Gov. Lee outlines goals for second term
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is moving into his second term focused on building better roads and workforce development throughout the state.
“I think two areas that need work specifically are an investment in infrastructure and investment in workforce development. We talked a lot about that over the last few months,” Lee said Thursday after an afternoon budget hearing session.
This week, several budget hearings were held for General Services, the Higher Education Commission, and the Education Lottery. Lee said tackling road projects across the state is a top priority.
“Yesterday morning, our first budget hearing was from the Department of Transportation to talk specifically about infrastructure. There was a presentation of the extent of the challenge that we have,” Lee said. “That’s the information we need as we put together a budget and determine how we’re going to fund roads, bridges, and highways in this state to keep up with the rapid growth that we have in Tennessee. That’s a priority that we’re working on.”
In addition to upgrading the state’s roadways and bridges, Lee said workforce development is another sector he’s focusing on, working to get large manufacturers to invest in the Volunteer State.
“So, part of infrastructure investment is creating sites for companies to create jobs to change Tennessee lives,” Lee said.
First Lady Maria Lee’s recent cancer diagnosis was announced in August. She made an appearance during the governor’s victory speech on Tuesday night.
“I’ve just been so grateful and deeply touched for the many, many prayers that have been said on my behalf and for Bill,” Maria Lee said on Tuesday night.
Lee was asked how he juggles his tasks as governor while also dealing with his wife’s illness.
“She is in the middle of treatment. She’s a very tough lady and she’s managing that treatment process very well,” Lee said Thursday. “Frankly, she inspires me to do what I do, and we do it together.”
When asked about funding for the Department of Children’s Services (DCS) and fixing issues with children in state care who have been forced to sleep on the floor of DCS offices, Governor Lee said the new leadership at DCS is focused on addressing the problems there. He expects to discuss the need for personnel during the budget hearings.
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