You can watch Gov. Sonny Perdue's final State of the State address online here. Click on "House of Representatives - Live session." Below we'll post updates and the occasional witty comment about the governor's annual address to both chambers of the Georgia General Assembly.
11:49 a.m. And we're done. Perdue and senators and being escorted out. Joint session has been dissolved. The Democrats will offer a response to Perdue's speech at 2 p.m.
11:46 a.m. It's storytime at the General Assembly! Everyone gather around and bring your napping blankets. Perdue's yelling about "sounding the retreat" and soldiers saying they don't know how to retreat. "Now's the time to dig in our heels so our children will know a better Georgia."
11:43 a.m. Perdue asks what is the meaning of life says everyone should ask why they're in public service.
11:42 a.m. Thanks the few state employees who are left after rounds of budget cuts because of dismal revenue figures. "They've refused to make excuses and found a way to make great customer service in the face of cuts." Says state's customer service rating of 76 percent beats most private businesses.
11:41 a.m. After discussing his new proposal to tie teacher pay to student achievement, Perdue says the state "must and will" care for citizens in mental health program. Last year the state created a new agency to care for Georgians living with mental illness. Says to continue improving the system will cost more money but will "enable us to sleep better at night... We have a moral obligation to serve those with disabilities. They are our mothers and daughters, fathers and sons. And yes, we are our brother's keepers." System will receive $20 million this year and additional cash next year.
11: 34 a.m. "Instead of creating an environment of political posturing and blame casting," Perdue says, they must work together. Yesterday at the Georgia Chamber of Commerce's Eggs n' Issues breakfast, Perdue said there was a "palpable" feeling of cooperation under the Gold Dome. He's urging lawmakers to keep that going for the next 40 days.
11:31 a.m. "I am for doing a little less if it means better for the next generation." Sounds like he's getting ready to cut, cut, cut the budget, which he jokingly told lawmakers is already on their desks they just can't see it because it's "very thin." Tells lawmakers to reject "gluttonous instinct" of the present.
11:30 a.m. He's talking about Thomas Paine and "closet Tories." Root out those enemies of family values, governor!
11:30 a.m. Says state's revenue drop was largest since Great Depression. "We must avoid the temptation to serve the needs and wants of today at the expense of tomorrow."
11:26 a.m. The message is big on freedom and the courage of the American people to persevere. We overheard in the press room that this speech would largely be inspirational. "What stands out to me is each generation's willingness to pick up the yoke and move forward," Perdue says. Says this is the state's time to "carry a heavy load" and do the right thing for future generations.
11: 22 a.m. The governor's giving lawmakers a history lesson. It seems he's mostly talking about the Battle of Trenton. I guess he followed Newt Gingrich's historical tweets.
11:15 a.m. Perdue thanks the General Assembly for the resolution marking his appearance. He says with a chuckle that he'd like a copy of the vote count. Tells his wife, who's seated in the gallery, that she's the person "I want to become." He says he loves her while he holds back tears. Tells his kids they've never embarrassed him.
11:13 a.m. House Speaker David Ralston just finished introducing the dignitaries in attendance. Joining him at the podium is Gov. Sonny Perdue and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. After introducing Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Carol Hunstein and Georgia Court of Appeals judges, Ralston recognizes his wife, along with the wives of Cagle and Perdue. We've got a sign language interpreter, which is pretty damn cool. State senators are lined up along the walls and look like test monitors. Ralston recalls coming to the Gold Dome in 1993 and serving with Perdue, who was then a state senator. "He was a great role model during those years that I spent on the other side of this building."
(Screenshot courtesy Georgia Technology Authority)
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