Tracking the promises of Bill Haslam

Browse the Haslam-O-Meter:


PolitiFact Tennessee has compiled promises that Gov. Bill Haslam made during the 2010 campaign and is tracking their progress on our Haslam-O-Meter.

We rate their status as Not Yet Rated, In the Works or Stalled. Once we find action is completed, we rate them Promise Kept, Compromise or Promise Broken. (See About the Haslam-O-Meter for details on our ratings.)

The report card at right provides an up-to-the-minute tally of all the promises.

Promises we’ve rated recently

Improve tourism marketing

The Promise:

Will develop "a comprehensive marketing strategy for our state that can be used to maximize interest from visitors and new investment alike . . . At the regional level, I will utilize the jobs base camps I will create and ensure that every region incorporates a plan for tourism into their unique economic development strategies. Moreover, the state must continue its efforts to maximize the reach of tourists' investments in Tennessee by driving them to locations throughout the state."

Update: Plan afoot to improve tourism marketing

Evaluate HOPE Scholarship program

The Promise:

"As governor, I will revisit the goals of the (HOPE Scholarship) program and carefully evaluate its effectiveness at meeting those goals. I will work to enhance the impact of all lottery scholarship programs."

Update: Making good on HOPE vow

Give the University of Memphis more autonomy

The Promise:

"I think the University of Memphis needs more autonomy. I think the board of the University of Memphis should be able to hire and fire their own president, they should be able to set their own tuition."

Update: Taking aim at higher ed plan

Decentralize the Department of Economic and Community Development

The Promise:

Will “Restructure the Department of Economic and Community Development by decentralizing the home office and pushing leadership and support to the regional level.”

Update: Going regional on economic development

Create online jobs clearinghouse

The Promise:

Will "develop an online jobs clearinghouse that will pull together existing market data in a user-friendly way so that every jobseeker, employer, community official, higher education institution, and economic development organization has access to timely and accurate information on the current and future economic landscape of Tennessee."

Update: Clearinghouse site up and running

Develop a support network for senior citizens.

The Promise:

Will "coordinate the efforts of the Area Agencies on Aging and Disability and private sector nonprofits, faith-based and community groups to make sure the right information and resources are available to those who need it. He will create this network to ensure they are talking, sharing information and providing the right level of support. Mayor Haslam will also use this effort to draw attention to this important issue and to educate the public on the challenges facing seniors and those who care for them."

Update: Work begun to help caregivers

Improving Motor Vehicles Department

The Promise:

Will “improve the efficiency of the Tennessee Department of Motor Vehicles and make sure taxpayers are treated like valuable customers, the way we do in business.”

Update: A ways yet to drive

Work to eliminate cap on charter schools

The Promise:

Will "work to increase the prevalence of charter schools in Tennessee by supporting removal of restrictions such as the cap on the number of charter schools allowed to operate in the state as well as restrictions on who can re-enroll in charter schools."

Update: Cap on charter schools lifted

Use TVAAS to rate teacher performance

The Promise:

The state will "use TVAAS to find where teacher performance is working and where it's not ... If we're going to move forward we're going to have to use data to see what's working and what's not in schools."

Update: Teacher evaluation still being evaluated

Increase penalties for violent crime.

The Promise:

"... if the state wants to get serious about reducing crime and keeping communities safe then we must increase the penalties for committing violent crimes."

Update: Backing up tough talk

Review multi-language driver's license tests

The Promise:

"The current practice of administering the (state driver's license) written test in multiple languages should be reviewed to examine its costs and benefits."

Update: English-only driver's test still in the garage

Create a regional workforce development assessment

The Promise:

Will "perform regional workforce development assessments so that we can quickly begin to help employers, postsecondary institutions and local officials develop strategies for helping businesses grow and local workers receive the training necessary to fill new jobs."

Update: Regional development programs off and running

Explore cost-effective alternatives to prison

The Promise:

"We should review in detail the factors driving the costs of incarceration and look for smarter, more cost-effective systems and procedures."

Update: Doors open on jail plan

Create academic leadership academy

The Promise:

Will develop a statewide leadership academy with a "focus on improving the leadership development pipeline so that the best candidates are selected, the best training is provided and the leadership needs of local school districts are met by a crop of highly effective principals.”

Update: Education Leadership Academies under construction

Won't raise taxes

The Promise:

"I know it's not going to be easy when the next governor takes office, but taxes are job killers. The last thing we should do is raise taxes on a population that is already struggling and a small business community that has been forced to cut back. ... Tennessee already has the highest combined state and average local sales tax rate in the nation and I will not allow it to get any higher."

Update: No new taxes yet