Press Release from the Office of Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, April 17, 2014:
Lt. Governor Ramsey celebrates successful conclusion to the 108th General Assembly
NASHVILLE – The 108th General Assembly today adjourned sine die after completing the most efficient legislative session in recent history. Today marks one of the earliest adjournment dates in modern legislative history and no general assembly has used fewer legislative days since the inception of the two-year general assembly in 1967.
“I have always said that it matters who governs. The 108th General Assembly proves that,” said Lt. Governor Ramsey. “In stark contrast with those in Washington who tax-and-spend future generations into debt, Tennessee’s Republican majority came together with members of the loyal opposition to pass a fiscally-responsible balanced budget.”
“Faced with lower than expected revenue, our members refused to reach into the back pocket of the Tennessee taxpayer to balance the budget,” stated Lt. Governor Ramsey. “We did what any Tennessee family would do in similar circumstances. We tightened our belts, made hard choices and continued our commitment to live within our means.”
“This session marks a reaffirmation of the new normal for legislative sessions. The longer we are in session the longer Tennessee taxpayers need to watch their back,” explained Lt. Governor Ramsey. “An efficient and focused General Assembly can finish the people’s business and save taxpayer dollars in the process. The days of legislative sessions lingering into May and June are in the past.”
The 2014-2015 budget continues Tennessee’s commitment to education, including $47 million to fully fund the Basic Education Program to address inflationary growth. The budget also includes $8.5 million to address salary equity adjustments for teachers affecting 83 out of 136 school districts across the state.
Among the many highlights of the session was the wine-in-grocery stores bill, continued progress in the war on meth and Tennessee Promise, a program to provide free tuition to community college and colleges of applied technology starting with the high school class of 2015.
Tennessee is currently ranked among the lowest states in the nation in per capita debt and per capita tax burden. The General Assembly’s pro-jobs, fiscally responsible, small government agenda has resulted in a triple-A rated bond rating for the state.