Friday, April 29, 2016

Governor Haslam's wrap-up of this legislative session. Main accomplishments are education and fiscal strength.

From Governor Bill Haslam:
The General Assembly adjourned this month, and for Tennesseans who don’t follow news out of the State Capitol every day, I think you can take away two main things from this session: education and fiscal strength.

First, we’re making the largest investment in K-12 without a tax increase in Tennessee’s history and reorganizing our higher ed structure in Tennessee in the best way to increase student success and the number of Tennesseans with a degree or certificate.

Second, as I spend time with other governors I’m reminded how fortunate we are as a state to be passing a balanced budget this early in the year, to be taking on no new debt, to have no transportation debt, to be in a position to fund priorities and add to our savings account to prepare for uncertain times down the road. We can’t take any of that for granted. 

Click here to see our end of session press conference and here to read about our legislative agenda and budget highlights.


Our jobs momentum continued in a strong way this month. You’ve probably heard me say that today more Tennesseans have a job than at any point in state history. We’re no. 1 in the Southeast and no. 2 in the United States for job growth over the last year. We also learned this month that our March unemployment rate of 4.5 percent is below the national average (5 percent) and the lowest it’s been in Tennessee since June 2007.  We had several significant economic announcements and events in April, including:

April 13: Hankook Tire America Corp announced it will locate its North American headquarters in Nashville, investing $5 million and creating up to 200 jobs in Davidson County.

April 15: We celebrated the opening of Beretta’s state-of-the-art facility in Gallatin.

April 18: Wacker Chemie AG officially opened its new polysilicon production site in Charleston, Tenn.

April 26: Academy Sports + Outdoors opened its 1.6 million square foot facility in Cookeville.

April 27: General Motors announced it will invest $788 million and create 780 new jobs at its Spring Hill manufacturing plant.
These companies could go anywhere, and were incredibly grateful they have chosen to invest and create jobs in Tennessee. The reason? We’re a low-tax, low-debt, strategically located state that is the first in the nation to offer high school graduates last dollar scholarships to attend community or technical college free of tuition and fees.

And along those lines, we got very encouraging news this month as it relates to our Drive to 55 to equip 55 percent of Tennesseans with a degree or certificate:

Eighty-one percent of the 2015-16 class of Tennessee Promise students returned for the spring semester after beginning classes last fall. (Read more:

And, Tennessee is again no. 1 in the nation for FAFSA filings – a great indication that we are expanding college access in Tennessee.   (Read more:

A few other highlights from the month:
April 4: We welcomed the Tennessee Federation of Republican Women to the State Capitol
April 6: We broke ground on the new Tennessee State Museum on the Bicentennial Mall in Nashville (Click here for video highlights from the ceremony featuring Pulitzer-prize winning author and historian Jon Meacham)
April 25: We announced Decatur County, Dyer County, Jackson-Madison County and Germantown as “Healthier Tennessee Communities,” and I administered Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Roger Page’s oath of office at a packed ceremony in Mifflin
Crissy has continued to work hard promoting our statewide Read to be Ready literacy campaign. This month she visited schools and read to students in Chester, Henderson, Decatur, McNairy, DeKalb, White, Clay and Overton counties with a goal of promoting literacy in all 95 counties by the end of the year.
Thanks for your interest and feel free to let me know any feedback at

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