Brooks is a Rotary member and attends meetings when he is not busy with the Legislature in Nashville.
Brooks brought a 15-page summary of the 107th legislative session to his “friends in Rotary” during the most recent noon meeting of the club.
One of the Legislature’s greatest achievements this year, according to Brooks, was finishing its work a month early.
“We finished four weeks early and saved the Tennessee taxpayers over half a million dollars,” Brooks said. “Just by doing our jobs and getting done and coming home early.”
Other big steps for the Legislatures included passing a balanced budget, cutting spending by more than $1 billion and many education reforms.
Many committees that seemed to be duplications were also discontinued.
Members of the Rotary Club of Cleveland are people who strive to make a difference, both in the community and in the world, through its polio fund.
Even when he is away from Cleveland, Brooks is a proud member of Rotary who wears his membership pin.
Brooks talked about the importance of the Legislature looking out for small businesses in these hard economic times.
“There’s an incredible amount of need for change in Washington,” Brooks said.
The delay in addressing government spending issues trickles down, causing problems at the state level and making investors leery of making big investments, according to Brooks.
Tennessee is ranked in the top tier for growth because of low taxes, Brooks said. He also said Bradley County is continually being recognized as a great place for industry.
Brooks said there is still work to be done to keep and bring in more jobs. The government does not create jobs, he added, but can make it easier for business to come and flourish.
Brooks said he receives numerous calls and emails from members of the community about needs that must be addressed at the state level.
“Do we have all the solutions in state government? Absolutely not.” Brooks said. “The day you hear someone standing in front of you saying, ‘I have all the answers,’ I would seriously question where that person is getting all of the answers.”
He said communication from the individuals he represents is an important part of his job.
When the General Assembly is not in session, Brooks said he enjoys coming back home and speaking to local students. The representative recently spoke to a group of fifth-grade students. Brooks compared his job to being a mailman. He said he takes local concerns to Nashville, and sometimes gets to bring something back.
During his speech, Brooks also gave Rotarians an opportunity to ask him questions. Many questions from the audience dealt with Amazon.com locating in the area and sales taxes associated with online retailer. Brooks said Gov. Bill Haslam has stated repeatedly that the state will honor the deal made with the company for the Hamilton and Bradley County Amazon distribution centers. He also answered questions about resolutions to honor organizations. Brooks said the Legislature is looking into having these during committee meetings, so as not take time away from other meetings.