ATLANTA - Gov. Nathan Deal outlined a 2013 legislative agenda focusing on public safety, education, health care and economic development to a joint session of the General Assembly late Thursday morning
The Republican governor outlined budget proposal that trims most state agency budgets, but still covers enrollment increases in K-12.
Transcript: Gov. Deal's speech
Deal wants to restore Georgia's pre-kindergarten instruction to 180 days and add money to the HOPE scholarship program.
"Today, I am happy to say that my budget will increase the HOPE Scholarship by 3 percent over last, bringing the total funds going to HOPE in fiscal year 2014 to nearly $600 million," Deal told lawmakers.
The governor told lawmakers he would back an aggressive juvenile justice overhaul that is intended to grow community based programs and divert minor offenders from prison. He also asked lawmakers to tighten drunken boating laws.
Deal urged lawmakers to avert steep Medicaid cuts, but defended his decision not to expand the program as part of President Barack Obama's 2010 law.
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