Press Release from the House Democratic Caucus, June 14, 2011:
Bredesen Administration, House Leadership Boosts Tennessee to Sixth in Nation
(Nashville) – Tennessee jumped to sixth in the nation in economic growth last year and House Democrats are calling on the new Republican majority to keep in place the current job recruitment and economic development structure.
Tennessee accomplished stellar economic improvement last year moving up to sixth out of the 50 states in gross state product, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
“This is something that we’ve worked on for years through fiscally conservative budgeting and steady global and national job recruitment,” said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner (D-Old Hickory). “When we bring jobs to this state, naturally, working families are going to contribute to a more vibrant economy.”
The Republican Majority has laid off 60 employees in the state Economic and Community Development department, while deciding that the state’s focus should be diverted from global and national company recruitment. The department was instrumental in recruiting thousands of jobs through global and national company recruitment, including the likes of Volkswagen, Nissan, Dow Hemlock, Wacker Chemie and SAIC.
“This new announcement by the Bureau of Economic Analysis is very revealing and it shows that what we’ve been doing over the last decade or so is working,” said House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh (D-Ripley). “To change this positive budget and job recruitment philosophy is the wrong thing to do right now; we need more jobs and we need them now.”
House Democrats, which ran the Finance Committee and carried Gov. Phil Bredesen’s jobs packages over the last eight years, were very successful in bringing jobs back to Tennessee.
Last year, Site Selection magazine ranked Tennessee the second best state for business climate, corporate investment and job creation. Southern Business and Development magazine ranked Tennessee co-state of the year for economic development and Chief Executive Officer magazine said Tennessee was the third best place to do business.
“The economic development path paved by the Bredesen administration is working. At the risk of our state losing jobs, now is not the time to stray from a path proven to produce results,” said Speaker Emeritus Jimmy Naifeh (D-Covington).