Crissy and I hope 2014 is off to a great start for you and your family. We’re excited to have a new granddaughter, and two more grandchildren will arrive by this summer.
Things have also been busy at the Capitol. The 108th General Assembly reconvened in mid-January, and Feb. 3 I delivered my fourth State of the State address.
The highlight of the evening was the opportunity to announce the “Tennessee Promise” proposal, an ongoing commitment to every student – from every kindergartner to every high school senior – that he or she can attend two years of community college or a college of applied technology absolutely free.
This is a bold promise that will speak volumes to current and prospective employers and make a real difference for generations of Tennesseans.
It is also a promise that we have the ability to make by strategically redirecting existing resources in our lottery reserve funds to create an endowment.
The Tennessee Promise isn’t just about higher education. It’s about better jobs for more Tennesseans and building a stronger economy.
And when it comes to economic development in Tennessee, we’re on a roll. Not only were we named “State of the Year” by Business Facilities, 2013 was a record breaking year with over 23,000 new jobs created and 187 projects. Just last week, Beretta, a global manufacturer of high-quality sporting and military firearms, announced it will invest $45 million in a state-of-the-art manufacturing and R&D facility in Sumner County and create 300 new Tennessee jobs.
In Tennessee, we know our strengths, and we are not afraid to address our challenges head on.
Meth production is a growing problem in Tennessee. It is dangerous, it threatens the safety of Tennesseans, and it destroys families. In January, I introduced the Tennessee Anti-Meth Production Act to limit access to pseudoephedrine or ephedrine products to those who are using it illegally while not overburdening law-abiding Tennesseans who need temporary cold and sinus relief. I look forward to working with the General Assembly to address this issue.
I am grateful for your interest in what I’m working on and for your continued support.
As always, I’m interested in your feedback and hearing any ideas you might have. Feel free to share them by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bill Haslam is governor of Tennessee.