“There is always space for improvement, no matter how long you’ve been in the business.” ~ Oscar De La Hoya
There are a lot of great things happening in Tennessee, and I am very proud to be able to help. Some of the great items are:
- AAA Great bond ratings (higher rating than the federal government)
- Rated second in Site Selection magazine’s annual Prosperity Cup, which ranks states based on overall tax and business climate
- Rated second in the country for transformational/road quality and second in cost of living by CNBC
- Being named the #1 state in the nation for retirement by Bankrate.com
Other great news also came out this past week from the fiscal review committee. Their report shows our state’s tax collections exceeded projections by $176 million for the first five months of the fiscal year. We ended 2017 with 28,000 new jobs and an unemployment rate of two percentage points better than 2016.
Monday afternoon, I got to attend the Governor’s press conference, and he announced his aggressive plan to try to end Tennessee’s Opioid Crisis. Tennessee remains in the top 15 of all states in drug overdose deaths, with at least three people dying each day from an opioid related overdose. This crisis knows no boundaries and impacts many Tennesseans regardless of race, income, gender or age. The Governor’s proposed plan would try to limit the supply of opioids and use significant state and federal dollars to provide treatment for those in need. His plan has three main points which include prevention, treatment and law enforcement. Maybe all of this can make a difference!
I went to a Department of Transportation breakfast meeting Tuesday morning and heard Commissioner Schroer talk about the many new projects that are happening in Tennessee. They had a record bid letting in December of $297 million for road and bridge projects. They had over $1 billion in projects built out in 2017 and $1.1 billion planned in 2018. The IMPROVE Act is really going to help with our pot holes and congestion in the near future. Commissioner Schroer showed us a new website that we all can visit to see updates of every road and bridge project in the state. Go to www.tdot.tn.gov/projectneeds/spot and check it out. Very impressive!
At our Agriculture & Natural Resources committee meeting this week, we heard a presentation by Agriculture Commissioner Jai Templeton. Currently, we have over 67,000 farm operators in Tennessee. The average age of operators is 59. The Agriculture Enhancement Program is still going very well with $21 million again in the program with 6,928 projects this past year. The Department of Agriculture has 795 employers with a $105 million budget. Agriculture is still the largest industry in the state and the 62nd District is a large part of that business.
In addition, I want to congratulate Shane Reeves for his win in the 14th District State Senate Primary Race.
As always, if I can do anything for you, please do not hesitate to email me at email@example.com, or give me a call at (615) 741-6824.