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Posted: January 17, 2013 12:01 p.m.

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Ga. Gov. Deal delivers State-of-the-State speech

ATLANTA (AP) — Gov. Nathan Deal has outlined a 2013 legislative agenda focusing on public safety, education, health care and economic development.

The Republican governor addressed a joint session of the General Assembly late Thursday morning outlining a budget proposal that trims most state agency budgets, but still covers enrollment increases in K-12.

Deal wants to restore Georgia's pre-kindergarten instruction to 180 days and add money to the HOPE scholarship program.

The governor told lawmakers he would back an aggressive juvenile justice overhaul that is intended to grow community based programs and divert minor offenders from prison. He also asked lawmakers to tighten drunken boating laws.

Deal urged lawmakers to avert steep Medicaid cuts, but defended his decision not to expand the program as part of President Barack Obama's 2010 law.

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