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Read Across America Day with Mrs. Donahue's class at Crosswind Elementary, Collierville

Read Across America Day with Mrs. Donahue’s class at Crosswind Elementary, Collierville


Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Farm Bureau endorse Regulation Freedom Amendment

For Immediate Release
March 13, 2015
Contact: Darlene Schlicher (615) 741-6336 or email
[email protected]

NASHVILLE — A resolution sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) that aims to force Congress to pass a “Regulation Freedom” Amendment to the U.S. Constitution has gained key endorsements from the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Farm Bureau.

In a letter to members of the State Senate, Chamber Vice President of Government Affairs, Bradley Jackson, urged lawmakers to support the measure saying increased government regulations have deterred economic growth and job creation. The Farm Bureau adopted a resolution in support of the measure at a meeting of the national organization in January.

Norris is scheduled to present the resolution for final consideration by the Senate on Monday.

“The business community in Tennessee has seen a marked increase in the number of rules and regulations promulgated by departments and agencies in the federal government,” said Jackson. “Oftentimes these rules and regulations are substantial in measure and go well beyond the scope of the initial legislation enacted by the United States Congress that created the measure. This increased government regulation has deterred economic growth and job creation and are often directly tied to increasing cost of everything from everyday consumer goods to the gas we put in our vehicles. Furthermore, Chamber members believe that substantial regulations constitute a ‘hidden tax’ that are instituted without a thorough review by Congress.”

Senate Joint Resolution 2 calls upon Congress to require that, whenever one quarter of the members of the U.S. House or the U.S. Senate transmit to the President their written declaration of opposition to a proposed federal regulation; a majority vote of the House and Senate is necessary to adopt it. Norris said that state legislators in two-thirds of the states could force Congress to propose the amendment just as states compelled Congress to propose the original Bill of Rights as they would do almost anything to avoid a convention that would be more powerful. He said two-thirds of the states working together would also have the power to safely limit their delegates to an up-or-down vote on just the amendment states wanted.

“I am very pleased that the Chamber has endorsed this Amendment,” said Norris. “Out of control federal regulations are burdening small businesses and job creators. We need to restore transparency and accountability in Washington by requiring congressional approval for new rules and regulations from federal agencies and this resolution is step one toward that goal.”


Visitors to the Capitol during a busy week of March 2.

Visitors to the Capitol during a busy week of March 2.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 12, 2015
CONTACT: Darlene Schlicher (615) 741-6336

NASHVILLE — Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) recognized the Haslam Administration for funding three new forensic scientists at the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) in next year’s budget. The TBI processes forensic evidence at no charge to local law enforcement.

“These funds will expedite the processing of rape kits and other DNA testing by providing additional essential personnel. They will be trained in accessing and updating the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) which is part of the FBI’s network for tracking perpetrators of crime — a critical weapon in the fight against crime,” said Norris, who sponsors the budget in the Senate.

Norris enacted the law repealing the Tennessee statute of limitations in rape cases last year. He also led the effort to require all local law enforcement agencies to inventory back-logged inventories of rape kits across the state. Last September, the TBI reported 9,062 kits remained untested statewide.

“Progress is being made getting the old evidence tested, but this will help facilitate more timely testing of all DNA evidence,” said Norris.

The TBI has not received funding for new personnel for many years, even though the demand for more resources has increased dramatically.

According to City of Memphis officials, an initial backlog of 12,000 kits has now been reduced by nearly 5,000 kits since 2013 and has resulted in some 170 new investigations and 52 indictments including 19 rapists.




Three West Tennessee workforce development collaboratives receive major LEAP grants

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Three West Tennessee workforce development collaboratives are among 12 recipients statewide which were chosen to receive a major grant under the state’s new Labor Education Alignment Program (LEAP). The grants include $743,500 to the Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce in conjunction with Southwest Tennessee Community College; $850,000 to the Northwest Tennessee Workforce Board in conjunction with Dyersburg State Community College and $900,000 to Jackson Regional Partnership in conjunction with Jackson State Community College.


The project affects students at the colleges’ campuses in the Greater Memphis area, Dyersburg, Covington, Jackson, Newbern, Ripley, Lexington, Crump, McKenzie, Paris, Whiteville and Brownsville.   “This is a tremendous opportunity for West Tennessee to provide a skilled workforce and opportunities for Tennesseans to work, earn and learn,” said Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville), who sponsored legislation creating the LEAP program in the Tennessee General Assembly. “These grants mean business, and the State of Tennessee supports and appreciates these initiatives.”


The LEAP program enables students in Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology and community colleges to participate in technical training developed with input from area employers. Norris said the grants enable collaborative efforts by business, government and institutions of higher learning to facilitate job training and relevant education, while giving state and local economic development leaders a boost as they recruit new industry.   The cooperative training counts as part of an approved curriculum toward a meaningful certificate or degree.

Twelve LEAP grant recipients were chosen from applicants across the state by a committee consisting of representatives from higher education, the Department of Economic and Community Development and the Department of Labor. The grant program was funded by a $10 million appropriation in the 2014-15 state budget also sponsored by Norris. “Employers demand candidates with the skills needed in today’s technologically-advanced workplace,” Norris added. “These grants help fill the skills gaps in the local workforce pool, while increasing the number of Tennesseans with post-secondary degrees.”



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