Norris, Sanderson address issues at Newbern Rotary Club

On November 19, 2010, in News 2010, by Mark Norris

Dyersburg State Gazette
November 19, 2010

The Newbern Rotary Club hosted one of their largest crowds in recent memory as Majority Leader of the Tennessee Senate Mark Norris and newly elected Tennessee State Rep. Bill Sanderson were their guest speakers on Tuesday.

Norris began by congratulating Sanderson and noting that he is the first Republican to represent the 77th District in state history. He also mentioned the fact that under state law Sanderson became the state representative at midnight on the night of the election.

“So, Bill is not the (representative)-elect now, but he is our representative,” said Norris. “He’s the representative who has been elected and we are looking forward to what you have to say.”

He added work was being done for future redistricting within the state.

“We’ve got to draw the lines fairly and legally,” said Norris. “There is likely to be litigation because that’s the way it works in every state in the nation. And so we are going to have to time our work appropriately so we can get the districts drawn appropriately in time for the 2012 elections.”

Census data they will use in the process is expected to be in as early as March.

To get the ball rolling, Norris has already filed the legislation needed for redistricting in the Senate (Senate Bills 1, 2 and 3), which respectively includes the Senate, the state House of Representatives and the United Stated congressional district lines.

Other than redistricting, Norris said they are focused on the state’s budget.

“That’s the one thing we have do and that’s the one thing we always do, we pass a balanced budget,” said Norris. “We’re not like Washington. We can’t do deficit spending. We can’t borrow money for government operations.”

Norris concluded by saying one of the most important issues they will face will be outlining what they think they need to do to get Governor-elect Bill Haslam off on the best footing possible. It will fall on Norris’ shoulders to carry the governor’s legislation year.

“It will be a challenge,” said Norris. “It will be exciting, but it’s a challenge I’m looking forward too.

Next, Sanderson addressed the audience by first noting that in 2008 the Newbern Rotary Club was his first speaking engagement as a candidate.

Sanderson stated his main priority, as state representative, is to see Dyer County in one district.

“I was assured when the time came I would be involved in the decision-making process,” said Sanderson.

He also stated he was concerned about the money for the Port of Cates Landing that Gov. Phil Bredesen had placed in the state budget. He said he spoke with Bredesen a couple of weeks ago and his administration would work with the incoming governor and saw no reason why the money wouldn’t be there for the port.

Sanderson closed pointing out that for the first time since the post-Civil War era, Tennessee has a conservative House, a conservative Senate and a conservative governor, and this formula was right for the business they have to conduct.

“I think we can join hands and I think we can do some good conservative work to shrink the size of our government to make it more efficient, (with) smaller taxes and pro-business,” said Sanderson. “And I’ll be there every day. I’m going to be the first one there in the morning and I’ll be the last one to leave.”

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