Haslam's Second Legislative Session No Slam Dunk
In the months following his first legislative session, freshman Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam was able to boast in speeches about unanimous approval of his budget plan and a near perfect record with his legislative agenda. The Republican's sophomore effort wasn't quite as much of a slam dunk. Haslam's $31 billion spending plan went to a conference committee for the first time since the income tax fights of a decade ago, and 29 lawmakers voted against the final version. Haslam had to abandon an effort to lift caps on average classroom sizes amid growing fears among educators and parents. Meanwhile, the governor's pledge to bring more transparency to the state's economic development was undercut by a bill seeking to close more records regarding companies receiving cash grants. That bill was abandoned, too.