All four members of Bradley County's legislative delegation were in attendance Monday night for Gov. Bill Haslam’s final State of the State address, in Nashville.At the request of the Cleveland …
All four members of Bradley County's legislative delegation were in attendance Monday night for Gov. Bill Haslam’s final State of the State address, in Nashville.
At the request of the Cleveland Daily Banner, they sent their comments on the speech — as well as the funding for Cleveland State’s capital improvements — just moments after the governor completed his remarks.
They are reprinted here in their entirety:
State Sen. Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga), 10th Senatorial District:
“I was very much impressed with the accomplishments of what Gov. Haslam has done during his terms as governor. Education is his number one achievement. The fact that he has put over $200 million towards teacher compensation the last two years and this new budget has another $200 million for K-12 education speaks volumes for the progress our state has made.
"The $100 million towards Higher Education includes $25 million for Cleveland State is tremendous for Bradley County.
"His goals on accountability of our schools should make the parents extremely pleased for their children.”
State Rep. Dan Howell (R-Georgetown), 22nd Legislative District:
I thought the governor did a great job of reviewing the accomplishments of his administration and the Republican-led Legislature over the past seven years. As he pointed out, conservative principals have given us the lowest unemployment rate in the state's history. And while many states face deficits, Tennessee has the lowest per capital debt in the nation.
And even though Gov. Haslam is in his last year, he issued a bold new challenge for Tennessee to lead the nation in jobs, education and government efficiency — which means taking care of the people's money.
One of the most exciting things for me was seeing the governor put a $25 million dollar capital outlay in his proposed budget for Cleveland State Community College. The money would be earmarked for campus revitalization. This is exciting news for the many students in District 22 who have chosen to continue their education at CSCC.”
State Rep. Kevin Brooks (R-Cleveland), 24th Legislative District:
”During the governor’s final State of the State address, he reminded us all where it all began seven years ago when Gov. Haslam was first elected. He then closed by challenging us all to join him and to ‘take the next step.’ Gov. Haslam challenged us all 'to lead' and that ‘Tennessee will lead’ the nation in education, tax reform and government efficiency.
"A highlight of the speech for me was the announcement that ‘Drive to 55,’ the plan to reach a 55 percent graduation rate, will occur two years earlier in 2023, if we keep our current pace, instead of the projected 2025. Congratulations to Dr. Mike Krause for his hard work on this important goal.
“So many great moments, standing ovations and significant milestones were heard in the governor’s speech. But my greatest take-away is still the incredible gift that has been given to us who serve. The humbling feeling of being present in such a magnificent place, on such a special evening, because of the trust and votes of our friends and neighbors in Cleveland.
"Thank you, Cleveland, for the gift of allowing me to serve all of you for 12 years. And thank you Gov. Haslam for the challenge to ‘take the next step’ so that ‘Tennessee will lead.’”
State Sen. Mike Bell (R-Riceville), 9th Senatorial District:
“I'm pleased that Gov. Haslam's budget includes money for capital projects that are long overdue for CSCC. As a graduate, I'm excited for what this means for the college and our community.”
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