HAMPTON, Tenn. (WJHL) — Gov. Bill Lee visited the Tri-Cities Friday, just days ahead of the special session.
Lee started the morning visiting Boones Creek-based nonprofit Brother’s Keeper as part of First Lady Maria Lee’s Tennessee Serves initiative.
The organization aims to create a community for adults with developmental disabilities.
The governor also made a stop in Hampton, visiting the site where Carter County is working to expand the Tweetsie Trail with $6 million in state funding.
“We wanted to kind of give him an idea of what his investments going towards,” said County Mayor Patty Woodby. “He is absolutely supportive of what his investment is going towards and couldn’t be more proud of what we’re using the money for.”
Monday, it’s back to work for the governor as lawmakers travel back to Nashville for his special session on public safety.
“My hope and my belief is that we will come together and we will pass substantive legislation that will make Tennessee a safer state than it was before we came together,” Lee told News Channel 11.
The upcoming session has revealed rifts in the Republican Party, with many lawmakers rejecting proposals by the governor to pass legislation aimed at limiting access to firearms for people deemed dangerous.
Lee says he hopes to focus on common ground next week.
“If we focus on what we all can agree upon, then we will get something done that will make our state safer,” said Lee. “That’s what Tennesseans want us to do. “
Lee said he expects significant legislation to pass despite the disagreement.
“I think we’re going to see some good substantive work done next week,” said Lee.