budget address

Read Gov. Bill Lee’s annual budget address to state lawmakers here

Gov. Bill Lee delivers his State of the State Address on Jan. 31, 2022. (Erik Schelzig)

Gov. Bill Lee is making his fifth State of the State address to state lawmakers on Monday evening. Read his remarks as prepared for delivery here:

Thank you very much. Lieutenant Governor McNally, Speaker Sexton, Speaker Pro Tem Haile, Speaker Pro Tem Marsh, Members of the 113th General Assembly, Justices, Constitutional Officers, cabinet members, staff members, friends, family: Thank you for being here. I’m proud to serve the people of Tennessee with you.

And to those of you who are new to this General Assembly, I want to welcome you. You have accepted a call to serve, and I have come to realize how valuable and important that is. Whether or not we agree on everything, I genuinely look forward to working with you. You’ve accepted a high calling, and I want to say thank you.

Being governor of this state is the honor of my life. And it’s infinitely more rewarding to serve with a wonderful first lady by my side. Maria wishes that she could be here tonight. We’re getting ready for the next stage of her journey, and we want to thank all of you – in this chamber and across the state – for your prayers and support. It means the world to us. From her heart and mine, thank you.

Two weeks ago, I took an oath to uphold and defend the constitutions of Tennessee and the United States of America. As I said on Inauguration Day – this halfway point is a good time to reflect, but it’s an even better time to plan. Because our state is leading, the nation has great expectations for us. What will future generations say about Tennessee in the year 2023 and beyond?

As a seventh-generation Tennessean, I often think about the role that our state and her people have played in the great turning points of American history. From the courage of early settlers and abolitionists, to the leaders of Women’s Suffrage and Civil Rights, Tennesseans have long served as a guiding light in our nation’s moments of transformation.

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