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Norris Begins Term as Chair of Council of State Governments

Press release from the Tennessee Senate Republican Caucus; December 10, 2013:

Outlines “State Pathways to Prosperity” initiative focusing on jobs and education

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) began his term as Chairman of the Council of State Governments (CSG) this week by outlining the Chairman’s 2014 initiative, “State Pathways to Prosperity.” The initiative focuses on helping states boost their workforce development and education efforts. Addressing the organization’s Eastern Regional meeting in Puerto Rico, Norris said during his term of office, CSG will also concentrate on four related areas which often overshadow employment needs: veterans’ affairs, hunger, children in poverty and criminal justice.

“It’s difficult for our guidance counselors and local workforce development professionals to do their jobs when the folks who need work have so many related issues that need addressing first,” said Chairman Norris. “Like a mother looking for work without the resources to provide care for her children while she’s away — or the veteran with plenty of experience but no certificate or degree — or someone with a criminal record for a non-violent offense that disqualifies them from employment. CSG can provide the expertise to help states with best practices designed to clear pathways for those anxious to join America’s workforce.”

“There is significant demand right now by companies looking for qualified workers, and states are finding it difficult to meet the demand. The jobs are there, but the skills are lacking,” said Norris, who was recently appointed by Governor Haslam to the Tennessee Workforce Development Board. Norris was the prime sponsor of Tennessee’s LEAP (Labor Education Alignment Program) signed into law in April. LEAP lays the foundation for the cooperative effort of government, higher education and businesses looking for skilled workers by providing on-the-job training.

CSG represents all three branches of state government and state chief executives are fundamental to CSG’s success. Norris succeeds Senator Gary Stevens of Alaska at CSG. Senator Carl Marcellino of New York is Chair-Elect. Serving as a President of CSG with Norris as Chairman will be West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin. He succeeds Missouri Governor Jay Nixon.

“As Chair, it will be my goal to keep CSG the place to be; the place to champion state government to advance the common good,” said Norris.

CSG has regional offices in New York, Chicago, Sacramento and Atlanta with headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky. Norris chaired the Southern Region in 2011 and has served on CSG’s Executive Committee since 2007.

Green Named to CSG Interbranch Committee

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey; June 10, 2013:

(June 10, 2013, NASHVILLE) – Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey (R-Blountville) today announced the appointment of Senator Mark Green (R-Clarksville) to the Council of State Government (CSG) Interbranch Affairs Committee. The committee brings together leaders from across the nation to focus on ways the branches of state government can work together.

“In his freshman year in the legislature, Senator Green quickly established himself as an emerging leader in state government,” said Lt. Governor Ramsey. “With his prior military service and his experience as a businessman, I believe he will add great perspective to this committee. I look forward to his contributions and I’m confident he will serve Tennessee well.”

“This is a great opportunity to share ideas with leaders from across the nation on how the branches of state government can work more efficiently,” said Senator Green. “I’m grateful to Lt. Governor Ramsey for the appointment.”

CSG’s Interbranch Affairs Committee reviews and monitors major interbranch issues and seeks to foster collaboration and understanding among and between the branches of state government. Members of the committee focus on emerging trends, innovative and effective solutions, and viable policy positions and response projects.

The committee is designed to encourage multi-state problem solving and sharing of best practices, and to facilitate networking among state officials and between the public and private sectors.

The appointment starts immediately and extends through 2015.

Southerland Named to CSG Energy, Environment Cmte

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey; June 5, 2013:

(June 5, 2013, NASHVILLE) – Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey (R-Blountville) today announced the appointment of Senator Steve Southerland (R-Morristown) to the Council of State Government’s (CSG) Energy and Environment Public Policy Committee. The committee brings together leaders from across the nation to address energy and environmental concerns.

“Senator Southerland has shown great leadership as chairman of our Energy, Agriculture and Natural Resources committee,” said Lt. Governor Ramsey. “Steve has a great appreciation for Tennessee’s beautiful environment and natural resources and is committed to striking the proper balance between responsible conservation and economic growth. Steve understands how critical energy and environmental policy is to the continued economic health of our state. I’m confident he will serve Tennessee well on this committee.”

“This is a great opportunity to share ideas with leaders from across the nation,” said Senator Southerland. “I’m grateful to Lt. Governor Ramsey for the appointment.”

CSG’s Energy and Environment Policy Group tracks national conditions and emerging trends, identifies innovative and effective solutions, and transforms these solutions into viable policy positions and response projects.

The appointment starts immediately and extends through 2015.