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Governor Deal's 2015 Inauguration

January 13, 2015
Governor Nathan Deal stands behind a podium in the Georgia House Chamber.

On a rainy January 12, 2015, Governor Nathan Deal was sworn in as the 82nd Governor of the State of Georgia.

With wife Sandra Deal by his side, Governor Deal took his oath of office from his own son, Judge Jason Deal of Hall County. Sporting a white rose pinned to his lapel, Governor Deal then proceeded to administer the oath of office to Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, Attorney General Sam Olens, Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black, Commissioner of Insurance Ralph Hudgens, Commissioner of Labor Mark Butler, and State School Superintendent Richard Woods.

Deal began his inaugural address with a nod to the freedom symbolized by holding the ceremony in the first place. “Inaugurations of elected officials pay homage to our democracy.”

Criminal Justice Reform

The Governor spoke at length about the importance of continuing into his second term with the same emphasis on criminal justice reform present in his first term. Some of his main points included:

  • 4,700 nonviolent offenders are now in accountability courts as part of their rehabilitation;
  • 70% of inmates do not have high school diplomas, making it nearly impossible for them to attain employment on their own after leaving prison;

  • Instead of burdening taxpayers by filling up jail cells, the nonviolent offenders taking part in work placement programs are now keeping jobs and contributing to Georgia’s economy.

By addressing the underlying problems of addiction and mental illness in these inmates instead of long periods of incarceration, Deal affirmed that the justice reforms have “given nonviolent offenders new beginnings.”

Education

Since education improvements were a prevalent initiative during his first term, Deal provided some updates on the success of Georgia’s education system.

  • The Charter School Commission was created to ensure that children would have alternatives for their education if trapped in a failing school;
  • This second term will be used to plant more Charter School opportunities for children in need.

Jobs

Another Deal administration initiative has been to kick-start Georgia’s economy by creating jobs for citizens all across the state.

  • In the past 4 years, more than 319,000 private sector jobs were created in Georgia;
  • Mercedes-Benz USA recently announced that their North American headquarters will be located in Georgia, creating hundreds of more jobs.

Deal took a moment to remind the audience of Lieutenant Governor Cagle’s sentiment earlier in his Inaugural address: “Behind every job is a personal story.”

Deal concluded his address by looking towards the future of Georgia while acknowledging the progress made so far in his time as Governor. “While we have accomplished much, we have much left to do. That work is a new beginning,” he said. “It begins today.”

Photo Courtesy Office of the Governor

About the Author

A Georgia native, Rachael Wheeler works as a Blogger for GeorgiaGov. She writes about a variety of current topics relevant to the Georgia government.

 

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