Press Release from Bill Haslam for Governor, April 14, 2010:
Will Eliminate Waste, Set Priorities, Improve Efficiency, Effectiveness
MEMPHIS – Republican gubernatorial candidate and Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam announced today plans to launch a top-to-bottom review of state government immediately upon taking office if he is elected Tennessee’s next governor.
This comprehensive review will be used to eliminate waste and find savings to help overcome projected budget gaps, improve efficiency and effectiveness throughout state government, and set measurable goals for the purpose of furthering the state’s priorities. Chief among these priorities will be making Tennessee the No. 1 state in the Southeast for high quality jobs.
“Times are tough, and the next governor will face a state budget situation more difficult than any in modern memory,” Haslam said. “However, the last thing we need to do is raise taxes or create new ones. I am 100 percent opposed to a state income tax, and raising a sales tax that is already the highest average combined state and local rate in the nation is also definitely off the table. The next governor must be prepared to restructure state government.”
As governor, Mayor Haslam will appoint and then lead a taskforce made up of state and local government officials, Tennessee business leaders, and other key stakeholders and experts from around the state who will spearhead the effort to review state government and develop a roadmap for its restructuring.
“It’s critical that this be done right. While the budget situation awaiting the next governor will certainly be challenging, we have to view this as an opportunity to fundamentally rethink the role of state government and make things better for the future,” Haslam continued.
“A top-to-bottom review is the first step on the road to a leaner and more efficient, effective, and accountable state government. We must set priorities and be prepared to make tough decisions,” said Haslam. “Given my experience as a successful business leader and Mayor of a large city, I am ready to take on this challenge.”
Bill Haslam is the two-term Mayor of Knoxville, re-elected in 2007 with 87% of the vote. A hardworking, conservative public servant, he led Knoxville to become one of the top ten metropolitan areas for business and expansion, while reducing the city’s debt, tripling the rainy day fund, and bringing property taxes to the lowest rate in 50 years. An executive leader with a proven record of success, he helped grow his family’s small business from 800 employees into one of Tennessee’s largest companies with 14,000 employees. His combination of executive and public service experience makes him uniquely qualified to be Tennessee’s next Governor.
Bill and Crissy Haslam have two daughters, Annie and Leigh, and a son, Will, who resides in Knoxville with his wife, Hannah. For more information on Bill Haslam, please visit www.BillHaslam.com.