ATLANTA - Georgia Governor Nathan Deal delivered his final State of the State address on Thursday morning.
While speaking before members of the Georgia General Assembly, Governor Deal spoke about his efforts to grow the state's economy over the last seven years and his work to create more educational opportunities for Georgia's young people.
The Governor received a standing ovation as he entered the House chamber at the Georgia State Capitol and he even became emotional as he reflected on his work during his years in public office.
"In a little over a year's time, Sandra [Deal] and I will depart from public life after almost four decades of service to the people of the state," Deal said, choking up.
During the State of the State Address, Deal talked about the huge impact that the film industry has made in Georgia with an estimated $9.5 billion in economic impact in this fiscal year alone.
Deal also said it is important to note that Georgia has been named the number one state in which to do business for the five straight years by Site Selection magazine.
"The Georgia Department of Economics Development's Global commerce team, helped to generate some $6.33 billion in capital development here in Georgia. That outstanding growth is a result of 377 expansions and locations that cover every region of our state," Deal said. "Many people think that economic development projects are only happening in the Metro Atlanta region, but in fact, 80 percent of fiscal year 2017 locations took place outside the Metro Atlanta region. Our dedication is to the whole state, and the results of our top-ranked Department of Economic Development bear that out."
Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson, D-Tucker, said while he was pleased with the overall positive tone of Deal's remarks, he had hoped the Governor would touch on the challenges that still need to be solved in Georgia.
"He didn't talk about some areas that we need to improve on that I thought should have been addressed, like healthcare," said Henson.
Sen. Henson was also disappointed that Deal did not talk about the need to improve voting technology and security in Georgia.
Deal has served as Georgia's 82nd Governor since 2011. Georgia voters will elect a new Governor in November 2018.