Haslam steers from jobs creation, veers to business deregulation

Thursday, February 10, 2011 at 4:49pm

Gov. Bill Haslam tried Thursday to dampen expectations for his jobs-creation package of legislation, saying he will focus instead on ridding the state of burdensome business regulations.

“I want to be really clear,” the governor said in a speech to the Tennessee Press Association. “A lot of people ask me every day, ‘When are you going to present your jobs package to the legislature?’ I don’t think that we are going to solve Tennessee’s employment issues with legislation. I just don’t.”

Republicans have been touting Haslam’s jobs agenda as their No. 1 priority since they won unassailable control of the legislature in the last elections.

“Gov.-elect Haslam’s agenda, his job creation program, will be at the top,” Rep. Beth Harwell said when asked to name her first concerns after Republicans nominated her as House speaker in December.

But Thursday, Haslam named only two bills that he’s likely to support in any so-called jobs package — tort reform and changes in regulations to encourage insurance businesses to locate in this state. He also pointed out that he already has frozen new state regulations for 45 days while his administration reviews whether they are impeding economic growth.

“We will have some legislation … but it will not be a huge, thick jobs packet because I don’t think that’s how jobs are created,” he said. “I think they can be created, though, by looking at the different rules and regulations that are put in place by government that sometimes make it difficult to do business and often times can encourage businesses to go somewhere else besides Tennessee.”

The governor also expressed optimism about the prospects for landing new businesses.

“I’ve been encouraged on the economic development front in terms of some of the opportunities that are coming to us even recently in the first 26 days we’ve been in office. Tennessee is moving in the right direction in terms of our reputation for job creation around the country. I’ve been very, very encouraged that what we’re trying to do in Tennessee we actually can do and are going to do in terms of becoming the best location for high-quality jobs in the Southeast.”

11 Comments on this post:

By: Donna Locke on 2/10/11 at 8:02

Someday, perhaps in some alternate reality, it will dawn on our government that jobs in this country can't keep up with our population growth, and that our population growth is driven by government's immigration policies.

Zach Wamp had a plan for Middle Tennessee: the Defense Corridor. The job creation would not have been immediate, but it was a plan with true foresight, coupled with the proposals for high-tech instructional programs needed by counties in this area. The high-tech training could be carried to a number of occupations, But the jobs have to be there once the workers are trained. They aren't now.

Haslam's plans, like Bredesen's actions, are great job creation for workers in other states and countries that corporations want to transplant here on our dime.

"In a world of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." -- George Orwell

By: WickedTribe on 2/10/11 at 10:43

This guy is looking more and more like a buffoon with every article about him.

By: joe41 on 2/10/11 at 11:49

So much for campaign promises. He is just like any other politician. I will promise you anything to get elected and then I will do what I want!.

By: Bellecat on 2/11/11 at 12:08

Business deregulation and "high-quality jobs in the Southeast” are polar opposites and never the twain shall meet.

By: gdiafante on 2/11/11 at 7:12

So does this mean that Republicans that have been touting his job creation plans are liars or just out of the loop?

By: FCMullins on 2/11/11 at 7:37

I really can't say as I know what to do either. I do know that as lons as it is so financially more appealing for businesses to move to other countries they will.

I also know that if the state makes it easier for businesses to come in and do whatever they want it might be good for business but not so good for workers.

The sad thing is in times of economic down turns, businesses take advantage of workers because they can!

We're not all college graduates with degrees that will be able to have those good
paying jobs, most of us are just ordinary people looking for a decent paying job
that will also treat us like we're human beings or just fairly. When the number
of available employees is so much higher than the number of available positions
fair treatment is usually the first thing to go out the door.

By: alanhuffman on 2/11/11 at 8:49

Deregulation... I've heard this before, not that I disagree that regulation can be problematic, but certainly getting rid of laws & standards does not always help (see enron, financial crisis, etc...).

Haslam looks to be less than what we had and far less than what we needed. I suppose after Bredesen we were likely to be disappointed, but I had hoped not this much.

I hold out hope, but it's dwindling. He's basically been unable to deliver on any promise; he's backtracked, been completely oblivious to the situation he's walked in to.

Sigh, it's just sad.

By: justice2003 on 2/11/11 at 10:40

Did you know that?in order for mr haslam to redevelope and create job's that are surpose to put in place for we the people of tennessee,it has to start with him not showing favortisim just for political gain.He has to fire the people he have in his office now who has also been showing favortism.Last but not lease,he himself has to make the right decisions because he was sworn in just like them and im sure he don't want to go where they are going in the near future.

By: takingshape on 2/11/11 at 10:41

I hope he gets rid of lots of red tape in all departments.

By: pswindle on 2/11/11 at 11:59

Let the businesses do what they want to do. Do you think that they will do what is best for the people of TN? It is all about their bottom line. Haslam has a bottom line for his oil business. I thought that he wanted to creaet jobs, jobs and jobs. We have four years of this man.

By: JeffF on 2/11/11 at 3:23

I knew there would be a downside to bringing in Nissan to the area. All the Californians are on here now trying to out-anti-business each other.

It would seem to me that reducing the red tape on business would be a jobs creation measure. A lot better one than simply having the government go broke with busy work just to employ more people. No nation ever became a great economic power by way of more government jobs. Government should endeavor to just get out of the way of the private sector. Tennessee businesses are not against Tennesseans. They are Tennesseans.