“Don’t find fault, find a remedy.” ~ Henry Ford
The Tennessee Legislature has worked very hard over the last several years to foster a business climate that would create new industries and new jobs. It is paying dividends! The statewide unemployment rate in February dropped to its lowest point in our history, 3.2 percent. We have cut taxes, cut regulations, put a positive emphasis on education and training and kept our debt very low. All of these different factors are working and jobs are plentiful. In addition, workers’ pay is increasing.
This week we continued our commitment to our education system in Tennessee to better prepare our future leaders for success. This includes $11.3 billion total investments for education in fiscal year 2019-2020. Additionally, $6.5 billion will directly benefit K-12 education in our public schools. This will allocate $71 million for teacher salaries, $46 million to fully fund the Basic Education Program (BEP), and another $40 million to help secure our schools.
Did you know the average college graduate with a bachelor’s degree will earn $2.8 million over his/her lifetime? The average high school graduate with no additional higher education will earn $1.5 million over his/her lifetime. Twenty-three percent of 3,412 American workers surveyed by Career Builder admit that they live “paycheck to paycheck” all the time. I believe that a great education system and more emphasis on learning and training is the key to our state’s success.
I had several visitors come by my office this week while up at the Capitol to push for or against possible legislation that affects their profession or their industry. Joe Hunt, from Bedford County, stopped by to ask for my support against an insurance proposal. Donna Hargrove, our public defender, came up with their association. I had a nice visit with her and several of her associates.
Senator Reeves, Representative Tillis and I had a very good and productive meeting in Fayetteville last Friday. We met Dr. Bill Heath, school superintendent for Lincoln County Schools, and Laura Monks, the TCAT-Shelbyville president, and others to discuss the possibility of forming a Technology Middle College in Fayetteville. We have a lot of work to do and funding to acquire, but this is a fantastic idea and one that could train our students for professions that would provide better paying jobs and hopefully keep them in southern Tennessee.
I had Ewin and Lucy Cowley, from Fayetteville, come up to the Monday night Floor Session at the Capitol. They got to witness the very slow process of debating and making new laws for our state.
My son, Rob, came up Wednesday for a visit representing the TN Trucking Association. Phillip Edwards from Shelbyville was with the group, along with many of my trucking friends. They had a very nice reception that afternoon for the General Assembly.
The Auctioneers’ Association had their annual Day on the Hill. I met former Lincoln County friend Eddie Ables and Lincoln County Commissioner and auctioneer John Thorpe. They have a piece of legislation that is almost totally rewriting their governing rules, and most everyone is in agreement.
Please feel free to stop by my office in the Cordell Hull Building, Suite 676, or give me a call if you have any questions or concerns. You can reach me at (615) 741-6824 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am honored to represent the people of the 62nd district.