Haslam Still Not ‘Chief Executive of the Legislature’ But Getting Better in Dealing With That Bunch

The Tennessean’s Chas Sisk and The Chattanooga Times-Free Press’ Andy Sher have similar year-end stories on Bill Haslam Sunday, both with the theme that our governor admits he wasn’t really ready for the Legislature last session…. But he’ll do better and be bolder in 2012.
Haslam quoted in the Sisk story:
“It’s sort of this all hands on deck operationally, running a state and, oh by the way, there’s also a legislature in session that’s cranking out a lot of bills,” he said. “You do all of that, literally, starting from the first day you get into office.”
Haslam says he is better prepared for his second round with the state legislature.
Bruised maybe, and perhaps a little weakened, Haslam also is growing bolder as he wraps up his first year in office. On issues ranging from the living wage to the death tax, the governor has begun to stand his ground, setting himself up to take a more assertive role during next year’s legislative session.
The congenial governor will never be one to try to bludgeon his opponents.
“I still say my primary purpose as governor is to run state government,” Haslam said. “I’m not the leader of the legislature. They have a speaker and lieutenant governor, and it’s our role to weigh in.”

Haslam quoted in the Sher story:
“If you don’t climb the learning curve in any new job you’re in, there’s something wrong,” said Haslam… “There’s a significant advantage to being here a year and having gone through everything once.”
Regarding the Legislature, Haslam said, “We’re further down the road and so we can be a little bit more engaged on the rest of the process [with lawmakers] as well.” Still, he noted, “I have a very healthy respect for the proper role of the Legislature. While I think the governor is obviously supposed to be involved with legislation — and we will be more this year than we were last year — my job is not to be the chief executive of the Legislature.”

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