Senator Joey Hensley, MD . Tennessee 28th District Legislative Update

Inauguration of Governor Bill Lee

I have had the privilege of witnessing five inaugurations of three governors during my legislative tenure. Being present for these events gives you a great appreciation for the traditions and duties associated with election to the state’s highest office.   It is also a humbling experience as we are reminded of the trust placed in us by the people of Tennessee to work in concert with our state’s chief executive to improve the lives of approximately 6.7 million people who call the Volunteer State home.    

Governor Lee brings fresh ideas and a great sense of optimism as he ushers in a new era for our great state.  This will enable him to build on the great work done by Governor Bill Haslam that has propelled Tennessee to be one of the fastest growing states in the nation for job creation and education improvements. Gov. Lee’s inauguration motto, “Believe in Tennessee,” illustrates his sincere desire to give every Tennessean an opportunity for a bright future. I look forward to working with him on his priorities of creating jobs, supporting our rural communities, improving education, improving public safety and providing a quality healthcare system.

A little historical trivia on the more humorous side of our state’s inaugurations, Governor Isham Harris has the shortest inaugural address on record.  Governor Harris, who served from 1857 to 1862, entire speech was, “I am ready to take the oath of office.”  In 1963, during Governor Frank Clement’s inauguration, there was a 19-gun salute.  This salute set the Capitol Hill grass on fire.  Fortunately, national guardsmen stamped out the fire before it could spread. The only other governor who took the oath of office on January 19 is Governor Ned McWherter in 1991.

Updates from the Department of Finance and Administration

Turning to other news this week, we received a good report from the Department of Finance and Administration regarding Tennessee’s December revenues.  Revenues for December were $17.2 million higher than budget estimates.

On an accrual basis, December is the fifth month in the 2018-2019 fiscal year.  Total revenues in December were $17.2 million more than the budgeted estimate.

Sales tax revenue growth continues to report solid gains.  This is great news for Tennessee businesses as we grow our state’s economy.

Overall, year-to-date revenues for five months were $154.2 million more than the budgeted estimate. The general fund recorded $128.8 in revenues more than estimates, and the four other funds $25.4 million more than estimates.

This will put us in good shape as we look to balance our budget, meet our obligations and keep Tennessee’s finances among the best managed in the nation.

Finally, as we begin the first week of the 111th General Assembly, I want to hear from you regarding the issues facing Tennessee.  We have many challenges ahead of us for the 2019 and 2020 session.  Your opinion is important to me as we consider legislation in the months ahead.  Please feel free to write, email or call me with your opinions at or call our office at 615 741-3100.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Contact Senator Hensley at

425 5th Avenue North, Suite 746

Nashville TN 37243


Toll Free 1-800-449-8366

ext. 13100

Fax 615-253-0231

855 Summertown Highway

Hohenwald TN 38462

Phone 931-796-2018

Cell Phone 931-212-8823


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