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Gov. Deal’s ‘religious liberty’ veto downplayed business influence

By Maria Saporta
As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on April 1, 2016

Even before the 2016 Georgia legislative session began, the business community at the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s annual meeting in December let it be known it would fight any religious liberty bill that could possibly cause discrimination.

And as various versions of a religious liberty bill were introduced, amended and ultimately passed both houses, the objections from business leaders, industries, organizations and major conventions grew even louder — with some saying they would boycott Georgia if the bill became law.

Gov. Nathan Deal

Business leaders thank Gov. Nathan Deal for vetoing HB 757

Business leaders Monday were quick to applaud Gov. Nathan Deal’s decision to veto of HB 757, even though many expressed concern that the controversy over “religious freedom” legislation would not be going away.

“The Georgia Chamber agrees with Governor Deal’s thoughtful reasoning to veto HB757,” according to a statement from Hank Linginfelter, an executive with AGL Resources who is the 2016 chair of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.

Richard Dugas Pulte Homes

Georgia business groups urge governor to veto HB 757

Top Georgia business leaders now are looking toward Gov. Nathan Deal to continue his stance against discrimination – as it relates to HB 757 – also known as the religious freedom bill.

Richard Dugas, president and CEO of the Pulte Group who chairs the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s Public Policy Advisory Board, spoke out strongly against the the bill, which has now passed both the Georgia House and Senate and will rest on the governor’s desk.

Metro Atlanta on a morning commute

As auto sales rebound in Ga., new cars pay fewer taxes to build roads

An uptick in the sale of new vehicles that’s been linked to lower gas prices spells more trouble for state road funding.

Georgia’s collection of motor fuel taxes fell by 2 percent in the last three months of 2014. Revenues from tag, title, and fees rose by 2.7 percent during that period, according to a tabulation of monthly reports from the Georgia Department of Revenue.

Georgia’s jobs of future call for teamwork, technical skills: Employers

The No. 1 attribute that business leaders say will they want in their employees is the ability to collaborate, according to a report to Gov. Nathan Deal on high demand careers.

The report also states the top five careers of the future in Georgia will be mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, welder, machinist, and computer numerical control operator, according to the report.