(NASHVILLE, TN), May 21, 2011 — Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) said he is very pleased with the work of the 2011 legislative session that ended today, which is one of the earliest completion dates in the last decade. Ketron said the work of the legislature in the areas of education and tort reform poises the state to be the number one location in the Southeast to bring new jobs to Tennessee.”
“Government does not create jobs, businesses do,” said Chairman Ketron. “We are restructuring the way we approach attracting businesses who are the creators of jobs. In his first four months in office, Governor Haslam has instructed departmental heads to eliminate waste, improve government efficiencies, and remove any unnecessary bureaucratic barriers which have stymied entrepreneurship. That, in conjunction with the tort reform legislation passed this year and the education initiatives to make sure we have an educated workforce, will go far to move Tennessee forward in creating new high quality jobs.”
Ketron said he was also pleased with the passage of major legislation which he sponsored or co-sponsored that he has been pushing over the past several years. This includes a bill to preserve the integrity of elections by requiring photo identification to vote; a measure to preserve secret ballots in union elections; a bill to allow students to use their HOPE scholarships in the summer; an E-Verify law to help curb illegal immigration; and a measure to make sure health insurance covers devices for hearing-impaired children.
He also pointed to the successful passage of several new initiatives he sponsored this year, including legislation to strengthen Tennessee’s anti-terrorism statutes; two bills to strengthen Tennessee’s status as a “Right to Work” state; legislation to improve the worker’s compensation law implemented last year; two measures to curb cyber-bullying; and a bill to prohibit election administrators from hiring family members. He also helped secure funding to purchase property for a new Columbia State Community College Building which has outgrown its present facility.
In looking towards next year, Senator Ketron said he is working with administration officials to allocate funding for a new science building at Middle Tennessee State University. He also said he is continuing to work on legislation he sponsored in the Senate which calls for state and local law enforcement to determine the legal status of an individual in question in the course of a lawful stop.
“The Middle Tennessee State Science Building remains a priority and we are working closely with the administration to get this needed project funded,” Ketron added. “On the immigration legislation, we are going to take a careful and comprehensive look at what Georgia has done on this matter before moving forward with the bill next year.”