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NewsTracker Tax and Budget

Haslam Won’t Oppose Sidewalk Honoring Former First Lady Conte

Gov. Bill Haslam says he has “no problem” naming a sidewalk at the bottom of Capitol Hill after his predecessor’s wife despite red-lighting the move as costly last month.

“It’ll happen. It’ll happen,” Haslam laughed when asked by reporters about the proposal Tuesday. “We’ll get that paid for, with state money.”

The Republican governor’s staff raised objections to the cost of naming the perimeter track of Bicentennial Capitol Mall — down the hill from the Capitol Building — after former first lady Andrea Conte, wife of Phil Bredesen. Former Democratic Speaker Jimmy Naifeh had brought forward the proposal.

“We cannot support this legislation at this time,” read the letter the governor’s office sent to Naifeh, a Covington Democrat, about HB3727.

“We recognize that your legislation may ultimately be amended to remove its fiscal impact. If this is the case, we will gladly revisit our position on the bill,” read the letter signed by Leslie Hafner, the governor’s director of legislation.

The two signs will cost taxpayers a total of $6,000 to label the walk as “Andrea Conte Pedestrian Pathway.” Conte worked as a vocal advocate for healthy lifestyles along with speaking out for victims of violence.

Naifeh said he would find a private donor to pay to install the signs if the governor refused to allocate state funds, but Haslam said that won’t be necessary.

“Let me just say, that was one of those cases where we put a fiscal flag on anything that costs money,” Haslam told reporters after speaking to the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. “Anything that cost us, we just said, ‘Hold it, that wasn’t in the initial budget so that will take some consideration.’ And that’s one of those.”

“Obviously, we have no problem honoring Andrea for the things she’s done, and it’s not a significant amount of money,” he said.

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Press Releases

First Lady Series Touches on Agriculture

State of Tennessee Press Release; July 21, 2010:

NASHVILLE — Tennessee First Lady Andrea Conte will host an event on Thursday, July 22 from 4-6 p.m. CDT at Conservation Hall at the Tennessee Residence.

The drop-in open house, entitled, “Conservation Hall Supports Agriculture,” will focus on cultivation and gardening, featuring diverse participants that include local produce providers and organic gardeners. Participants can even learn how to assemble aesthetically-pleasing floral arrangements. There will be no formal program. The program is free, but reservations are required.

WHO: First Lady Andrea Conte

Participants:

· Delvin Farms

· Eaton’s Creek Organics, Inc.

· Ellington Agricultural Center

· Pick Tennessee Products

· Gammon Family Dairy

· Gourmet Pasture Beef

· Herb Society of Nashville

· OSHi Flowers

WHAT: “Conservation Halls Supports Agriculture”

WHEN: Thursday, July 22, 2010

4-6 p.m. CDT – Drop-In Open House (No formal program)

4:05 p.m. CDT – media availability with First Lady Conte

WHERE: Conservation Hall – The Tennessee Residence

All parking will be off-site at Judson Baptist Church, 4900 Franklin Pike, Nashville.

Members of the media that wish to attend must park at Judson Baptist Church and take a shuttle to the Residence. The shuttle will begin at 3:45 p.m. CDT. There is no parking available at the Residence.

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Press Releases

First Lady Hosting Panel on Partisan Politics

State of Tennessee Press Release; June 14, 2010:

NASHVILLE – Tennessee First Lady Andrea Conte will host a panel discussion on Monday, June 21, at 6 p.m. CDT at Conservation Hall at the Tennessee Residence. The event, entitled “Left? Right? Where’s the Middle?” will feature a panel discussion focused on the hard-hitting world of partisan politics and its impact on society and governing.

The event is open to the public at no cost; however, seating is limited and reservations are required.

“I think most people recognize politics is a tough business,” said Conte. “But I believe it’s also important to recognize the steady erosion of civil discourse we’ve seen in politics over the past two decades and consider the effect that has on respect for the governing process and, more importantly, personal respect for those willing to offer themselves for public service.”

Dwight Lewis, editorial page editor and columnist for The Tennessean, will moderate the discussion. Participating panelists include:

* Dave Cooley, Cooley Public Strategies

* Tom Ingram, The Ingram Group

* Dr. Carol Swain, Professor of Law and Political Science, Vanderbilt University

A reception will precede the panel discussion at 5:15 p.m. The program will begin promptly at 6 p.m.

Parking is available at Judson Baptist Church, which is located at 4900 Franklin Pike. A shuttle service will begin at 5 p.m. Parking will not be available at the Residence.

To make a reservation, please call (615) 741-7846 or send an email to anna.stergas@tn.gov by June 18. The First Lady’s Series is a monthly event hosted by Tennessee First Lady Andrea Conte.

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Press Releases

First Lady Conte Participates In Crime Victims’ Rights Week Event

Press Release from the State of Tennessee; April 20, 2010:

Event Remembers Those In Davidson County Touched By Violent Crime

NASHVILLE – Tennessee First Lady Andrea Conte today participated in a Crime Victims’ Rights Week event to remember individuals in Davidson County that have been touched by violent crime. National Crime Victim’s Rights Week, co-sponsored by the Office for Victims of Crime of the U.S. Department of Justice and the National Center for Victims of Crime, is April 18-24, 2010. The theme of this year’s observance is Crime Victims’ Rights: Fairness. Dignity. Respect.

Organizers of the Nashville event include You Have the Power…Know How to Use It, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about crime and justice issues founded by Conte in 1993. Conte, a former victim of violent crime, serves as president of the organization’s board.

“This week of observance give us an opportunity to make sure victims of crime and their families are aware of the resources and support available to them within their community,” said Conte.

Other participants scheduled to participate in the event include Davidson County District Attorney General Torry Johnson, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee Edward Yarbrough, Metro Police Chief Ronal Serpas, and Tennessee Commissioner of Correction Gayle Ray.

Tennessee’s First Lady has worked to serve victims of crime and abuse for more than 17 years. In addition to her role in founding You Have the Power, one of Conte’s initiatives upon becoming First Lady was to help establish a child advocacy center in each of the 31 judicial districts across the state. In 2003, there were 25 Child Advocacy Centers. Today there are 43 centers statewide.

As First Lady, Conte also worked to create a statewide Commission on Crime Victims Assistance that provides recommendations on the administration of the Criminal Injury Compensation Fund. Each December, she and Governor Phil Bredesen host “A Tennessee Season To Remember,” an annual holiday memorial event honoring Tennesseans who have lost their lives to violent crime.

Conte received national recognition as a longtime advocate for victims’ rights when she was presented with the National Crime Victim Service Award in 2008 during a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

You Have the Power is dedicated to helping victims and educating the community to prevent violent crime. The group conducts educational programs, creates training videos and produces guidebooks on topics such as domestic violence, elder abuse and child sexual abuse. The videos are distributed nationwide to law enforcement agencies, schools, domestic violence shelters, civic groups and therapists. In addition, You Have the Power conducts numerous public programs across Tennessee.

For more information about You Have the Power, visit www.yhtp.org. For additional information about National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, visit http://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ncvrw/index.html.

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Press Releases

First Lady Andrea Conte to Lead Walks for Child Advocacy Centers

Press Release from the Gov. Phil Bredesen administration, March 1, 2010:

13 Walks Scheduled for Months of March, April and May

NASHVILLE – Tennessee First Lady Andrea Conte has announced the dates for 13 AndreaWalks events in the months of March, April and May. Conte, a longtime advocate for victims’ rights issues, launched the AndreaWalks initiative in 2004 to promote National Child Abuse Prevention Month and provide support for Tennessee’s Child Advocacy Centers.

“Child Advocacy Centers provide comprehensive support programs for children who are the victims of sexual or severe physical abuse and their families,” Conte said. “These organizations work diligently every day on behalf of children, and these walks are something we can do to raise awareness and increase support for our Child Advocacy Centers across Tennessee.”

Conte made promoting and providing support for the Tennessee Child Advocacy Centers a priority when she became First Lady in 2003. One goal was to help establish a Child Advocacy Center in each of the 31 judicial districts across the state. In 2003, there were 25 Child Advocacy Centers in Tennessee. Today, there are 42 centers statewide.

Tennessee’s First Lady has worked to serve victims of crime and abuse for more than 17 years. In 1993, she founded You Have the Power…Know How to Use It, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about crime and justice issues. In 2008, Conte received national recognition for her outstanding service to crime victims when she received the National Crime Victim Service Award from U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey in a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

In the inaugural year of AndreaWalks, First Lady Conte walked more than 600 miles from Memphis to Bristol and raised approximately $1.4 million in cash and in-kind donations for these organizations.

This year there will be 13 AndreaWalks events held in March, April and May in Knox, Wilson, Putnam, Davidson, Cannon, Rutherford, Sullivan, Anderson, Scott, Sumner, Robertson, Lincoln and Fentress counties. Interested participants in these locations may contact their local Child Advocacy Center for more information or to register.

To learn more about the work of Child Advocacy Centers, visit www.tncac.org.

Knoxville – Knox County

Thursday, March 18

To benefit the ChildHelp USA Children’s Center of East Tennessee

9:00 A.M. EDT

For additional information, call (865) 637-1753

Lebanon – Wilson County

Friday, April 9

To benefit the 15th Judicial District Child Advocacy Center

9:00 a.m. CDT

For additional information, call (615) 449-7975

Cookeville – Putnam County

Friday, April 9

To benefit the Upper Cumberland Child Advocacy Center

1:30 p.m. CDT

For additional information, call (931) 525-1080

Nashville – Davidson County

Saturday, April 10

To benefit the Nashville Children’s Alliance

9:00 a.m. CDT

For additional information, call (615) 327-9958

Woodbury – Cannon County

Friday, April 16

To benefit the Child Advocacy Center of Cannon County

9:00 a.m. CDT

For additional information, call (615) 867-9000

Murfreesboro – Rutherford County

Friday, April 16

To benefit the Child Advocacy Center of Rutherford County

12:30 p.m. CDT

For additional information, call (615) 867-9000

Blountville – Sullivan County

Saturday, April 17

To benefit the Child Advocacy Center of Sullivan County

9:00 a.m. EDT

For additional information, call (423) 279-1222

Clinton – Anderson County

Thursday, April 22

To benefit the Clinch Valley Children’s Center

12:00 p.m. EDT

For additional information, call (865) 463-2740

Oneida – Scott County

Friday, April 23

To benefit the Children’s Center of the Cumberlands

9:00 a.m. EDT

For additional information, call (423) 569-8900

Gallatin – Sumner County

Tuesday, April 27

To benefit Ashley’s Place

10:00 a.m. CDT

For additional information, call (615) 451-2169

Springfield – Robertson County

Tuesday, April 27

To benefit the Robertson County Child Advocacy Center

1:30 p.m. CDT

For additional information, call (615) 384-5885

Fayetteville – Lincoln County

Thursday, April 29

To benefit Junior’s House

10:00 a.m. CDT

For additional information, call (931) 438-3233

Jamestown – Fentress County

Saturday, May 1

To benefit the Fentress County Children’s Center

9:00 a.m. CDT

For additional information, call (931) 879-7290