(NASHVILLE, TN), March 31, 2015 --- “I am very pleased that the Governor’s supplemental amendment to the budget includes adding another month of health insurance benefits for teachers. This shows the continuing commitment the Governor and the legislature has towards helping provide additional benefits for our teachers as we work to cover all of the health benefits for them in the future.”
See Governor Haslam’s release below:
HASLAM INTRODUCES FY 2015-2016 BUDGET AMENDMENT
Legislation includes significant education investments and funding for new state museum
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today unveiled additions to the FY 2015-2016 budget that will be considered by the General Assembly in the coming weeks.
The supplemental appropriations amendment to SB1399/HB1374 reflects $30 million more in recurring funding, which tracks closely to the governor’s original budget proposal presented to the General Assembly on February 9.
The proposed budget amendment designates those additional recurring dollars to K-12 education, specifically to increase state funding of health insurance coverage for teachers.
“This budget proposal continues our administration’s ongoing commitment to quality education in Tennessee,” Haslam said. “All of our additional recurring money is going to fund K-12 education in addition to the $144 million from our original budget proposal. We are also making significant investments in higher education.”
Due to Franchise and Excise tax collections that exceeded estimates last month as a result of an unusual one-time event, along with other revenue collections and program savings, there are nearly $300 million more than anticipated in non-recurring funds. The budget amendment proposal includes the following non-recurring investments:
• $120 million to fund the state’s commitment to a new $160 million Tennessee State Museum, $40 million of which will be raised through private funds;
• $50 million for economic development projects bringing more high-quality jobs to Tennessee;
• $40 million to complete renovations of the Cordell Hull building;
• $36.5 million for the Rainy Day Fund in addition to the $36.5 million proposed in the original budget bringing the total reserve to 4.5 percent of state revenues;
• $12 million for maintenance and improvements to higher education facilities across the state;
• $5 million to fund new equipment in our Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology to meet job training demands across the state;
• $1.9 million for the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to fund adolescent residential alcohol and drug treatment grants.
The proposal also restores full funding to the TennCare Bureau for level two case management services. Nearly half of the funding, $5.2 million, is included as recurring dollars while the rest of the funding is designated as non-recurring. The administration will continue to review the program and look at possibilities for efficiencies in the process.
The budget amendment is scheduled to be filed Tuesday, April 7. Finance and Administration Commissioner Larry Martin begins presentations on the amendment to finance committees of the Senate and House of Representatives today.
Legislation that would ban the sale of powdered or crystalline alcohol in Tennessee has cleared its first hurdle with passage in the Senate Judiciary Committee this week. Senate Bill 374, sponsored by Senator Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro), would make it a Class A misdemeanor offense to sale the product, which is currently pending approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Palcohol, which is the brand name for the new product, was approved last year by the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau before the agency rescinded that decision over labeling issues. When mixed with water it becomes a cocktail. It is being promoted as a product that can be easily transported by the consumer.
“The powdered alcohol product is creating concern nationwide that it would be an easy and accessible target for abuse by underage drinkers, including the possibility of being snorted,” said Senator Ketron. “There is also concern that the product could be misused by adults if it is sprinkled onto someone’s food or in their drink without the other person’s knowledge.”
“It could easily be over-consumed by a person not knowing how much to dilute it by, by eating it undiluted, or by mixing it with an existing alcohol creating a drink with an unknown potency, thus greatly increasing the risk of over-drinking and alcohol poisoning,” Ketron added.
Powdered alcohol products would not be defined as an alcoholic beverage under current Tennessee law because it is not a liquid and would be free from regulation by the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission. This means it could be sold directly to minors in grocery stores, over the Internet or in any other location. In addition, powdered alcohol could create liability issues for owners of bars, nightclubs, and restaurants, as the accessibility of powdered alcohol and the ease in which it can be snuck in could unintentionally lead to the illegal over-serving of a customer by the establishment.
Thirteen states have enacted similar legislation banning powdered alcohol. The bill now goes to the full Senate for final consideration.
(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) February 4, 2015 – State Senator Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) of Tennessee’s 13th Senate District has been appointed to the Tennessee State Museum Foundation Board. The appointment was made recently by Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey and fills the vacancy left by Senator Douglas Henry who retired from the Senate last year.
The foundation is a non-profit organization charged with supporting the activities and programs of the Tennessee State Museum through a statewide membership program, funding activities, and grants management. The museum’s mission is to procure, preserve, exhibit, and interpret objects which relate to the social, political, economic, and cultural history of Tennessee and Tennesseans.
“The museum is vital to the preservation of our state’s history,” said Senator Ketron. “I am honored to sit on the board and look forward to working with my fellow members to help preserve our rich heritage for many generations to come.”
The board consists of 23 members from throughout the state. Additional members include the museum executive director and the chairman of the museum committee of the Tennessee Arts Commission. Eighteen members are elected for three-year staggered terms by the foundation board, one is a House member appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and one is appointed from the Senate by the Lieutenant Governor. The final member is appointed to the board of directors by the governor for a four-year term.
(NASHVILLE, TN), January 17, 2015 --- State Senator Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) and Senator Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) have been appointed to key committees in the State Senate. Ketron will serve on the Senate Finance Committee, which holds the purse strings for all of state government, while Tracy has been reappointed Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee.
The announcement was made by Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey as the 109th General Assembly concluded their organizational session in Nashville on Saturday.
In addition, Senator Tracy was appointed 2nd Vice Chairman of the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee and will be a member of the Education Committee. Senator Ketron will also be a member of the State and Local Government Committee, which he chaired before becoming Senate Republican Caucus Chairman.
“I appreciate the confidence that Lt. Governor Ramsey has placed in me to serve again as chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee,” said Sen. Tracy. “Transportation needs are always a key issue, especially as they are essential to economic development and job creation.”
“I look forward to continuing to serve on the Senate Finance Committee again this year,” added Ketron. “We continue to face challenges with our budget as our state and nation are still recovering economically. I look forward to working with Governor Haslam, Lt. Governor Ramsey and my colleagues in finding solutions to these challenges in the 2015 session.”
Governor Haslam is scheduled to deliver his budget address to the General Assembly on February 9.
The General Assembly will take a brief recess to make office assignments before convening the Special Session on Healthcare on February 2.
Lt. Governor Ramsey, Leader Norris and Chairman Ketron win re-election to top posts
NASHVILLE — Tennessee Senate Republicans met Wednesday, December 10 in Nashville to elect leaders for the 109th General Assembly where they voted unanimously to nominate Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey (R-Blountville) to retain his top leadership post as Lt. Governor and Senate Speaker for a 5th term. The Senate Republican Caucus also voted to re-elect Senator Mark Norris (R-Collierville) for a 5th term as Senate Majority Leader and chose Senator Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) for a 3rd term as Republican Caucus Chairman.
The State Senate’s organizational session is set to begin on January 13. Senate Republicans now number 28 of the 33 members after gaining 2 new seats in the November 4 election and provide representation to citizens in all 95 counties in the state.
“I am truly humbled to once again be the nominee of my party for Speaker of the Senate,” said Lt. Governor Ramsey. “Since I was first elected lieutenant governor, Republicans have not only achieved historic majorities in the state legislature, we have transformed state government ushering in a new era of transparency and customer service in state government. We have accomplished much but there is still much left to do. I look forward to continuing to work to keep Tennessee a low tax, low debt state and the best place in the nation to own a business and raise a family.”
“I appreciate the confidence of my colleagues — veterans as well as newcomers,” said Leader Norris. “I look forward to continue working together to strengthen our workforce and schools while providing safer communities for all citizens during the 109th General Assembly.”
“I am very pleased to again work with such a tremendous leadership team,” said Chairman Ketron “This team will continue to work together to encourage private sector job growth, strengthen education, follow sound fiscal budget practices, as well as addressing other concerns facing Tennesseans.”
Others re-elected to leadership positions in the Senate Republican Caucus were Senator Ferrell Haile (R-Gallatin) as Treasurer, Senator Becky Duncan Massey (R-Knoxville) as Secretary and Senator Mark Green (R-Clarksville) as Chaplain.
Members nominated to the General Assembly’s Joint Fiscal Review Committee from the Senate Republican Caucus are Chairman Ketron, Senator Doug Overbey (R-Maryville), and Senator Steve Southerland (R-Morristown). The nominees will be confirmed through a resolution when the General Assembly convenes. Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston), whose term has not expired, will continue to serve on the Committee, as well as Senator Randy McNally who serves due to the position he holds as Chairman of the Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee.
(NASHVILLE) — State Senator Bill Ketron (R–Murfreesboro) announced today he has partnered with the Tennessee Department of Labor to host a job fair for the people of Rutherford County and surrounding areas.
The fair, which will include over 50 employers looking to hire, is scheduled for Tuesday, November 18 at World Outreach Church at 1921 New Salem Road in Murfreesboro from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m CST.
“I am truly excited to help coordinate this job fair and am grateful to all of the employers who are participating,” said Senator Ketron. “This event will help those who are currently unemployed find work, and I encourage as many people as possible to attend.”
Interested job-seekers are not required to RSVP for this event. Formal resumes and other job experience paperwork are strongly encouraged. Professional attire is also recommended.
Employers participating in the fair include: Bridgestone, FedEx Ground, Leviton Manufacturing Co., Lowes, NHC Healthcare of Franklin, R.E. West Transportation, Staff Management / SMX Staffing, Williamson County Schools, Yates Services LLC and YMCA of Middle Tennessee.
Sen. Ketron urges local high school seniors to apply for state’s new Tennessee Promise Scholarship before Nov. 1 Deadline
Rutherford County in need of mentors for scholarship recipients
(NASHVILLE, Tenn.), October 17, 2014 -- State Senator Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) today encouraged local high school seniors to apply for Tennessee Promise, the state’s new scholarship program, by the November 1 deadline. He also urged area citizens to consider becoming a mentor with one of Tennessee Promise’s partnering organizations.
“I want all of our high school seniors who want to receive a college education to apply before the end of the month,” said Senator Ketron. “Parents and students need to be aware that this deadline is approaching. I also want to make sure citizens in our area know that we need mentors for these students. We are the Volunteer State and I hope that many local citizens will step up to volunteer as a mentor to help these students succeed.”
The Tennessee Promise is a last dollar scholarship, meaning it will cover costs of tuition and mandatory fees not met from the Pell, HOPE or TSAA. It provides for two years of tuition-free education at a community college or technical school in the state. Ketron said students can then use the state’s transfer pathways program if they choose to attend a four-year school, making it possible to start as a junior. Students can learn more about the scholarship and apply online at www.TNPromise.gov
As part of the program, students will be paired with a partnering organization and provided a mentor who will support them during the college application process. It is estimated that at least 5,000 volunteer mentors are needed to work with scholarship applicants. Mentors, who must be 21 years of age or older, must be willing to invest 10 to 15 hours annually assisting 5 to 10 high school seniors by playing an active role to help make sure that students succeed. Prospective mentors can find more information about the program and apply online at http://www.tnpromise.gov/volunteers.shtml. The application deadline for mentors is also November 1.
“This scholarship program will have a tremendous impact on our state, not just to improve the lives of the individual students and their families, but on our state as a whole. We need to seize this opportunity to move Rutherford County and our state forward.”
(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) October 2, 2014 – Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) is a candidate for re-election to the 13th senatorial district in the Tennessee State Senate in the November general election. Ketron is unopposed for the district seat which includes LaVergne, Smyrna, Eagleville and Murfreesboro, as well as the Blackman, Walter Hill, Leanna, and Rockvale communities.
"It has been a privilege to represent District 13 in the State Senate,” said Senator Ketron. “I am asking the citizens of Rutherford County to send me back to Nashville to represent them for another four years.”
Ketron was first elected to the Tennessee General Assembly in 2002 and was the first Republican to represent the district in recent history. He was elected by his peers to a key leadership role in the General Assembly in 2010 as Chairman of the Senate Republican Caucus. He was also elected by his peers to serve as Chairman of the Joint Senate and House of Representative’s Fiscal Review Committee which oversees all state government contracts.
“My goal is to continue working in our State Senate to provide fiscally responsible government and to get results on a wide variety of other important issues facing our state, specifically to help provide Tennessee students with a globally competitive education. I am particularly humbled to represent my alma mater, Middle Tennessee State University. I am very proud of the accomplishments we have made to make MTSU a world class university over the past several years, including the new Science Center which is a tremendous asset to this campus.”
Ketron was co-founder and served as the first President of the MTSU Blue Raider Athletic Association and is listed among the university’s Distinguished Alumni.
Among key laws sponsored by Ketron during his last term of office is one that lets Tennesseans in communities that allow retail package stores and liquor-by-the-drink establishments vote on whether to allow the sale of wine in retail food stores via local referendum. He also passed major reform legislation that applies best of class practices and modernizing how state government manages the procurement of goods and services. The new system is expected to save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars over the long run. In addition, Ketron pushed through Tennessee’s “Material Support to Designated Entities Act of 2011” to cut off the support for terrorists who are planning to commit acts in Tennessee and curb the incidence of homegrown terrorism.
Ketron also won approval earlier this year of key legislation calling for a study to determine the feasibility of a monorail public transportation system along the I-24 Nashville Southeast Corridor that connects downtown Murfreesboro to Nashville.
The Murfreesboro lawmaker has a long list of prior community service which includes being National President of the National Exchange Club, President of the Foundation for the Prevention of Child Abuse, President of the Rutherford Volunteer Fire Department, President of the Professional Insurance Agents of Tennessee, as well as membership in the Masons, Shriners, Leadership Rutherford and the Rutherford County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Ketron has received numerous awards during his legislative tenure including the most recent ACT National Security Eagle Award, Greater Nashville Regional Council’s Legislator of the Year Award, Outstanding Service Awards from the Tennessee Sheriff’s Association and Chiefs of Police, Humane Society’s Humane Legislator of the Year and the Tennessee Conservation Voters’ Good Green Deeds Award.
Ketron and his wife, Theresa, have one daughter, Kelsey, and reside in Murfreesboro.
WASHINGTON, DC, September 11, 2014 – – State Senator Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) will be awarded the National Security Eagle Award by ACT! for America at an event tonight in Washington DC. Ketron is set to receive the national honor at the organization’s fifth annual national conference which will be attended by members from 875 chapters from across the nation, in addition to 9-11 family members and American wounded warriors.
ACT! for America is the nation’s largest national security movement with over 280,000 active grassroots members from various political parties and religions. It is an issues advocacy organization dedicated to effectively organizing and mobilizing the most powerful grassroots citizen action network in America.
Ketron sponsored Tennessee’s “Material Support to Designated Entities Act of 2011” to cut off the support for terrorists who are planning to commit acts in Tennessee and curb the incidence of homegrown terrorism. He filed the bill in the wake of homegrown terrorist shootings at Fort Hood, Texas and Little Rock, Arkansas, which targeted U.S. soldiers.
Recently it was reported that as many as 300 Americans are fighting alongside ISIS, the most radical group of jihadists who claimed responsibility for the beheading of U.S. journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.
“Homegrown terrorism remains a tremendous threat to the U.S.,” said Senator Ketron. “Recent developments continue to show that this threat is not only real, but can happen in any state, any town and any community. I appreciate this recognition from ACT! and will continue to work for the safety and security of our citizens. The 13th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attack should continue to serve as a reminder to all Americans that we can never let our guard down as there are those who are willing to hide behind innocent citizens to reign down terror on this nation.”
Ketron will also attend a Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Pentagon’s 9-11 Memorial on Friday.
GOVERNOR HASLAM, COMMISSIONER HAGERTY ANNOUNCE FEDERAL-MOGUL TO EXPAND CURRENT OPERATIONS IN RUTHERFORD COUNTY
August 27, 2014
NASHVILLE—Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty along with Federal-Mogul officials announced today the company will invest $6.2 million to expand its current distribution facility in Smyrna, Tennessee and create 135 new jobs in Rutherford County. “We are thankful for Federal-Mogul and their continued investment in our state and the new jobs they are creating in Middle Tennessee,” Haslam said. “When companies like Federal-Mogul choose to reinvest here, it speaks volumes about our workforce and the quality of Tennessee-made products, and today’s announcement is another step toward our goal of becoming the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.” “Tennessee continues to set itself apart as a global leader in the automotive industry,” Hagerty said. “Major automotive manufacturers like Nissan, Volkswagen and General Motors support a robust pipeline of more than 900 automotive manufacturers and suppliers located throughout our state. I am pleased Federal-Mogul will continue to be a part of why Tennessee has been named the No. 1 state in the nation for automotive manufacturing strength an unprecedented four years in a row, and I appreciate the new jobs they are creating in our communities.” “Federal-Mogul is pleased to continue investing in Smyrna,” Paula Silver, Federal-Mogul’s vice president of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations, said. “We have a dedicated and hard-working team here that takes pride in distributing high quality products for our customers. We are excited to grow our Smyrna operations and create more job opportunities.” Federal-Mogul is expanding its existing Worldwide Aftermarket Distribution Center in Smyrna, due to the recent purchase of part of Affinia’s product line. Affinia is a leader in the manufacturing and distribution of automotive replacement products. As part of this expansion, Federal-Mogul will increase its Smyrna footprint from 600,000 square feet to 800,000 square feet. This larger warehouse and distribution capacity will allow the facility to become more productive. “Today’s announcement of 135 new jobs by Federal-Mogul is great news for the Town of Smyrna and Rutherford County,” Smyrna Mayor Mary Esther Reed said. “The Town of Smyrna continues to experience positive job growth and we thank Federal-Mogul for their confidence in our community for this additional investment.” Federal-Mogul Holdings Corporation is a leading global supplier of products and services to the world's manufacturers and servicers of vehicles and equipment in the automotive, light, medium and heavy-duty commercial, marine, rail, aerospace, power generation and industrial markets. The company's products and services enable improved fuel economy, reduced emissions and enhanced vehicle safety. “TVA and Middle Tennessee Electric congratulate Federal-Mogul on its announcement to expand in Smyrna, Tennessee,” TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development John Bradley said. “We are pleased to partner with the state of Tennessee, Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, and city and county officials to assist Federal-Mogul’s additional investment to create new jobs.” In addition to its Smyrna location, Federal-Mogul has operations in Smithville and Sparta, Tennessee. In total, approximately 1,000 people are employed at Federal-Mogul’s three Tennessee locations. People interested in applying for these new jobs in Smyrna should contact Missy Rogers, human resources manager, at [email protected] About Federal-Mogul Federal-Mogul Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: FDML) is a leading global supplier of products and services to the world's manufacturers and servicers of vehicles and equipment in the automotive, light, medium and heavy-duty commercial, marine, rail, aerospace, power generation and industrial markets. The company's products and services enable improved fuel economy, reduced emissions and enhanced vehicle safety. Federal-Mogul operates two independent business divisions, each with a chief executive officer reporting to Federal-Mogul's Board of Directors. Federal-Mogul Powertrain designs and manufactures original equipment powertrain components and systems protection products for automotive, heavy-duty, industrial and transport applications. Federal-Mogul Motorparts sells and distributes a broad portfolio of products through more than 20 of the world's most recognized brands in the global vehicle aftermarket, while also serving original equipment vehicle manufacturers with products including braking, chassis, wipers and other vehicle components. The company's aftermarket brands include ANCO® wiper blades; Champion® spark plugs, wipers and filters; AE®, Fel-Pro®, FP Diesel®, Goetze®, Glyco®, Nüral®, Payen® and Sealed Power® engine products; MOOG® steering and suspension parts; and Ferodo®, Jurid® and Wagner® brake products. Federal-Mogul was founded in Detroit in 1899 and maintains its worldwide headquarters in Southfield, Michigan. The company employs more than 45,000 people in 34 countries. For more information, please visit http://www.federalmogul.com. About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Tennessee was named “2013 State of the Year” for economic development by Business Facilities magazine. The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies which help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. The department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Find us on the web: tn.gov/ecd. Follow us on Twitter: @tnecd. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/tnecd. ###