Tag Archives: quotes

Legislator Comments on Voucher Proposal

Republican Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday proposed a limited school-voucher program for students from poor families who attend failing schools. The program would be capped at 5,000 students this year and grow to 20,000 students by 2016. Here are some responses to the proposal:
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“I think he has made it clear that it is a very limited program for failing students in failing schools. … One of the things I respect about the governor is that it’s part of his trademark to phase it in.” — House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville.
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“I know that this year there’s going to be an effort by the press and others to say there’s a fight and Republicans aren’t getting along and things like that. There are differences of opinion, but in the end I think we’ll pass a bill that’s good for the state.” — Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, who favors a broader approach.
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“The way he rolled it out today, I like it. Eat an elephant, as the saying goes, a bit at a time.” — House Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada of Franklin.
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“Everyone is for a school of choice. But … what size voucher, who gets it? (What’s the) impact on public education? The devil is more in the details on vouchers than almost any topic we discussed tonight.” — Senate Minority Leader Jim Kyle, D-Memphis.
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“We’re making significant gains in what really counts, and that’s student achievement. And continuing the focus on that important work was as important to me as any new program that was announced.” — Jamie Woodson, president and CEO of the State Collaborative on Reforming Education, or SCORE.
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“We all are interested in education, no question about that. I think he spent the most time of his speech on that. I just have a little different philosophy about the use of public money for private schools on the vouchers.” — House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley.

TN Voter Quotes From Around the State

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Voters who cast ballots Tuesday or during Tennessee’s 14-day early voting period talk about their selections and the general election.
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The top race on the ticket, the contest for president between President Barack Obama, the Democrat, and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, helped send Tennessee voters to the polls even though the race wasn’t close in this state.
— Collierville financial adviser Kevin Baltier cast his ballot Tuesday for Romney, saying Obama’s strategy to levy more taxes on high-income people would stifle job creation. Baltier said Romney’s economic plan would create an environment where people “would not be looked down upon for their success.”
— University of Tennessee English professor Nancy Henry, 47, said in Knoxville that the issues that drove her vote for Obama weren’t economic. “Environmental policy is very important to me. Education is really important to me,” Henry said. “Yes, the economy, but frankly, I live in a pretty prosperous town in a pretty prosperous part of town, so I don’t feel like I have been worse off than I was four years ago.”

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TN Voter Quotes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee voters speak about Thursday’s primary election.
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U.S. Sen. Bob Corker coasted to an easy primary win on Thursday night over four Republican challengers.
— “He’s more liberal than I would normally vote for, but I think he’s informative and logical,” said Marge Tamberino, 68, of Nashville, who also voted for him in the 2006 election.
— “I just think he’s done a good job in office,” said John Cowden, 38, of Nashville, who described himself as self-employed.

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When the Governor Speaks, We Listen

Wise sayings from our governor Tuesday as recorded by Tennessee reporters.
Secrecy Balance
On keeping secret the ownership of companies receiving cash grants from the state for economic development:
“I understand the concern about public money and people wanting to understand who is ultimately benefiting from that. But I think everybody needs to understand, none of our competitors is asking for that information or making that public. So if we do that, we will be at a decided disadvantage,” Haslam told reporters… “You can go talk to people who we’re dealing with and they will say, if that’s the deal, then we’re out. That’s why you have the legislative process, to try to get it right and get the right balance.”
Gun BalanceOn “guns in parking lots” legislation:
“This is one area where Republicans believe in property rights and they believe in Second Amendment rights,” he said. “Getting the balance right is important.”
In Search of Understanding
On changes in lottery scholarship rules to favor home schoolers:
“I would need to understand what the reason is for the distinction, which I haven’t heard yet,” Haslam said.

Some ‘State of the State’ Notes and Quotes

By the Associated Press
Reactions and impressions about Gov. Bill Haslam’s second annual State of the State address on Monday evening:
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“It was an excellent speech, it was upbeat, it was forward thinking and he’s remaining true to the things he ran for this office for.” — House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville.
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“It is a bold plan to change the way Tennessee government operates, to improve the economy here by creating a climate for economic prosperity, so we’re excited about his plan.” — state Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney.
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“Two things stood out. He wants to run an effective, efficient government. And the other thing is it’s the taxpayers’ money, it’s not really government’s. I think those were important distinctions to make.” — Republican Sen. Randy McNally of Oak Ridge.
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“The governor … knows right now with the economy like it is, we need to cut the size of government as much as possible, save those tax dollars and be able to put them somewhere else.” — Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet.
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“‘Believe in Better’ seems to me to be nothing more than a campaign slogan and wishful thinking. The single issue facing Tennesseans and our country is job creation, and there was a paucity of discussion about job creation tonight.” — State Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester.
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“He’s talking about doing what you do in corporate America. You do a regional search to see what the salaries are, if they’re competitive or not. And he’s going to allocate money toward that. That’s a good idea. That way we can retain top talent.” — Rep. Joe Towns, D-Memphis.
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“Instead of lawmakers worried about saving their own jobs, they should be more concerned with creating new jobs for Tennesseans. And that’s what we would like to work with our governor on … going forward.” — House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley.
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“Our teachers just went through a year with a different kind of ABCs. They were attacked. They were belittled. And they were criticized. This year, there seems to be new math. Fewer teachers, with bigger classrooms, is supposed to equal better results. But that really does not add up.” — Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Lowe Finney of Jackson.