May 13, 2011

From Mark’s desk

Another fast-paced week of the General Assembly has passed and we are ever closer to our adjournment. The continued focus this week, however, was the destruction caused by the recent storms and floods and the inevitable devastation we will be facing in the ensuing week as the Mississippi continues to rise to unparalleled and historic levels. more…

April 29, 2011

From Mark’s desk

As you’ll read below, it has been another extremely busy week in your General Assembly. The increasingly hectic pace of legislating as we enter the “home stretch” was punctuated by tragedy, however, with Mother Nature’s reminder of the fragility of life.  more…

April 14, 2011

Education headlines Capitol Hill Week

Education headlined this week’s action on Capitol Hill as Governor Bill Haslam signed major tenure reform legislation and the Senate Education Committee approved a bill to allow students to use their HOPE scholarships during the summer, if they so choose, to help boost the number of post-secondary graduates in the state. more…

April 8, 2011

Anti-crime bills move in State Senate

Several anti-crime bills were approved by the State Senate this week, including a measure approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee that strengthens penalties against those who discharge a firearm into an occupied habitation.  The legislation, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville), aims to curb “drive-by shootings” which is a growing problem with gang-related violence in the state. more…

March 31, 2011

Capitol Hill Week: Senate Education Committee approves bill promoting growth of quality public charter schools

The Senate Education Committee approved legislation sponsored by Senate Speaker Pro Tempore Jamie Woodson (R-Knoxville),  Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville), and Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) to create an environment that promotes the growth of high quality public charter schools in Tennessee. more…

March 28, 2011

From Mark’s Desk

It has been a few weeks since my last update from Nashville, and as you can see by the highlights below, we have been busy.  Governor Haslam delivered the “State of the State” address where he laid out his budget for the upcoming fiscal year.  I anticipate working with him closely on the budget as I have his legislative initiatives. more…

March 24, 2011

Capitol Hill Week: Bill would enhance Tennessee’s status as a Right to Work state

The pace quickened on Capitol Hill this week as state lawmakers debated a wide variety of issues pending before the 2011 legislative session, including a bill to strengthen Tennessee’s status as a Right to Work state. more…

March 17, 2011

Capitol Hill Week: Budget, Education Highlight Capitol Hill Week

Governor Bill Haslam presented his State of the State / Budget Address to the General Assembly this week outlining his proposals to deal with the state’s current budget crunch, while working towards reforming education and making our economy stronger to welcome new jobs to Tennessee.  more…

March 11, 2011

Capitol Hill Week: Full Senate passes Teacher Tenure Reform and “No Income Tax” Constitutional Amendment Resolution

The State Senate passed two major bills this week with bi-partisan support, including teacher tenure legislation sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville).  The measure, which builds on the bold initiatives passed last year with Tennessee’s First to the Top program, is designed to improve student achievement and give Tennessee students more opportunities to succeed in an increasingly competitive global economy. more…

February 12, 2011

From Mark’s Desk: The Week that Was

SB25, which I sponsored along with Rep. Curry Todd, addresses what Tennessee Education Commissioner Patrick Smith identified as “an anomaly in the law.” The question is how to consolidate a large school system into one less than half its size in an orderly way which assures a unified and balanced county school system.  The case arose out of Shelby County, but it could happen in several counties with special school districts across the state. more…

 

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