Posts Tagged ‘Deal’

Governor Deal appoints new state agency and department leadership

Governor Nathan Deal recently announced the appointments of Gretchen Corbin, Braxton Cotton, Jacqueline Bunn, Blake Ashbee, Clyde Reese and Keith Horton to state agency and department leadership positions.

Deal appointed Gretchen Corbin as commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, effective August 1, 2013. In her new role, Corbin will lead statewide development programs that help the state’s local communities realize their growth. Prior to this appointment, she served as deputy commissioner for global commerce and director of international operations at the Department of Economic Development.

Deal named Braxton Cotton as the executive director of the newly created Governor’s Office of Transition, Support and Re-entry. In this role, Cotton will lead key legislative criminal justice reform initiatives to reduce the recidivism rate of offenders and the financial burden currently placed on the state. Prior to this appointment, Cotton served as executive director of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, in the Georgia State Patrol and as a deputy sheriff and detective in the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Department.

Jacqueline Bunn succeeds Cotton as executive director of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, where she will lead statewide efforts to find solutions and build consensus on issues impacting the criminal justice system. Bunn most recently served as the deputy director of legal services for the Georgia Department of Public Safety.

Deal appointed Blake Ashbee as the executive director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development, where Ashbee previously served as general counsel. As executive director, Ashbee will oversee workforce investment activities and the state’s “Go Build Georgia” skilled trade initiative. Prior to his tenure at Workforce Development, Ashbee served as Governor Deal’s Deputy Chief Operating Officer.

Clyde Reese moves into the position of Commissioner of the Department of Community Health, where he will oversee the state Medicaid Program, State Health Benefit Plan, health information technology and healthcare facility regulation. Upon DCH Board approval, Reese will return to DCH – where he previously served in the same capacity as agency head in 2010. Reese has also served as the commissioner of the Department of Human Services since January 2011.

Keith Horton succeeds Reese as commissioner of the Department of Human Services, where he will oversee the provision of aging, child welfare and child support, and public assistance programs and services throughout Georgia. Prior to this appointment, Horton served as deputy director of the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency and held several former leadership positions at DHS. Horton is a retired Lieutenant Colonel after serving 20 years in the U.S. Army.

Governor Deal commends 2013 ‘Master Teachers’

Governor Nathan Deal has announced the names of 58 Georgia teachers who have earned the “Master Teacher” certification, based on demonstrated excellence in student achievement and student growth for 2013.

Georgia’s Master Teacher Certification Program was established in 2005 and is coordinated by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC). Based on classroom performance on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test (CRCT), documentation of student growth and exemplary professional practices, superior teachers are designated as “Master Teachers” for a period of seven years.

“The 2013 Master Teachers join a group of Georgia’s highly skilled and dedicated educators who share a passion for teaching and student learning,” said Kelly Henson, Executive Secretary for GaPSC. “The Professional Standards Commission, along with their schools and communities, recognize and celebrate their accomplishments.”

Master Teachers are eligible to automatically renew their teaching certificates as long as they continue to qualify for Master Teacher status.

For more information on the Master Teacher program, please visit its website or send an email to

Visit Gov. Deal’s website to see the list of teachers who have earned the “Master Teacher” Certification in 2013.

Big Changes for Georgia Auto-Owners

Governor Nathan Deal unveils three new wildlife license plates, the proceeds of which will support the Department of Natural Resource’s wildlife conservation and habitat management efforts, at the State Capitol on June 13, 2013. “I feel confident that the aesthetic originality found in the three new designs will draw even more to support our natural resources through this avenue,” said Deal.

The conclusion of this Spring’s legislative session brought about several important changes for car owners in Georgia. Here are some you’ll want to keep in mind before you register your vehicle…

Applying for Special Plates:
Georgians can pay an additional tag fee to support the cause or organization closest to them. In addition to adding some public visibility to one’s favorite cause or institution, these fees also help raise revenue for the state and allow lawmakers to fund public education, assist small businesses and offer benefits to those in need.

If you’re interested in purchasing a special license plate, look over all plate samples, or complete an MV-9B Form to request a prestige plate. When you’re ready to register or renew your vehicle’s tag, you can apply for the special plate at your local tax commissioner’s office.

Your tax commissioner’s office won’t issue a special license plate as a souvenir. You must use the plate and pay its annual fees for your personal vehicle.

Veteran Plates:
Georgians now have several new license plates to chose from to honor the service of Georgia’s veterans.

The new plates include Campaign/Tour of Duty License Plates for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and Service Award License Plates for recipients of 15 military medals.

Additionally, designs for existing plates (including Campaign/Tour of Duty License Plates for veterans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and Operation Desert Storm; and plates for military retirees and active duty members of the Reserves and Georgia National Guard) have been updated to match the new and improved plate design.

If you need assistance determining which plate(s) you may qualify for, or if you need to obtain a copy of your DD Form 214 (required for application), contact any GDVS Veterans Field Service Office for assistance.

Feeling Artsy?

The Georgia Council for the Arts invites all state vehicle owners to support the arts by reserving an arts license plate designed by Georgia artist Steve Penley. Ten dollars from each sale will support arts programs statewide.

More arts programs means more jobs, more tourists, and more opportunities for growth.

Go Wild!
Three new wildlife license plate designs are also now available at your local tag office. All three plates help support important conservation work being done by Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources‘ wildlife conservation and habitat management.

Designs were solicited from artists from around the country and then placed on the Internet for a public vote. The three new designs were selected by more than 18,000 people who participated in the voting process – and then unveiled by Gov. Nathan Deal at the State Capitol on June 13, 2013.

The plates can be purchased for $60 per tag with an annual renewal fee of $35. These fees are in addition to annual registration fees. Vehicle owners who already have wildlife plates can keep and continue to renew them. (All specialty tag fees apply.) Go to your local county tag office for more information or visit Read more: The Fish Wrap – New wildlife license plates are available from the DNR

Keep it Clean!
Georgia has new rules banning references to guns, drugs and alcohol on personalized (“vanity”) license plates.

The new rules, which won’t become final until after July 9, also ban profanity, any references to sex, items subject to trademark or copyright; references to crimes and all variations of the word “hate.” The rules also ban slurs on religious beliefs or beings, race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.

Ad Valorem:
And while we have you thinking about vehicle registration logistics, please note that vehicles purchased on or after March 1, 2013 and titled in this state are exempt from sales and use tax and the annual ad valorem tax. Instead, these vehicles are subject to a new, one-time title ad valorem tax that is based on the value of the vehicle.

More information on the Title Ad Valorem Tax fee is available at