Skip to main content
Visit our new News website at
Friday, September 24, 2010 - 12:04pm

Barnes, Deal Talk To Economic Developers

Gubernatorial candidates Roy Barnes and Nathan Deal stumped for votes at a conference of economic developers Friday.

And while both candidates want to lure new companies and protect current jobs, one candidate said there were some companies he didn't want Georgia doing business with.

Democrat Roy Barnes told about 300 economic development officials from around the state meeting at their annual convention here that Georgia should not give contracts to companies that send American jobs oversees.

"If you outsource jobs away from the United States then you shouldn't be eligible to bid on state contracts," Barnes said. "It's time to take care of our folks. I've had it."

Barnes also said Georgia should give preference in state contracts to Georgia companies, as long as their bid is within 3% of the low bidder.

Republican Nathan Deal didn't address state contracts in his remarks, but speaking afterward, said he agreed with not giving them to companies that outsource.

Both men said improving education is critical to luring jobs.

Coming up with the money for educational improvement, however, is going to be a challenge, given the state budget.

Republican Nathan Deal said, schools could do more with the money they already have.

"I would like to see us eliminate furloughs. I would like to see us do all the good things that reduce class size," Deal said. "But I think that in the mean time, if we don't have the revenue to do that, then let's make the money we have go further."

Deal said the state should loosen rules on how local school board can spend their money.

Barnes proposed raising revenue for schools by improving sales tax collection and getting rid of tax breaks that aren't directly tied to creating jobs.

A legislative committee is scheduled to make recommendations for overhauling the tax code later this year.