Lee unveils 10-point ‘contract with Tennesseans’

Bill Lee speaks to supporters at his headquarters launch in Franklin on Feb. 12, 2018. (Erik Schelzig/Tennessee Journal)

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee is touting a “Ten for Tenn” plan that he calls his “contract with Tennesseans.” The plan includes reducing the number of agencies in state government, term limits for state lawmakers, and creating an Office of Faith Based Initiatives in the governor’s office.

Here’s the full release:

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – Today, businessman and Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee released his detailed plan for Tennessee, which he’s calling Ten for Tenn. Ten for Tenn highlights ten key items Bill plans to focus on and enact as governor.

“As a CEO, it is important to set the vision for my company, and I believe it is just as important to set the vision for the state as governor,” said Lee. “Ten for Tenn” is my contract with Tennesseans, and I look forward to working to enact my conservative vision for Tennessee”

Ten for Tenn includes the following key points:

  1. Foster an Environment Where Jobs Continue to Grow
  2. Rethink Public Education with Major Vocational Reforms, Real School Choice, and Civics Education
  3. Stand up for Rural Tennessee by Expanding Economic Opportunity and Winning the War On Opioids
  4. Get Tough on the State Budget by Making Government Smaller and More Efficient
  5. Ensure New Voices in Nashville by Passing Term Limits and the Challenging the Influence Culture of Insiders
  6. Create a New Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives
  7. Make Government More Accessible, Open, and Accountable to Taxpayers
  8. Protect and Defend a Culture of Life
  9. Defend Our Constitutional Liberties Without Compromise
  10. Enforce the Rule of Law on Immigration

Job Growth – Bill knows that government doesn’t create jobs, people do. His number one priority for job growth is getting government out of the way by lowering uncompetitive taxes on business, enacting an immediate regulatory freeze, and making sure our economic incentives prioritize jobs created in Tennessee over jobs brought to Tennessee.

Education – On education, Bill believes a high school diploma should mean you are ready to enter the workforce in a trade, not wait for two to four more years of higher education. He will continue to fight for improved vocational, technical, and agricultural education options in every high school. He’ll work to bring back civics education, and will reduce the testing burden while making any test more meaningful for parents and teachers.

Rural Tennessee – As a product of rural Tennessee, Bill will make sure our rural communities get the attention they deserve by implementing all of his points in his Roadmap for Rural Tennessee and he will take on the opioid crisis by giving law enforcement the tools they need to stop the new flood of street drugs, and he will seek significantly stronger penalties for drug traffickers.

Streamlining Government – Bill will get tough on the state budget by making government smaller and more efficient. Tennessee has 22 Cabinet Departments, the Federal Government has 15, and Kentucky has 11. Bill will lead that charge. He will pursue strategic mergers of departments and divisions to streamline government, break down silos, and through the appointment of an inspector general find new efficiencies to serve the taxpayers.

Term Limits, Lobbying Bans, and Conflict of Interest Reform – Bill will also advance term limits for all elected officials. A permanent political class is not what our founders intended, and term limits can help bring fresh new ideas and limit influence. He will also work to pass a five-year lobbying ban for lawmakers. Public service shouldn’t lead to a permanent influence class in our state capital. And Bill will also strengthen our state’s conflict of interest rules to ensure that no sitting official enriches themselves through state contracts while in office.

Faith-Based Initiatives – Bill will create an Office of Faith Based Initiatives in the governor’s office to defend religious liberty and welcome our leaders of faith as partners for addressing the problems in our communities.

A Government of the People – To open up government, Bill will also initiate a new program to invite public comments on new laws before he signs them, bringing everyone into the process more directly. As governor, he also pledges to deliver State of the State addresses in all three Grand Divisions. He also plans to open up our government records because our current open records process is broken.

Life – Bill is 100% pro-life, and he will sign legislation that reduces abortions, such as the heartbeat bill, and enforce the law to ensure Planned Parenthood doesn’t get another dime of state money.

Constitutional Liberties – Bill will defend our founding principles. Bill will work to preserve our First Amendment religious liberty to ensure Tennesseans are free to exercise their religion free from state and activist overreach. He’ll defend the Second Amendment, pledging to sign constitutional carry to put Tennessee in line with the one-third of states that support our law-abiding gun owners. He will also enforce the Tenth Amendment, by defending Tennessee in court against federal overreach on issues such as Obamacare, and will ensure that our state’s rights are protected.

Rule of Law – On his final point, Bill will enforce the rule of law on immigration. Sanctuary Cities are by definition, lawlessness. They will not happen on Bill’s watch, nor will he allow for any new benefits to be created to support illegal immigration.

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