused on quality education the school may be none of this matters if we ignore the individual needs of our students.
As the leaders and decision-makers of this great state, it is our responsibility to strive for perfection.
One thing I learned a long time ago as a prosecutor is that it’s tough to get people to obey a law if there is not penalty for breaking it.
In my first year as governor, we solved some of the problems that had begun to undermine the Open Records Act. We gave the act teeth by providing criminal penalties for knowing violations.
There is no country on earth with a stronger tradition of protecting the public’s right to know.
Enhancing revenues will help us improve education and solve our infrastructure problems.
We will never forget those like my great-grandfather who fought at Vicksburg.
And this week, I am proposing legislation to strengthen our Open Records laws to make public access to our public records surer, faster, and more comprehensive.
I want business to prosper and make a profit caused by business expansion and prosperity.
No one in government should ever think that the citizens they work for can’t or won’t scrutinize their actions.
We made a good start toward preserving recreational areas like the Chattahoochee River.
We changed the names of our technical schools to colleges, we expanded the eligibility for HOPE scholarships for technical training, and we added some formula funding.
So today I say, the outlook in Georgia has never been brighter.
By creating a Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District, we will give local governments a framework for working together on an issue that affects our whole state.
As the population of Georgia increased dramatically, so did development.