Friday, May 11, 2012
- by Rep. Eric Watson
The 107th General Assembly Comes to a Record-Breaking Conclusion
The House of Representatives last week concluded its work for the 107th General Assembly. By all measurements, Tennessee taxpayers will benefit from the many accomplishments of House lawmakers over the last two years. Legislators vowed to make private sector job creation the top priority for the General Assembly. Managing the State’s budget in a fiscally responsible manner was also at the top of the agenda.
The session was adjourned “sine die,” meaning” without a day specified for a future meeting” because it is the conclusion of legislative business. Each General Assembly has 90 days over two years to meet. By adjourning on the 84th day, taxpayers saved nearly $200,000. Representatives ushered through a number of items to cut taxes, grow Tennessee’s economy, reform government and education, and fight crime. Legislators believe these initiatives reflect the will of Tennesseans and will help make Tennessee a better place to live, work, and raise a family.
Tennesseans can be very proud of the fiscally responsible budget crafted this year. Unlike Washington, D.C. we balance our budget every year—a feat that does not come easily. In addition to these cuts, we were still able to provide more tax relief for Tennesseans than any year of my tenure, reduce the budget by two percent, and put $50 million away for a rainy day. We understand that when a surplus of money comes in, we should return it to its rightful owners: the taxpayers.
Throughout the summer and fall of 2011, lawmakers met with business leaders and concerned citizens about ways to remove government hurdles to economic growth in the State. The House Majority Leader appointed a House Majority Small Business and Economic Development task force, charged with identifying concerns of business and community leaders and exploring ways to reduce government—thereby allowing the private sector to expand in Tennessee. The group ultimately produced several job growth and government reform bills lawmakers passed during the session.