Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes
ATLANTA (AP) — Here's a look at five key positions from Gov. Nathan Deal, laid out in his State of the State address:
— Recommends a 3 percent pay increase for all state employees. He said many worked through difficult budget cuts. Several agencies also have a high turnover rate that could be improved with better pay, he said.
—Wants to increase K-12 education spending by $300 million. He will encourage local school districts to use the money for a 3 percent pay raise to teachers.
—Plans to recommend some criminal justice changes to lawmakers, including more discretion to sentencing judges on certain charges. Deal told reporters that will not include so-called "seven deadly sins" charges: murder, rape, armed robbery with firearm, aggravated child molestation, aggravated sodomy, aggravated sexual battery, or voluntary manslaughter. The Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform has developed those proposals.
—Plans to include $26.2 million for salary increases for pre-K teachers and an additional $7.9 million for a 3 percent merit pay increase in budget proposal. The increase is one recommendation from Deal's commission on education that doesn't require independent legislative action.
—Maintains his opposition to accepting Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. He said the state's Medicaid program grew 15.7 percent between fiscal year 2013 and 2017, and blamed President Barack Obama's signature health care law for $2.1 million "just to turn in the paper work."