Once again we start with the basics of good government that it creates the opportunity for families and business to succeed. Economic development begins with those businesses and industries already here. We need to create the environment to allow them to grow and remain profitable here in Georgia. It is far less expensive to retain the business and industry we currently have than it is to attract new ones. At the same time, the success of Georgia businesses and industries helps to attract more to our state. When looking to locate a new facility, business leaders look at the success, or lack of, the current businesses experience. The labor supply, the climate, the education system, regulations, our ports, railroads and interstates are all part of our economic development tools. When looking at economic development, there is nothing more important to our economy than manufacturing and agriculture. These are the 2 industries that create wealth. The creation of wealth is the foundation of our economy. To attract and retain these businesses, we must be able to compete with other states. One important bill in this session is to eliminate the tax on energy (gas and electric) for all manufacturing. While this savings alone will not be enough to entice a business to locate in Georgia or to keep one from leaving, it is another tool that helps Georgia stand apart from the rest.