Gov. Bill Haslam | The First Two Years

Uploaded by GovernorBillHaslam on 18.12.2012

During my campaign for Governor, I said I would focus on three things: first, being
a good steward of your tax dollars, second, pursuing real reform in education, and finally
attracting and growing Tennessee jobs.
In the two years since we've been elected, we’re making progress.
We’ve balanced the budget two years in a row in spite of less funding from the federal
government. As a result of conservative fiscal management, we have strong credit ratings
from all three agencies, and Barron’s magazine named Tennessee the third-best-managed state
in the country.
It's important to know what we didn't do to balance the budget... we didn't raise taxes.
We’ve actually lowered taxes. We’ve reduced the Hall tax on dividends, the sales tax on
groceries, we’ve eliminated the gift tax and we're phasing out the state’s inheritance
tax. We also didn’t cut education funding to
balance the budget. We’ve continued to make education a priority through our budget and
We strengthened teacher tenure and created more opportunity for students through more
access to charter schools. And we’re seeing progress. 55,000 more children are proficient
or advanced in 3rd through 8th grade math than two years ago, and 38,000 more students
are proficient or advanced in science.
We’re now putting more focus on higher education. We want to lower the cost, increase access
and improve the quality. We need more Tennesseans graduating from college. We need to be intentional
about higher education investments, and we have to meet market demand by creating a highly
skilled workforce.
I think it's important for you to know that we’re measuring our results. We're tracking
key indicators and comparing how Tennessee is doing compared to other states. You can
follow our progress on our dashboard at
Low taxes, low debt, job growth, progress in education and the overall improvement in
the quality of life for Tennesseans – we’ll continue to focus on the things that matter.
It’s what you elected me to do.