Press release from Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, April 22, 2015
Tennessee General Assembly adjourns for the year
(NASHVILLE, Tenn.), April 22, 2015 – The first year of the 109th General Assembly adjourned late this evening, completing its work deliberately and efficiently.
“I have said it before and I will say it again: it matters who governs. The Tennessee way of governance stands in stark contrast to the runaway spending spree in Washington,” said Lt. Governor Ramsey. “Time and again our members refuse to reach into the back pocket of Tennessee taxpayers to balance the budget. We have continued to be the responsible fiscal stewards voters asked us to be. Less spending, lower taxes and smaller government remain our top priorities.”
“We proved this year we will not move backwards on education. We took steps to rip out Common Core root and vine and replace it with strong Tennessee standards based on Tennessee values,” said Lt. Governor Ramsey. “Tennessee is the most improved state in the nation in education. The jobs coming to Tennessee due to our pro-business climate will go to Tennesseans educated in Tennessee schools.”
“An efficient and focused General Assembly can finish the people’s business and save taxpayer dollars in the process,” said Lt. Governor Ramsey. “We have proved it before and today we proved it again. The days of legislative sessions lingering into May and June are in the past.”
The General Assembly passed a $33.79 billion balanced budget that invests primarily in education and economic development. Other noteworthy budget items include $34 million for property tax relief for the elderly and veterans, $41.3 million to complete the phase out of Tennessee’s inheritance tax and $97.6 million for pay increases for teachers.
Among the many highlights of the session was the repeal of Common core, passage of common sense restrictions on abortion, continued reduction of the Hall Tax and several anti-crime and pro-victims rights measures.
Tennessee is currently ranked among the lowest states in the nation in per capita in 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.