FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 11 , 2020
Contact: Jennifer Easton 615-741-5760
NASHVILLE, Tenn. —State Rep. Patsy Hazlewood, R-Signal Mountain, this week signed her first budget bill as newly appointed chairman of the House Finance, Ways, and Means Committee of the Tennessee General Assembly. As chairman, Hazlewood will lead efforts to craft a balanced state budget that builds on recent strategic investments and Republican priorities.
“Tennessee’s economy is extremely resilient because conservative leaders have made very careful spending decisions over the past decade,” Hazlewood said. “It is a great honor and privilege to continue that tradition with my colleagues, advancing responsible and balanced fiscal policies that will further secure a bright and prosperous Tennessee for generations to come,” Hazlewood said.
House Speaker Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville, in January appointed Hazlewood to lead the powerful House Finance, Ways, and Means Committee, which is tasked with all measures related to taxes, raising revenue, appropriation of state funds, deposits of all public monies and bond issues.
Gov. Bill Lee on Feb. 8 presented his $41.8 billion budget plan to members of the General Assembly in his third state of the state address. Key highlights of Lee’s budget plan include a $341 million spending increase for K-12 education, $200 million to expand broadband to every Tennessean, $931 million for capital maintenance and improvements, $150 million for pandemic relief and Covid-19 vaccine support, $200 million to improve local infrastructure, and $135 million to expand transportation.
U.S. News and World Report ranked Tennessee No.1 for fiscal management and stability in 2019 and 2020. Tennessee is one of only seven states in the nation to show positive economic growth since the pandemic began.
Tennessee’s is recognized for having the lowest debt per capita in the nation and zero road debt. Tennessee holds the highest bond rating issued by all three of the nation’s credit rating agencies, which reflects extreme confidence in the Volunteer State’s preparedness in meeting financial commitments in tough economic times.
Hazlewood is a former director for CapitolMark Bank and Trust who previously worked for AT&T and the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. She previously served as vice chairman of the House Finance, Ways, and Means Committee and is the second woman ever to lead the panel. She represents the 27th House District which includes the Western portion of Hamilton County.