Bill Lee on Budget & Economy
Investment & incentives to support rural counties
I'm also recommending $20 million for ECD's Rural Opportunity Fund, which supports site development, main-street development, and critical infrastructure assistance. We expanded an incentive program in
Tennessee medical schools that will grow the pipeline of primary care doctors locating in rural communities. We're adding more than $4 million for payment increases to rural health clinics and expanding rural access to dental care.
We're adding $7 million to the Ag Enhancement program and an additional $2 million for UT Extension Agents in distressed rural counties.
The Department of Tourism has created an Office of Rural Tourism, and we've set aside nearly $2.4 million for their efforts to draw attention to beautiful parts of Tennessee that are off the beaten path.
Source: 2020 State of the State Address to the Tennessee legislature
, Feb 3, 2020
Better to save for emergencies than spend now
As a conservative businessman, I know a good budget needs to pay for what is needed, take on zero long-term debt, and, perhaps most importantly, save for a rainy day. I am particularly proud of this: in my budget, we are making the largest single
contribution to our Rainy Day Fund in the state's history. When this budget is implemented, our Rainy Day Fund will be $1.1 billion--the largest it has ever been in both real dollars and as a percentage of our overall revenue.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Tennessee legislature
, Mar 6, 2019
Made hard decisions needed on company budget; it worked
Lee was forced to lay˙off about 400 employees in 14 months. "When you cut a company's budget from $100 million to $70 million, you have to make a lot of hard decisions," Lee said. "I had to say, `I know you have been here for 14 years, but today is your
last day.' It was brutal." [One observer] said˙Lee could have resigned himself to the CEO office and delegated the duties, but didn't.
The cuts and reductions worked. Three years later, Lee says the company was rebuilt, and stronger than before.˙
Source: The Tennessean on 2018 Tennessee Gubernatorial race
, Jul 21, 2018
Page last updated: Apr 15, 2020