Gov. Bill Haslam stopped to answer a few questions on current legislative issues on Friday after speaking at the Oak Ridge National Lab to congratulate a team of scientists who discovered a new element 'Tennessine.'
Haslam spoke on a number of various topics that are currently in the news.
Q: How do you think a possible 20 percent tariff on imported goods from Mexico would impact Tennessee?
Haslam: "There's a lot of products we make in Tennessee that are made in Tennessee but components of that come from other places, so I would urge congress as they think through this process to think about all the global ramifications. Obviously, we want to support our workers first and we want to keep that in mind."
Q: What's your opinion on President Trump's pick for Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos?
Haslam: "She literally believes that states should make decisions themselves and local education authorities like school boards should be able to make their own decisions rather than the federal government telling us what to do and I think people will be pleasantly surprised when the federal government does what it was designed to do originally by the founders."
Q: What are your thoughts on the recently introduced 'heartbeat abortion bill' in the state? It would ban abortion after a heartbeat is detected.
Haslam: "As someone who is personally pro-life, I'm interested in everything we can do to save the lives of unborn children in our country. We also have to make certain that It's something that complies with the law so to pass a law that can't be unconstitutionally enforced won't do us any good."
Q: What's the latest on your gas tax proposal as you plan to cut $270 million of taxes and improve infrastructure in the state?
Haslam: "Unfortunately we can't keep going on the path we are going now. Better fuel mileage means you are paying less to drive on the roads which is a good thing. Good for the environment, good for your wallet, but it makes it hard for us to keep things safe the way everyone wants to."
Q: What do you think about this rumor that Peyton Manning, VFL, may run for Sen. Lamar Alexander's seat?
Haslam: "Listen, I'm with the camp that Peyton Manning can do anything. I certainly would never want to run against him for office but I would be surprised to see Peyton run for office."