Lt. Gov. Duncan Has Big Dreams for Georgia’s Future
Will Georgia become the technology capital of the East Coast? That’s the goal of Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan.
Speaking at the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce’s Post-Legislative Breakfast last month, Duncan outlined accomplishments of the most recent legislative session and highlighted some of his goals, including pumping up Georgia’s technology presence.
“I want Georgia to be the technology capital of the East Coast,” he said, “not just a Chamber of Commerce flyer; I want to actually earn it. If we do that it means a lot of things are firing on all cylinders. The world is watching Georgia — we’re on the international stage.”
Duncan, who began his first term along with Gov. Brian Kemp in January, said that he is driven by policies, not politics.
“Politics turns my stomach,” he said. “I ran because policy drives me, not politics.”
A former Minor League pitcher and a successful entrepreneur, Duncan decided after church one day that he should run for public office.
“I got called to stop complaining and get involved,” he said.
He felt the role of lieutenant governor fit his drive.
“The lieutenant governor is put in the crosshairs of policy every day,” Duncan said. “I was told that in the role of the lieutenant governor, if you’re called a really good umpire, you’re doing a good job.”
That umpire role allowed him to push through a collaborative effort with the state Senate to accomplish several important goals.
One was developing a game plan to establish broadband internet service in Georgia’s rural areas. Another was working on telemedicine, a way to deliver health care at a lower cost, which will also benefit the rural areas. And during this past session, educators across the state received a $3,000 pay raise, something Duncan hopes will allow teachers to lengthen their careers.
“I’m proud of the teacher pay raises,” he said. “Teachers are a big part of the community.”
The Senate also passed a computer science curriculum bill so that schools will offer at least one computer science class to every student.
“Only one half of 1% graduate with one computer science class,” Duncan said. “That sounds like something from the Fred Flintstone era.”
Georgia will also be a national leader in health care reform, starting with the health care waiver bill that will help people transition from government insurance to private insurance. Duncan had a chance to meet with President Donald Trump recently to discuss Georgia’s health care reform goals, but he said it will take a bipartisan effort to make it happen.
In addition to the efforts to expand Georgia’s technology presence, Duncan said he also plans to continue to work on improving K-12 education, including promoting a stronger partnership with parents in the education process.
“Our best days are in front of us,” he said. “We’re one of the rare states that can say that.”