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Haslam Files NextTennessee Legislative Agenda

Tuesday, February 07, 2017 | 1:03pm

Legislation focuses on education, community development, and economic growth

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today filed his NextTennessee legislative agenda for the 2017 session of the 110th General Assembly.

“With the NextTennessee agenda, we’re focused on policy proposals to build and sustain economic growth and the state’s competitiveness for the next generation of Tennesseans,” Haslam said. “Because of the fiscal responsibility we have shown, the Tennessee we can be is a state with a safe and reliable transportation network that supports long-term growth, one of the best K-12 systems in the country and free access to a post-secondary degree or certificate for all Tennesseans. And we can still be the state with the lowest taxes and the lowest debt.”

The Tennessee Reconnect Act is Haslam’s proposal to make Tennessee the first state in the nation to offer all Tennessee adults without a degree access to community college tuition-free – and at no cost to taxpayers. Tennessee would become the first state in the nation to offer all citizens – both high school students and adults – the chance to earn a post-secondary degree or certificate free of tuition and fees.

The Tennessee STRONG Act, “Support, Training and Renewing Opportunity for National Guardsmen,” establishes a four-year pilot program for eligible members of the Tennessee National Guard to receive a last-dollar tuition reimbursement toward a first-time bachelor’s degree.

The IMPROVE Act, “Improving Manufacturing, Public Roads and Opportunities for a Vibrant Economy,” cuts $270 million in taxes, including the sales tax on groceries, while proposing a comprehensive and balanced transportation plan that keeps Tennessee a pay-as-you-go state and its roads debt free.

The Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act allows Tennessee’s private, nonprofit electric cooperatives to provide retail broadband service, makes grant funding available to the state’s local libraries to help residents improve their digital literacy skills and provides $45 million over three years in grants and tax credits for service providers to help make broadband more available to Tennessee’s rural, unserved homes and businesses.

Additional information on Haslam’s legislative proposals can be found at http://www.tn.gov/nexttennessee.

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