(NASHVILLE, TN), January 31, 2012 – Rutherford County’s legislative delegation, Senators Bill Ketron (R—Murfreesboro) and Jim Tracy (R—Shelbyville), and Representatives Joe Carr (R—Lascassas), Mike Sparks (R—Smyrna), Rick Womick (R—Rockvale), and Pat Marsh (R-Shelbyville), today praised Governor Bill Haslam for putting the proposed MTSU Science Building in the state’s 2012-2013 budget. The local legislative delegation has pushed for inclusion of the building project, including leading a group of key state leaders on a tour of the campus last year. Rep. Carr said the tour, and conversations with Governor Bill Haslam, Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey, Speaker of the House Beth Harwell (R—Nashville), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Randy McNally (R—Oak Ridge) and House Finance Committee Chairman Charles Sargent (R—Franklin) was a turning point in getting the project funded in this year’s budget. Rutherford County Mayor Ernest Burgess and Murfreesboro Mayor Tommy Bragg have also pushed for funding the project.
“We wanted to show key leaders in the House and Senate the need for this project first hand,” said Rep. Carr. “This and our conversations with Governor Haslam was the turning point in getting this project funded.”
“I am very pleased that this project has finally been included in the budget,” said Senator Ketron. “I also appreciate Mayor Burgess and Mayor Bragg for their unwavering support for this project.”
“This project has been a priority of mine for many years,” added Senator Tracy. “We thank Governor Haslam for finally seeing that it is built.”
Although the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) can make recommendations regarding projects, the Governor is responsible for inclusion in the budget. The General Assembly then is responsible for finalizing any proposed projects by passing it into law through approval of the appropriations bill.
“We have worked very diligently with the Governor, Speaker Harwell, Lt. Governor Ramsey and our Finance Chairmen to make sure that we finally see this project to fruition,” added Representative Sparks. “We look forward to seeing the results of this work.”
“This building is very important to our goal of increasing the number of graduates in Tennessee with science and math degrees,” added Representative Womick. “This project should help us obtain these goals. The inclusion of the project in this year’s budget and the support of key lawmakers pretty much ensure its passage in this year’s budget.”
“All of our delegation members have talked to key state officials about getting this project started,” added Rep. Marsh. “We are all thrilled that we will finally have the opportunity to see this building become a reality on our MTSU campus.”