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Bill, Butch, Sundance and SOTS III — A Review

In what was unquestionably his best State of the State speech ever, Gov. Bill Haslam announced last week that “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” is one of his favorite movies. He especially liked the scene where the Butch and Sundance jump off a cliff.
There were a lot of other announcements in Haslam’s third State of the State (SOTS) speech, enough to make your head spin if you try to keep track of state governmental doings. That was part of the beauty of the 43-minute rhetorical ramble through dozens of topics, many the subject of proclaimed new attention by our state’s benevolent, business-loving chief executive.
It was, in a word, substantive. If you follow this newspaper, or most any other media outlet, you will see multiple follow-up reports on the various initiatives launched or issues raised in SOTS III (and some the governor didn’t mention — strategically, one suspects) that are quietly buried in his package of 59 administration bills or advanced by legislators.
Beyond that, however, the speech had just a touch of mystery — strategically, one suspects. Then, again, maybe not. Could be just weird.

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