The state of Tennessee leads the nation in a pair of key fiscal categories — plus impressive rankings in other areas — state Rep. Jason Zachary (R-14th District) recently told Rotary Club of Farragut.
“Tennessee is the most fiscally stable state in the nation; we’re the lowest debt state in the nation,” Zachary said as featured speaker before RCF members during their in-person meeting in Fox Den Country Club.
“We’re one of seven states that grew economically in 2020; and we were one the five most visited states in 2020,” he added. “How we work on the budget is a priority, and we do that with fiscal stewardship … it’s the Dave Ramsey principle: ‘Never spend more than you make.’ The result is how well our state has done.”
However, Zachary said the most important job in the General Assembly is passing a balanced budget, which it did the first week of May, a $42.6 billion budget that included no new debt.
“Very few states can say that, especially coming out of a pandemic, but we were able to do that in Tennessee,” said Zachary, a Farragut native in his fourth year as a state representative who serves as chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on Emergency Executive Powers.
Highlighting added General Assembly support for traditionally popular institutions and programs, he listed approved spending in three areas ranging from $250 million to $730 million:
• $730 million for new education funding;
• $931 million for capital infrastructure (roads, buildings and bridges); and ...
• $250 million into a mental health initiative trust fund for kindergarten through 12th grade. “Suicides have been on the rise,” Zachary said.