WATCH: Haslam gives final State of the State address, announces Juvenile Justice Reform Act
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — In his final State of the State address, Governor Bill Haslam challenged everyone to help make Tennessee the leader in education and jobs.
He also introduced a new initiative to reform juvenile justice.
“Thanks everybody. Please have a seat,” the governor said.
The governor received a rousing ovation from lawmakers and went over a list of accomplishments from the Tennessee promise to lower taxes.
Even Memphis-based FedEx got a mention as a major success story for the state.
Governor Haslam introduced the Juvenile Justice Reform Act during his speech, saying too many children get lost in the system.
A task force study shows reform is needed.
He wants The General Assembly to focus on state interventions and look at the most serious offenses.
“We know from evidence that costly out of home placements, in may circumstances, are not good for children, communities or tax payers. With a reasonable investment, now we can positively impact the lives of children and communities. And we can use our resources more effectively,” Governor Haslam said.
Memphis’ Juvenile Justice System is still under review by the Department of Justice.
Though last year, the governor found that many positive changes have been met.
Haslam has announced a $30 million plan to address the opioid crisis as one of the top priorities for his final annual legislative session as governor.
Legislators gave a review of the state’s 2018 to 2019 budget and answered questions.
Governor Haslam’s term ends next January.
The CBS affiliate in Nashville has the speech streaming live below.