WZTV FOX 17 - Top Stories
"Unlike the news coming out of our nation's capitol and so many other states around the country, good things are happening in Tennessee," says Gov. Haslam.
During his 3rd State of the State Address, Haslam makes education reform a key topic, including raising the number of college graduates, and starting a voucher program to give low income students in low performing schools the option of attending private schools.
"Dollars alone don't lead to improvement. There has to be a plan," says Governor Haslam. "Along with strategic investments, we are pursuing real reform in education that is producing results."
Highlights of the Governor's budget proposal include a quarter percent reduction in the sales tax on food, a 1.5% pay raise for state employees, and adding $100 million to the state's rainy day fund, bringing the balance to $456 million.
"That leadership is what we need to make and empower our citizens to be more successful," says Rep. Glen Casada (R-Williamson County).
Republicans were quick to praise Gov. Haslam's speech and the direction he's proposing.
"With our low tax burden, our low regulatory environment, our low debt per capita, our state is in a good place, but there is more to do," says Sen. Jack Johnson (R-Williamson County).
Democrats are more measured in their praise and some ideas like the school voucher plan are already drawing criticism.
"I don't think anybody thinks vouchers are good policy," says Rep. Mike Stewart (D-Nashville). "They are certainly good as a political statement to certain far right elements of the Republican Party."
The Governor knows it is now up to the 132 lawmakers to ultimately approve or reject his agenda.
"People want good quality jobs," says Governor Haslam. "People want their children to have the best education possible, and as a state we should want the same for those kids."
The Governor's $32.7 billion budget proposal is bigger than last year's plan. However, almost half of the new money will go toward higher expenses in TennCare. COMING UP TONIGHT on FOX17 NEWS: more on the Governor's plan to have more college graduates in Tennessee.
Monday, January 28 2013, 11:22 PM CST
Haslam's chief deputy Claude Ramsey to retire
June 19, 2013 16:41 GMT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Gov. Bill Haslam says chief deputy Claude Ramsey is retiring at the end of August to spend more time with his family in Chattanooga.
The Republican governor said in a news release on Wednesday that the 70-year-old Ramsey has been integral to his administration on key initiatives that include civil service reform, economic development efforts, workforce development training and improved operation of state government.
Ramsey was elected to the General Assembly in 1972 where he served four years in the House. He was Hamilton County's mayor for 16 years.
His last day on the job is August 31.
Porsche tops in annual survey of vehicle quality
DETROIT (AP) -- Porsche is the top performer in an annual survey of new vehicle quality.
BC-US--Dow Record-Three Personal Stories, 1st Ld-Writethru,1173
Dow Record: Three tales of ups, downs and changes
AP Photo FX102, FX103
Eds: With BC-US--Dow Record. Adds photos.
By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
AP Business Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- When the Dow first crossed 14,000, investors were overjoyed. ...
IN THE NEWS: INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS SAY SURVEILLANCE FOILED PLOT TO BOMB NYSE
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S.
VEGAS STRIP-THRILL RIDE
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- If losing your shirt in Sin City isn't enough -- you could soon lose lunch.