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Tennessee State Government
Nashville, TN – Monday night, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee delivered his first State of the State address and presented budget priorities to a joint session of the General Assembly in the House Chamber.
Governor Lee proposed a strong, conservative budget with a record-breaking deposit to the Rainy Day Fund that will lift the state savings account to a historic high $1.1 billion.
The proposed budget does not take on any long-term debt and manages to cut more than $40 million in costs without compromising services.
Key highlights are listed below and the full speech as prepared for delivery is available on Governor Lee’s website. The proposed budget is available on the Department of Finance & Administration website.
In addition to previously announced education initiatives including the Governor’s Investment in Vocational and Technical Education (GIVE), the Future Workforce Initiative and measures to improve school safety, Governor Lee announced the following plans for public education:
“As we consider expanding options in this state, we must re-double our efforts to make sure that public schools in Tennessee are well-resourced and that Tennessee teachers and principals are the best and most celebrated in the business,” said Lee.
School choice is a key theme in Gov. Lee’s first year agenda with proposals for both doubling public charter schools and establishing a new education savings accounts program.
More students in Tennessee will have access to high-quality education through:
Statewide Charter School Authorizer and Increased Facilities Funding and Access
The Tennessee Education Savings Account
Governor Lee also outlined additional plans to improve public safety through a smart approach to crime.
“As I’ve said many times, the punishment for violent crime must be swift and severe, but we must also get better at helping those who will be released prepare to re-enter society and not re-enter prison,” said Lee.
In addition to previous announcements regarding education opportunity within prisons, Governor Lee outlined the following initiatives to supplement efforts:
Governor Lee further outlined plans for modernizing health care and improving the affordability of services.
“We will work with patients, providers, and payers to establish Tennessee as a world-class health care market for our people using transparency and competition”, said Lee.
Key health care provisions include:
Finally, Governor Lee announced plans to establish the Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives to leverage the non-profit community and reduce the size of government.
“Many of our people can be found at non-profits in this state who are doing, with excellence, jobs that government cannot or should not do,” said Lee. “So, to help protect taxpayer dollars and to engage some of our under-utilized citizens, one announcement I am particularly excited to make is the Governor’s Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives.”
TopicsBill Lee, charter schools, Davidson County, GPS, Hamilton County, Knox County, Madison County, Nashville TN, Shelby County, TBI's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, Tennessee, Tennessee Department of Education, Tennessee General Assembly, Tennessee Governor, Tennessee Rainy Day Fund, Tennessee State Board of Education, Tennessee State Government
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