Tenn. Governor: Make State Govt Smaller

Tuesday, 15 Mar 2011 02:19 PM

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Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam encouraged lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to work together in continuing to reduce the size of state government in response to the worst recessions in decades, the Tennessean reported Tuesday.

On the day of his first State of the State address, Haslam unveiled a $30 billion proposed budget that would reduced the state workforce by about 1,200 positions over the next year. The governor said the state from driver license offices to public universities needs to be more efficient in how it operates.

Haslam included calls for bipartisanship in his half-hour speech, while acknowledging the GOP’s nearly two-thirds majority.

"As Republicans, we understand and support the principals of less government, lower taxes and free enterprise," he said in the speech Monday at the state Capitol. "But none of us in this chamber tonight want Nashville to be like Washington, where partisanship prevents us from solving problems.

"There is only one way to get our fiscal accounts in order: Put another hole in the belt, pull it even tighter this year as we smooth out the remaining rough budget edges," he said.

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