Haslam to successor: ‘Everything changes now’

Gov. Bill Haslam gives a preview of his State of the State address in Nashville on Jan. 29, 2018. (Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Term-limited Gov. Bill Haslam has written an op-ed for the Tennessee Gannett newspapers in the form of a letter to his successor. In it, he warns that  “a lot of what was talked about during the campaign will not be the issues that end up on your desk as governor.”

“You have spent these last months trying to get in front of as many of Tennessee’s 6.6 million citizens as you could to tell them your story. Everything changes now,” he wrote.

“The most important thing you can do right now is start to hire your team. You have 23 commissioners who will lead the agencies and several key positions in the governor’s office,” Haslam said. “Nothing is more important than hiring the right people for those roles…. Hire great people!”

Haslam said that the top issues facing the next governor include:

  • Controlling the cost of TennCare, the state’s expanded Medicaid program, while still offering health care to “our most vulnerable citizens.”
  • Improving the state’s education standards to move into the top half of states i teh nation. The main challenge, he said, is “the forces that want to drag us back into mediocrity don’t like the higher standards and increased accountability that have been put into place.
  • Providing employers with the “workforce that they need.”
  • Managing the state budget amid pressures from various quarters to spend more money.
  • Maintaining the state’s infrastructure.
  • Serving citizens who battle mental health, substance abuse, and family issues.

“Remember that you have been elected governor, not king or queen. The General Assembly will be a big part of your life as governor. Unlike most states, it only takes a simple majority of the members to override your veto,” Haslam said. “So, my advice would be to work with them as much as possible on the front end of legislation.”



One Response to Haslam to successor: ‘Everything changes now’

  • Phil Lassiter says:

    He should tell the future Governor to keep their campaign promises so they won’t be despised forever when they leave office like him.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *