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(AJC) — Gov.-elect Nathan Deal will take office facing a sluggish economy, a continuing budget crisis, a financially unstable HOPE scholarship program, a revenue system some say needs updating and an electorate in no mood for anything that smells of a tax increase.  He will have to write an $18 billion state budget and likely decide whether to support a proposed new tax system even before the 2011 General Assembly convenes Jan. 10. Sometime next year, he may also have to help craft a plan to save HOPE, the highly popular college scholarship program, from going broke. And he plans to push tax-cut legislation that he hopes will help spur economic investment in Georgia.

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