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Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - 4:15am

Gov. Deal Set To Give State Of State

Already having spoken to state lawmakers on Monday after his inauguration, Governor Nathan Deal will do it again Wednesday afternoon—this time officially delivering his first State of the State address to the joint General Assembly session.

Wednesday morning, both houses of state's Legislature convened at 10 a.m., then went into immediate recess until 1 p.m. Only a handful of lawmakers were at the Capitol in the morning. Most were taking time to navigate the city of Atlanta's icy roads and streets to arrive in time for Deal's speech in the afternoon.

Deal is expected to preach a message of austerity as the state faces continued tough economic times. His budget plan will lay out his spending priorities, as Georgia faces a shortfall of at least $1 billion for the coming fiscal year.

The Republican's budget blueprint must be approved by the state Legislature, which is almost certain to make changes.