As Lt. Governor, there are many guiding principles that I use on a daily basis when making decisions on issues facing Tennessee and legislation before the State Senate. I’ve listed a few of those below. The General Assembly’s website also has a list of the bills I am sponsoring during the current session.
Promoting Economic Growth
Since I first began my career in public service, I have fought every step of the way to make Tennessee’s economy the strongest it could be. As the owner of a small business, I know how difficult it is for startup and small businesses to operate in today’s economic environment.
Since being elected Lt. Governor, my number one goal has been to create a pro-business environment in Tennessee that both encourages large corporations to relocate here as well as sparks small businesses to startup and flourish here. Tennessee is one of the most pro-business states in the union and I intend to keep it that way.
If we are to attract the jobs and industry to improve our economy, we must educate a workforce that can compete in a knowledge-based economy. The State Senate has made great strides in removing union influence from the education process of our state’s children.
Education reform is one of my foremost priorities and will continue to be until every Tennessee classroom has a great Tennessee teacher.
Protecting the constitution and the integrity of our legal system
For years, special interests held hostage our state’s judicial branch, packing it with judicial activists bent on making law rather than interpreting it. In 2009, I abolished the Judicial Selection Commission, which gave various legal and liberal interest groups the power to control who becomes a judge. I have also set us on a path to get our current selection system in line with constitutional proscriptions.
Tennessee’s government was embarrassingly clandestine for far too long. Since I became Lt. Governor, we have made great strides in open government. The state Senate now video streams all committee and floor sessions and posts all votes online.
In 2009, Tennessee received the National Conference of State Legislature’s Online Democracy recognizing the state as having the nation’s top legislative website. The following year, the Center for Digital Government selected the Tennessee General Assembly Web site for the 2010 Digital Government Achievement Award. I’m proud of the progress we have made in this area and honored that our digital presence has been so widely recognized. I am committed to continuing to promote open and honest government whenever and wherever possible.
Tennessee has a wonderful quality of life. At the heart of our Tennessee traditions, you will find our values – the right to life and the right to self-protection and family chief among them.
We have made great strides in protecting the unborn – the most helpless among us. Our Republican majority in the General Assembly has done much to defund Planned Parenthood and we are on the verge of making our constitution silent on the issue of abortion. Tennessee was a good state far before it was a great state. The soul of this state must be preserved.