Tag Archives: bush

Haslam’s Worker Comp Bill Accidentally Insulted by Jeb Bush?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush inadvertently took aim at one of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s legislative priorities this year when the two appeared at an education forum.
Bush said Monday during the question and answer phase of the event featuring the two Republicans that as governor he relished taking aim at the bigger challenges, even if it meant facing stronger resistance.
“If it isn’t controversial or hard to do, you probably needed to add a few more bales of hay on the truck,” Bush said. “Bigger is better.”
Otherwise, he said, the inclination is toward less sweeping agenda items.
“If you have legislature that’s focused on pleasing the people who are there all the time, you’re going to be worried about tweaking the workers’ comp bill,” Bush said.
Haslam, who this year plans to introduce changes to the way injured workers claims are processed in Tennessee, interrupted Bush with a laugh.
“Careful,” Haslam said. “Quit preaching on about that one!”
Bush quickly changed analogies, instead saying lawmakers shouldn’t cater to fringe groups like the “left-handed Albanian caucus.”
“There’s all sorts of little things you can focus on,” Bush said. “I’ve found if there’s a bigger focus on the big things, the little things don’t get time.”
Bush was effusive in his praise of Haslam’s education initiatives after the event organized by the State Collaborative on Reforming Education.
“I’m a huge Gov. Haslam fan,” Bush told reporters. “Tennessee’s lucky to have him.”

Haslam Will Have a Voucher Bill, After All

Gov. Bill Haslam said today he will push for enactment during this year’s legislative session of voucher system that would be limited to lower-income students in the “lowest-performing schools.”
Haslam said there will not be an administration bill on a “statewide authorizer” for charter schools, though he expects legislators to propose such a law and will work with them on fashioning details. Such a law would set up a state authority to approve charter schools even when a local school board refused to approve.
Haslam’s announcement came after a joint appearance with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush for a discussion of education reform. Bush said his initial efforts at both a voucher system and a “state authorizer” were approved by the Florida legislature, but later declared unconstitutional by the state’s Supreme Court.
Florida subsequently adopted a voucher system funded by corporations, which receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for money they put into the system and Bush hailed it as a success. Haslam said his Tennessee system would not follow that model for funding.
The governor said his Tennessee proposal would be “means tested and focused on the lowest performing schools.” He said further details would be made public later.
The state Senate passed a voucher system that would have applied in Tennessee’s four largest counties – including Knox – in 2011. But the bill never passed the House after Haslam asked lawmakers to wait while he set up a task force to study the issue.
Until today, Haslam has said he was undecided whether to put forth his own bill on vouchers – proponents call them “equal opportunity scholarships,” a label Bush said first used in Florida – or simply let legislators introduce a bill, then react to it.