Governor on first year in office and the year ahead

Local News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Governor Bill Lee says help for vocational and technical education was his “most important” piece of legislation this year.

His words come from a series of media interviews as he is about to wrap his first year in office.

“You know, it was one of the greatest experiences of my life, this year has been,” the governor told News 2.

A political novice and little-known candidate as he began his quest for governor, Bill Lee reflected on what the job has been like.

He highlights the $25 Million in funding for skilled trades training.

“The investment in vocational education–the GIVE act–to me the most important piece of legislation we got passed this year,” said the governor.

The Republican governor also passed what he called the Education Savings Account or voucher program to provide–starting this year–more than $700,000 yearly to 5000 students in Shelby and Davidson counties to use likely for private school tuition.

Turning to next year, Governor Lee is talking about where some of the state budget money will go.

He has ideas about helping healthcare access in rural Tennessee with what he calls “new models” that things like telemedicine.

“You’re going to see–even in this next budget proposal–some efforts at investing at these new models to provide high-quality access,” added the governor.

What that will look like might depend on recommendations of a rural healthcare task force that’s been put together by the governor.

Governor Lee also is likely to propose reforms for the criminal justice system.

He has often said we have too many non-violent felons–such as drug offenders–in prison.

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