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Business, Free Enterprise and Constitutional Issues; Pro-Life and Pro Second Amendment. Susan Lynn is a former member of the Tennessee General Assembly. She served as chairman of the Government Operations Committee and the Commerce Committee. She holds a BS in economics and a minor in history. She is the Chairman of the American Legislative Exchange Council's Commerce Task Force.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Weekly Wrap - February 9, 2014

General Assembly Hears Annual State Of The State Address
Budget unveiled; priorities set
 
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam delivered his annual State of the State Address to a joint convention of the General Assembly this week, unveiling his budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year.   This was truly the very best State of the State addresses I have ever heard.  The Governor addressed multiple issues during the State of the State, the most prominent of which include education, with a salary increase for teachers and investments in both K-12 and higher education, lowering taxes, a focus on service, and a continued push to make government more efficient and effective.

House lawmakers will now spend the next several weeks digesting the Governor’s proposal and will offer their own tweaks to the plan through the legislative committee process. As Washington, D.C. and other states are mired in partisan gridlock with out of control spending, the Governor emphasized that Tennessee has made responsible decisions that will continue to ensure the state is positioned to be a nationwide leader in job creation and educational advancement.

Budget Overview
Building on the success of legislation passed over the last several months, Governor Haslam’s $32.6 billion balanced budget is 2% lower than the current fiscal year’s appropriation, showcasing the commitment by House lawmakers to create a more lean and efficient state government. In addition, the proposed plan includes:

  • $1.7 million budgeted to fund a new statewide residential drug court in Middle Tennessee;
  • $6.4 million for new child protective services and case manager positions as well as other critical children’s services including foster care and adoption assistance;
  • A $7 million increase for the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to care for some of the state’s most vulnerable citizens;
  • $61 million in Fast Track Infrastructure and Job Training program funding to support current and new state businesses;
  • And a $40.3 million contribution to the state’s Rainy Day Fund, bringing the total fund balance to $496 million.

K-12 and Higher Education Investment
A large portion of Monday’s State of the State Address was committed to improving education, an issue that both the Governor and House legislators have made a priority. In education, the budget proposal calls for:

  • 100% funding for the state’s Basic Education Program (BEP) formula;
  • A $63 million investment to increase the salaries of teachers statewide as part of the ongoing effort to make Tennessee the fastest improving state in terms of paying teachers more;
  • $36.7 million to fund a new Williamson County campus for Columbia State Community College;
  • $28.7 million to fund a new classroom building at Volunteer State Community College;
  • And $63 million for capital maintenance projects at institutions across the state.
 
In addition to these education items, Governor Haslam also announced several strategic proposals to help facilitate the state’s “Drive to 55” plan, an initiative unveiled by the Governor in 2013 which seeks to increase the number of Tennesseans that have earned an Associates degree or higher from 32% to 55% by the year 2025 to ensure Tennessee has the best-trained workforce in America.
 
Seamless Alignment of Integrated Learning (SAILS) Program
The first of the new Drive to 55 proposals includes a statewide expansion of the Seamless Alignment of Integrated Learning (SAILS) Program to give students who need support in math that extra attention during their senior year in high school so they can avoid remediation when they enter college. Currently, 70% of high school graduates need some sort of remedial courses before being able to take college level classes.
 
Dual Enrollment
Second, Governor Haslam hopes to expand the state’s dual enrollment program by offering one dual enrollment course to high school students at no cost and with the ability to continue dual enrollment at discounted pricing after that. Dual enrollment allows high school students to take college credit courses, and statistics show a 94% probability that those students will then go on to college.

The Tennessee Promise
One of the most prominent proposals during the Governor’s State of the State address was the announcement of the Tennessee Promise, an ongoing commitment to every student in the state that he or she can attend two years of community college or a college of applied technology absolutely free. The proposal, which drew bipartisan applause during the speech, would make Tennessee the first state in the entire nation to offer such a program. Following two free years of schooling, if a student then choose to go on to a four-year school, the state’s transfer pathways program makes it possible for that students to start as a junior. By getting their first two years free, the cost of a four-year degree is cut in half. In addition, the cost of the Tennessee Promise program itself will be paid for through a strategic transfer from the lottery reserve into an endowment fund with absolutely no cost to the state or taxpayers.

Other Budget Highlights
Following multiple tax cuts that were passed by lawmakers during the 107th session of the General Assembly and the first half of the 108th General Assembly, Governor Haslam’s budget this year includes funding to facilitate the next step of doing away with the state’s death tax. This proposal builds on last year’s tax cuts that included a further reduction of the sales tax on groceries to a flat 5%, a cut to the Hall Tax, and fully funding the property tax relief program to help low-income seniors, veterans, and the disabled.

Other budget highlights include:
  • Appointment of a new Director of Workforce Alignment that will work with state departments and local officials;
  • Expansion of the Degree Compass program that predicts the subjects and majors in which students will be most successful. The program was pioneered at Austin Peay University and is modeled after companies like Netflix, Amazon, and Pandora that tailor their recommendations to what their customers are looking for;
  • $6 million for a statewide tourism fund to support the work of the tourism commission;
  • And $10 million set aside for workforce alignment grants to local communities that have strategic plans in place to connect education institutions with employers.

The full text of the Governor’s State of the State address as well as video of the actual event can be found by visiting www.tn.gov/stateofthestate.

Bill to Increase the Minimum Wage This Week

I will vote NO on HB 1694 (M. Turner).  The bill would establish a state minimum wage.  A state minimum wage actually tends to harm the people it is supposed to help.   As NFIB points out.
  • Increasing the minimum wage hurts the young, the poor and untrained.  53% of persons making the minimum wage in this country in 2011 were under the age of 25.  Minimum wage earners usually are persons beginning in a career or learning a trade. 
  • Businesses prefer that wages and conditions of employment be the same from city to city and state to state if possible.  We prefer that the minimum wage be the same everywhere. 
  • Many minimum wage earners are part-time employees – 69% of workers who earn the Federal minimum wage work part-time.
  • Two-thirds of all minimum wage earners make more than minimum wage within a year; 55% of Americans begin their careers making within $1 of the minimum wage.
  • Increasing the minimum wage reduces dollars available for employment, thereby reducing the number of employees and making it less likely that employers will hire beginners, the less-abled and untrained. 
  • Tennessee small business owners like Danny Todd with Monterey Foods, an independent grocer, will have to cut payroll and hire fewer workers if the minimum wage is increased. The last time the federal minimum wage was increased in 2008 Mr. Todd had to do exactly that. 
  • Having a Tennessee minimum wage that differs from that of our neighboring states could give businesses and employers a reason to locate their businesses outside of Tennessee. 
  • At a time when nearly 1 in 5 Tennesseans is either out of work or no longer actively looking for work, a minimum wage increase would only make the problem worse.

Bill’s Passage Would Save the Music City Star

HB 1769 by *McCormick, Marsh, Brooks K. (SB 2076 by *Norris, McNally.)

The bill in intended to ensure that all users of diesel pay the same amount and in doing so, will reorder the funding of repair and maintenance of the short line rail system several miles of which is used by the Music City Star.
The short line railroad rehabilitation program funding mechanism was created in 1988 as a response to the Class 1 railroads desire to abandon spur lines that they viewed as nonproductive assets.  Those lines had suffered from decades of neglect by the class 1 railroads and had track and bridge maintenance needs that they viewed as being not worth the investment.
At that time, state leaders recognized that they needed to create some mechanism to save these short lines from abandonment so that they would continue to serve as vital arteries for economic development in the numerous small cities and counties through which they ran.  Wilson County greatly benefits from the short line system – several large companies use the system everyday to bring in commodities and send back out products.
The deal that was struck between the cities served by the railroads and the class 1 carriers was that short lines were transferred to railroad authorities made of city and county mayors in the areas served by the short line railroads.
A fund was then created within TDOT that was allocated to the short line authorities based on an engineering needs assessment for track and bridge rehabilitation.  Short line Equity fund allocations are given out to the authorities annually in the form of grants.  The grants are for specific projects that must be accompanied by proof that the project is being completed.  The authorities are allocated 2% of the money from each grant to provide basic administrative support to administer these rehab grants.
The bill before the House would enac the "Transportation Fuel Equity Act"; uniformly taxes all commercial carriers using diesel fuel to transport persons or property for a fee; establishes the manner for collection of the tax.

Passage of this legislation is important as a result of Class 1 carriers, CSX and others, winning a federal discrimination lawsuit. They were paying a sales tax on diesel fuel while trucks were being charged a per gallon fee of 17 cents. This bill requires the same fee for both railroads and trucks.

The funds are deposited into the Transportation Equity Fund for use on the Short-line Railroad System. The system consists of 17 Short-line Railroads that serve Tennessee industry from Memphis to Bristol and span more than 800 miles.

The Nashville and Eastern Railroad – which hosts the Music City Star - encompasses 130 miles of the Short-line System.  Without this legislation, freight service and also continued passenger service on The Music City Star, will be in for a perilous future if this program is not continued.


Defunding Sex Week at UT

Last year the legislature had a lot to say in response to UT hosting Sex Week.  Is it even possible that another is planned for this year?  Unfortunately, yes.   Sex Week is an entire week of stupidity, and a week where you the tax payer are graphically shown just how ungrateful some students are for your life of hard work and productivity so that you can manage to pay your taxes and support the UT system and build the facilities that this waste of time will utilize.

During Sex Week, students can attend seminars such as Get Wet: Exploring the Connections Between Sexual Pleasure, Health, & Advocacy, We Can't Stop: Orgasms & Masturbation and Sexploration: Boys, Girls, I Can't Help It.  Please DO NOT be embarrassed reading those titles because it is not you or me that should be embarrassed but the administration, the faculty and the student organizers of this event.  See the full schedule here:  http://sexweekut.org/schedule/.

This debauchery is unfitting for this institution – it is low class and an outrageous display of ingratitude for their tax payer subsidized education.

I can hardly think of a more insulting expenditure of state tax dollars.  This simply says that the students who organized this event obviously do not have enough to do – nor must they think their fellow students’ have enough to do.   When I think of how much of the world struggles to even get any education at all, and that even fewer receive some education, and that in many parts of the world women and girls are prevented to advancing in education – it is hard to fathom that our students could spend their educational experience exploiting their fellow human beings with such frivolity.  I am amazed that they would squander even a moment of the tremendous gift they have in their hands.
This week Senator Stacey Campfield and I filed a bill to defund Sex Week and other such pointless events.  Speaker Harwell, who is very angry about this insult to taxpayers, didn’t feel our bill went far enough and we have strengthened our proposed reforms at her behest.   I will keep you posted.

 
American Conservative Union Names Top Conservatives

I am very proud to have received a 90% from the American Conservative Union – their "ACU Conservative Award".  

ACU and I only disagreed on one bill - the AG Gag bill.  I voted NO because by my judgment this bill was unconstitutional.  The bill passed the House and the Senate.

However, the Governor vetoed the bill after the Attorney General declared the legislation unconstitutional.

I'm proud that I called it right and did not vote for the bill.  I really don't know why ACU supports it.
See the ACU’s report here:  http://conservative.org/news/acu-announces-2013-ratings-tennessee-general-assembly


House Bill Limit Rule Drastically Reduces Legislation Filed
Number of bills lowest since 1986
 
House Speaker Beth Harwell (R–Nashville) announced this week that the number of bills filed this year has been drastically reduced due to a legislative reform package implemented last year designed to streamline operations and make the legislative process more efficient. With the bill filing deadline having passed Wednesday, records show a 36% decrease in legislation.

“This is excellent news, and proof the bill limit is working,” said Speaker Harwell. “Our goal was to reduce the amount of bills filed to save taxpayer money, and to have members focus on prioritizing their issues so we can properly vet the legislation before us. I strongly believe good government is not defined by making more laws, and this reduction in legislation bodes well for Tennessee taxpayers.”

Bill filings this year came in at 2,497 and are at the lowest in nearly 30 years. In 1986, the 94th General Assembly, there were 2,077 pieces of legislation filed by the deadline. Filed legislation in 105th General Assembly hit one of the highest marks, with 4,274 proposals filed. This year’s number is 42% below that high mark. The bill filing deadline is on the 10th legislative day according to House rules, usually falling in early February.

“Each time legislation is filed, there is an enormous amount of work done by staff behind the scenes. The bill must be researched and written by legal staff, sometimes going through multiple drafts. Our House Clerks then work to put the bill into the system, and all of this cost taxpayers time and money,” said House Caucus Chairman Glen Casada (R–Franklin). “This bill limit ensures a more efficient, effective and accessible government that will give us more time for thoughtful, deliberate analysis on each piece of legislation—something taxpayers expect and deserve,” he concluded.

Pro-Military Bill Unanimously Passes House

A pro-military bill backed by lawmakers from across the state passed the House of Representatives this week with unanimous support from both parties.

The bill, aimed at helping Tennessee students who enlist in the military while still in school, now awaits a signature from Governor Bill Haslam before officially becoming law.

The legislation specifies that if a high school student enlists in the United States military or National Guard program and completes basic training before graduation, that student is eligible to receive school credit towards graduation. The credit may be used to meet the state’s physical education and wellness requirement plus credit for another elective course or used for credit in two elective courses of the student’s choosing.

The goal of the legislation is to reward those hardworking young patriots who have completed basic training in our nation’s military while still in high school.

The bill passed the House 98-0.

Tennessee House Honors Ms. Senior America Carolyn Corlew
Rep Mark Pody, Senator Beavers and I had the pleasure of honoring the very beautiful Mrs. Senior America - Mount Juliet's own Carolyn Corlew on the House floor.  Mrs. Corlew was radiant.  The whole Assembly rose in applause and was so proud to meet the lovely woman who has brought Tennessee such honor and esteem.
 
 

Thank You Mount Juliet Breakfast Rotary

Thank you to the Mount Juliet Breakfast Rotary.  I had great fun as the guest speaker at the Mount Juliet Breakfast Rotary. The members asked a lot of questions and we truly had a good discussion.


County Election Officials will visit on Tuesday
County Officials will Visit on Wednesday

Weekly Wrap - February 2, 2014

Gunmaker Beretta Announces Plans For Major Business Expansion In Sumner County
World’s oldest firearms manufacturer to invest $45 million, create 300 new jobs

This week, House lawmakers joined with Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty to announce Beretta USA, the world’s oldest firearms producer, will expand its operations by building a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing and research and development facility in Sumner County at the Gallatin Industrial Park.

The huge economic development news follows announcements last week of the $25 million expansion of Colgate-Palmolive in Hamblen County and the $8 million, 1,000 new job expansion of Conduit Global in Memphis.

The expansion by Beretta consists of a $45 million investment and the creation of 300 new Tennessee jobs.

Founded in Italy in 1526, Beretta is privately owned and operated by members of the 15th and 16th generations of the Beretta family. Across the world, Beretta supplies quality firearms to consumers, including the standard sidearm of U.S. soldiers since 1985, the M-9 pistol.

The company is expected to complete construction on the facility this year and will make firearms at the new Gallatin plant for both their sporting and tactical product lines.

During the announcement, Beretta officials cited Tennessee's reputation as a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights and pro-business economic climate as playing major roles in the decision to expand to the state. Beretta also operates a plant in Maryland, which recently passed stricter gun laws and drew threats from Beretta on relocating. Beretta initially started with a list of approximately 80 locations across seven states to expand, including areas in Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia.

The news from the worldwide gun manufacturer comes after lawmakers worked diligently during the last legislative session to cut taxes, remove bureaucratic barriers to business, and create an overall friendlier, more business-oriented environment across the state to help spur job creation. The news also follows Business Facilities magazine, a national economic development publication, officially naming Tennessee as its ‘2013 State Of The Year’ for economic development, based on the state’s huge success over the last twelve months in recruiting new business and promoting economic development.

For more information about Beretta, visit www.berettausa.com.

Governor to Deliver Annual State Of The State Address
On Monday, February 3rd, Governor Bill Haslam will give his annual State of the State Address to a Joint Session of the Tennessee State Legislature. During the speech, lawmakers will hear what will top the Governor’s legislative agenda for the year and receive details about the state budget.
As the General Assembly awaits the State of the State Address, House lawmakers are busy filing legislation to help pave the way for job growth in Tennessee’s private sector. This focus on economic development is expected to dovetail with the priorities of the Haslam Administration.
The Governor’s address will begin at 6:00 p.m. CST and can be viewed live by visiting the Tennessee General Assembly website at www.capitol.tn.gov and clicking the Video section.

State Representative Susan Lynn Works with State Agency to Secure New Signage for Safer Route to Providence Mall and Address Other Providence Area Road Issues
 
(NASHVILLE) — State Representative Susan Lynn (R–Mt. Juliet) announced this week that she has been working with the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) over the last several months to secure new signage to better alert drivers of the safest, quickest, and most secure route to Providence Marketplace from Interstate 40 eastbound.  On Wednesday, the Department of Transportation confirmed they have made the decision to move forward with the new signage that will highlight exit 226C as the exit where mall traffic should exit.

The new sign will soon be placed along exits 226 A, B and C.  It will indicate that exit 226C is the direct route for mall traffic.  This will discourage mall goers from using exit 226A which requires drivers to cross three entire lanes of southbound traffic in order to turn onto Providence Way—creating a dangerous situation for all drivers involved.

In addition to this road remedy, Representative Lynn also spoke with TDOT concerning two additional issues.

The first was a discussion regarding complaints over standing water on I40 east by the ball fields. Though the area is still under construction, complaints are that rainwater has been seen pooling in this area during inclement weather.  As construction draws to its conclusion repaving will soon take place and Lynn wanted to make sure that all are aware that this grading issue exists.  "TDOT officials were very appreciative and will immediately investigate this issue with the contractor." stated Lynn.

The final issue discussed during the meeting with TDOT concerned creating a solution to ease the traffic congestion at Providence and Interstate 40.  Currently there are two northbound lanes in front of Providence but upon crossing over the highway the left lane suddenly turns into a westbound entrance for I40.  "This surprises drivers and frustrates other drivers in the right lane."  stated Lynn.  Another problem is the long line of traffic that collects on Providence Way while waiting for the light at Mount Juliet Road.

After discussing the issues and potential solutions, an idea was settled upon that may actually solve three separate problems.  Pending the results of a traffic study, exit 226B could be straightened in order to align it with the current I40 east-bound entrance on ramp.  A signal would also be added to control the exiting traffic from 226B.  Eliminating the clover leaf which currently allows traffic to flow onto Mount Juliet Road northbound at will, would free up an entire lane so that both northbound lanes of traffic in front of Providence could continue to freely flow north on Mount Juliet Road; instead of the left lane becoming an I40 eastbound turning lane as it is now.  Finally, the proposed changes would also allow two turning lanes from Providence Way onto Mount Juliet Road northbound, easing the long line of traffic that collects here waiting to turn north onto Mount Juliet Road.

"City Manager Kenny Martin is owed a great deal of credit for suggesting so many possibilities in a recent letter to TDOT concerning the issues at Providence and I40," said Representative Lynn. "In addition, our officials at TDOT are some of the finest state employees we have, and they have my great respect for their knowledge and ideas, and for the interest they show in working to solve our road issues.  Free flowing roads improve our quality of life and advantage our businesses. Thankfully, TDOT officials agree with this fact and are helping us remedy these important situations."

Susan Lynn is Chairman of the House Consumer & Human Resources Committee. She lives in Mt. Juliet and represents District 57, which encompasses a portion of Wilson County. She can be reached by email at Rep.Susan.Lynn@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-7462.

Education Task Force Appointed To Study Basic Education Program Formula

A task force made up of elected officials and top education analysts from across the state was announced earlier this week at the request of Governor Bill Haslam. The group has been directed by the Governor to study Tennessee’s Basic Education Program (BEP), which is the state’s funding formula for K-12 schools.

The formula takes factors such as local property and sales tax revenue into account when calculating how much money Tennessee school districts will receive from the state each year. A number of districts, both large and small, have raised questions and concerns about the formula and whether it distributes funds in a fair and equitable manner.

The most recent revision to the BEP, known as BEP 2.0, was adopted in 2007.

Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman will chair the task force, and members will include:

  • Rep. Harry Brooks (R–Knoxville), Chairman, House Education Committee
  • David Connor, Executive Director, Tennessee County Services Association
  • Sen. Delores Gresham (R–Somerville), Chairman, Senate Education Committee
  • Chris Henson, Chief Financial Officer, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools
  • Kevin Krushenski, Research Analyst, Tennessee Municipal League
  • Larry Martin, Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Finance & Administration
  • Gary Nixon, Executive Director, State Board of Education
  • Larry Ridings, Tennessee School Systems for Equity
  • Lynnisse Roehrich-Patrick, Executive Director, Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations
  • Justin Wilson, Comptroller of the Treasury
  • Mark Cate, Chief of Staff, Governor’s Office (ex officio member)

The task force will meet over the next several months and will make recommendations to the Governor by the end of the year.

Wine in Grocery Stores Legislation Passes Key House Hurdle
Legislation to allow grocery and convenience stores to sell wine across the state passed key hurdles this week as two separate bills moved forward in the House committee process.
The first of the two bills passed out of the House Local Government Committee and grants local communities the ability to hold a referendum vote to allow wine to be sold in area grocery stores. Referendum votes can currently be called to allow liquor by the drink, package stores, and similar measures.
The second bill passed through the House State Government Committee and addresses the more complex areas of the wine debate. Details include mandating a 20 percent markup over wholesale prices on wine and prohibiting grocery stores from selling on Sundays, to match requirements for liquor stores. Liquor stores, meanwhile, would be allowed to sell other items for the first time, including newspapers and magazines, corkscrews, glassware, T-shirts, alcohol mixers, and snacks. The bill also sets July 1, 2016 as the implementation date of allowing wine to be sold in grocery stores assuming the local referendum passes, allowing liquor store owners time to update their business models if needed.
The House legislation differs substantially from the Senate's measure, which has already passed the full body. If both pass the legislature, they would have to be reconciled before communities could hold their first referendum on wine in grocery stores.
Thirty six states, including six of Tennessee’s eight border states, currently allow the sale of wine in retail stores.

The two bills in the House will next be heard in the House Finance, Ways & Means Committee. If passed there, the proposals could be heard by the full House in mid-February.
           
Bill Information is Easy to Find
If you'd like to see all of the current legislation filed in the Tennessee General Assembly, please visit my web site.  I provide an easy method to view the proposed laws with which you may have an interest in three easy steps:

1. www.susanlynn.net  
2. On the menu bar click on Bills
3. Under the heading bill search click on BILL SUBJECT

All current bills can be found by subject.  Simply click on the letter of the alphabet that pertains to your topic; for instance, gun bills can be fund under G for guns but also under F for firearms.

Weekly Wrap - January 26, 2014

Email Replies
Last week after I sent my wrap I realized that replies were going to my former email address.  I have corrected the address.  Any replies you send now will go to the correct address so please feel free to resend any reply you may have sent last week or to reply this week.
 
Unemployment Insurance Presentation
The Consumer and Human Resources Committee heard a presentation on unemployment insurance (UEI).  I found information to be very helpful for my constituents.  I receive several phone calls about unemployment each week.  Largely, they are from people who are having difficulty using the system and I connect these individuals directly with someone in the department.  Some of the most important points in the presentation:
  1. The department understands that the computer system and the phone system have problems and they are working to fix them.
  2. The computer system often does not work because the main frame computer on which it operates is only in service daily between 7 AM to 6 PM and on Sunday from 8 AM to 4:30 PM.  The department is working to get the UEI system moved to another system so that operating hours can be 24 per day.  This is an open bid process and they hope to have a contract sometime in March for an updated system.  Implementation will take @24 months.
  3. The UEI system is not compatible with all web browsers – so anyone that is having difficulty during hours of operation should check that they are using one of the compatible browsers listed on the site.
  4. The phone UEI system is antiquated and inefficient – an improved system is in the works and should be implemented very soon (within two months).   This system too has time limitations and is only available between Monday-Friday 7 AM to midnight and Sunday 8 AM to midnight.  The highest number of call in any single month last year was 1.7 million calls a month but recent improvements have cut this down to 1 million.  They hope another improvement next month will further cut down calls by another huge percentage.  With 43,000 on UEI it is clear that may had to call multiple times in order to try to receive assistance with the system.
  5. The Department has made improvements to the email system for assistance requests and tracks the reasons for contact; 30% weekly verification ; 25.8% variable; 23% claim status; 12.5% missing payment; 7.5% pin issue; .4% address or phone change.
Many of the complaints about attempts to use the system are because the person was trying to use the system outside of these hours. 
About 43 thousand Tennesseans are currently drawing unemployment.  18,000 were removed from the system when the extended unemployment benefits were discontinued in December, 2013.
 
A Fight is Brewing over Litigation Funding Legislation
You may have never heard of litigation funding.  I had not until last year when a bill was filed to essentially ban the practice in Tennessee.
My first question whenever a bill seeks to regulate business or a contract or essentially seeks to put a business out of business is “Are there any consumer complaints?”
As Chairman of the subcommittee that hears this bill I checked with the state Division of Consumer Affairs and with the Department of Financial Institutions and after a thorough review no consumer complaints could be found.  So why regulate a business out of existence?
The litigation funding business is relatively new – perhaps 10 years old.   It is a practice where a funder gives money to a plaintiff to a lawsuit . Typically the money is wanted by the plaintiff in order to help sustain themselves until a settlement is reached.  If the plaintiff loses the lawsuit – they owe the funder nothing.  If they win the lawsuit – they pay the funder back the amount of money provided plus interest. 
Let’s say you were injured and couldn’t work so you sued seeking to be compensated for your situation.  Often, when a plaintiff cannot work they will fall behind on their bills and suffer financially waiting for the lawsuit to settle.  The defendant typically knows this (due to testimony given in depositions) so they make a low ball offer to the plaintiff.  Because the plaintiff is desperate and tired of fighting the offer is accepted.
Litigation funding developed to help such plaintiffs hold out for what they may feel is a fairer settlement.  The funder provides a requested sum which will typically help the plaintiff meet bills for the next two or three months – most often around $3000-$5000 dollars.  The plaintiff signs a contract stating that if the lawsuit provides a settlement the funder is paid back the $3000-$5000 with interest of @36%.  But if the plaintiff loses, the funder is not paid back – the plaintiff owes the funder absolutely nothing.
The funder is taking a huge risk and they lose a lot so the interest rate is high reflecting the risk.  Not all plaintiffs need such a product but it might be worth it for some to make this contract with the funder if he or she feels that their settlement might be higher should they be able to hold out a little longer. 
The legislation basically seeks to ban these contracts.  The side for this legislation states that the plaintiffs are being taken advantage of by the high rates charged by the funders.  The funders state that while they are getting 36% on perhaps $3000-$5000 dollars provided to the plaintiff – their losses are high and the rate reflects that.  Besides, they point out, the lawyers are often getting 1/3 of the proceeds of the entire lawsuit not just a small fraction and no one is banning that practice.
The legislation also considers the money a loan but the nature of a loan is that it must be paid back – remember – if you lose the lawsuit you owe the funder nothing.  The funders believe that they are making an investment and that it is not a loan.
Last year the legislation wanted the amount of funds provided to the plaintiff disclosed to the defendant – but this would have allowed the defendants to know exactly how long they needed to stall the court with procedural motions in order to let the plaintiffs money run out and they would become financially desperate again and settle for anything.
With no data on the losses incurred by the funders the legislation wants to set a cap on the amount of interest charged for providing the funding. But can the legislature justifiably cap an interest rate when we have no data?  And, should we cap a return on an investment it indeed this product is an investment?
I have a few rules of thumb when it comes to legislation;
  1. Are there warranted consumer complaints?  (People write me all the time telling me they want free healthcare but that is not in my opinion a warranted complaint).  I cannot find any consumer complaints on this issue, and since the bill has been here for two years no one has complained that they felt defrauded by the funders.
  2. Is the issue very prevalent?  From what I can tell, this is not a big industry in Tennessee. Most plaintiffs in lawsuits would never need to use this product because most do not sustain total loss of all income. And, most don’t have to use this product even if it might help them – they live with others who work or they can borrow money from relatives, credit cards etc.
  3. Is the issue extreme – does it involve grave damage, loss of life or fraud?  From what I can tell – no one has been defrauded or damaged.
However, I can tell that the insurance companies do not like this practice and that is why they brought the bill; because it does allow a plaintiff that might otherwise settle very quickly because they are in a financially desperate situation to hold out longer.  I can see that this type of funding would most definitely allow that to happen.  Imagine, if this bill passes, the “rich” people that sue for damages will still be able to hold out for what they consider a fair settlement but the “poor” people who perhaps would like to hold out will not be able to do so because this product will not be available or will be severely restricted.
I do not like lawsuits.  I do not want to encourage lawsuits.  But I am having a hard time finding a constitutional justification for essentially banning this practice.  Absent fraud – how could the industry not sue in court and have the law declared an unconstitutional restraint on trade or interference with a contract?
The Republicans in the Tennessee state Senate voted unanimously for the bill.  The Senate instituted a cap on interest that will surely put the industry out of business in Tennessee if passed by the House too.  And the Senate sponsor – he is an insurance agent.
I am still thinking this bill through so feel free to provide your comments and thoughts on this issue.

Please Watch the Mount Juliet News this Week for an Exciting News Article
I am sending a press release to the Mount Juliet News on the results of work on an issue that I have been working very hard to solve.

Wilson County Commission Calls for Private Acts to Build Expo Center.
Center would be funded by 1%-3% hotel tax and by ticket surcharge.

Last week I wrote about a request from the Wilson County Commission for two Private Acts to be sponsored by Senator Beavers and Representative Pody to enable the building an expo center at the Ward Agricultural Fair Grounds.  The Wilson County Commission approved two Private Acts for consideration by the General Assembly in order to fund the building of the facility. 

A Private Act is necessary when a local government wants to implement a policy that their state charter (their local Constitution) does not empower them to do.  The request in the Act is run as a bill in the General Assembly by the Senate and House representatives of the district.  The Act is not voted upon but rather adopted by the General Assembly.  This does not necessarily mean that the members support the measure but it authorizes the local government to commence a vote to change their state charter to do what the Act requests.  Most Acts are adopted by the General Assembly – unless the request in question is would be unconstitutional for the local government to enact.  For instance, a local government could not decided they wanted to vote to make their city their own country or to form a standing army.  In short, a Private Act asks the General Assembly for permission to allow the local officials to vote upon making a change to their state authorizing charter.
Private Acts are very common and typically ask the General Assembly to allow the locals to change their state charter to do a wide variety of different things – anything from changing the dates for elections to imposing a local tax.
 The intent of Acts passed by the Wilson County Commission is to use the funds to build an expo center at the Ward Agricultural Fairgrounds.
 Since the expo center is in Senator Beavers’ Senatorial district and Representative Pody’s House district it would be up to each of them to file the necessary bills and run them.  If done, this would allow the Wilson County Commission to vote and impose the change of policy asked for in the Acts.
The first Act requested by the county would help pay for the expo center by implementing anywhere from a 1%-3% hotel/motel tax upon local hotels.
 Wilson County already has a privilege tax on hotels set at 5%.  When combined with the city of Mount Juliet’s hotel tax rate of 5 %, the state sales tax of 7% and the county/city sales tax of 2.25 % – the tax rate for Mount Juliet hotels would be the highest in the nation at 22.25%.   
Naturally, this additional tax is strongly opposed by the hoteliers in Wilson County and Mount Juliet area elected officials, and many businesses and residents.  The hoteliers have expressed that they could live with an additional 1% tax but the county’s request, as drafted, calls for between 1%-3% additional tax.  It is not skeptical to imagine that if adopted, the tax would not stay at 1% because it would be allowed to grow to 3%.  The Mount Juliet City Commission passed a Resolution opposing the Act and asking Senator Beavers and Rep. Pody not to run the bill.
The second Private Act passed by the county would impose a surcharge on tickets of $1 for use of the expo center.  The Wilson County Fair Board, who would be the single largest collector of the surcharge, has voted in favor of the measure because they feel the facility would benefit the Wilson County Fair.
Both Acts received a 2/3rds vote of approval by the Wilson County Commission last fall.  Senator Beavers and Rep. Pody have had a standing policy that if a Private Act initially passes the County Commission by two/thirds vote they will each carry the measure through the General Assembly for adoption.  The 2/3rds vote requirement is because after adoption by the General Assembly the local government must then actually carry out the vote that will change their state charter.
Constitutionally, votes to change a charter require a 2/3rds vote of the local boy in order to effective – therefore, the legislators want to see that strong 2/3rds vote of support when the request is first voted upon and sent to the legislators.
Rep. Pody had stated that Senator Beavers had refused to file the bills unless the bills are each first adopted by the House.
House committees have a standing policy that no bill without a companion bill filed in the Senate will be considered by the committee.  This is because it is a terrible waste of the committee’s time when no Senate companion bill is filed.
However, Senator Beavers cleared this up when she stated very strongly on the Coleman Walker Radio Show on Friday that she will file the bills and run them in the state Senate.
 Stay tuned…
 
 
Major Business Expansions Announced In East And West Tennessee
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development joined House Republicans this week to announce two major business expansions, one in east Tennessee and one in the west.

Colgate-Palmolive, one of the world’s leading consumer products companies, will invest $25 million in manufacturing and infrastructure improvements, and create 75 new jobs in Hamblen County. On the other side of the state, Conduit Global, one of the largest independent, fully-integrated business process outsourcing companies, will invest $8 million and create more than 1,000 new jobs in Memphis.

The two expansions come after Republicans worked diligently during the last legislative session to cut taxes, remove bureaucratic barriers to business, and create an overall friendlier, more business-oriented environment across the state to help spur job creation. The news also follows Business Facilities magazine, a national economic development publication, officially naming Tennessee as its ‘2013 State Of The Year’ for economic development, based on the state’s huge success over the last twelve months in recruiting new business and promoting economic development.

Cited in the magazine’s report were the state’s top five economic development projects of 2013, which created a total of 6,900 jobs, $3.2 billion in capital investment, and included seven expansions and three new recruitments.

House Republicans are optimistic that additional expansions will be announced in the coming days as even more pro-business polices are put into place by the state legislature.

Governor Haslam, House Lawmakers Announce Anti-Meth Legislative Packages
Earlier this week, Governor Bill Haslam announced new legislation aimed at reducing the growing problem of methamphetamine production in Tennessee. In addition, House lawmakers have also filed legislation aimed at curbing the abuse of methamphetamine across the state.
Over the last several years, meth production has become a widespread problem, affecting many aspects of Tennesseans’ lives. In 2013 alone, 266 children were removed by the Department of Children’s Services from homes due to meth-related incidents at an estimated cost of more than $7 million. In addition, the state spends approximately $2 million annually on meth lab clean-up, and in 2013, 1,691 labs were seized in Tennessee. These costs are in addition to the millions spent by local governments and law enforcement agencies to combat the state’s methamphetamine problem.
These new legislative initiatives build on the adoption of a 2011 law which set up the statewide electronic tracking system called nPLEX (the National Precursor Log Exchange), to monitor and stop illicit purchases of over-the-counter cold and allergy products containing pseudoephedrine, the most common ingredient used to illegally manufacture methamphetamine.
Though several more proposals are expected before the proposed February 5th legislative bill filing deadline, the proposals filed so far range from simply strengthening current state guidelines, to making products containing pseudoephedrine prescription only, attainable only through a prescription from a doctor. An additional proposal would create a mandatory minimum jail sentence for those convicted of meth offenses.
The bill proposed by Governor Haslam, referred to as the Tennessee Anti-Meth Production (TAMP) Act, seeks to limit access to products that contain pseudoephedrine while also ensuring law-abiding Tennesseans who need temporary cold and sinus relief are not affected.
In summary, the Governor’s bill includes three major provisions:
  • Individuals would be authorized to purchase up to 2.4g (the maximum recommended daily dose for 10 days) of products containing pseudoephedrine or ephedrine in a 30-day period by presenting a valid ID to a pharmacist, which is the way state law currently works.
  • If the consumer returns to purchase additional products, a pharmacist, at his or her discretion, may override the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx) system to allow individuals to purchase up to 4.8g in that same 30-day period.
  • Anything above 4.8g in a 30-day period would require a prescription issued by a licensed physician, certified physician assistant, or authorized nurse.
According to data from the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, 97 percent of Tennesseans who bought cold medicine containing pseudoephedrine in 2012 bought less than 4.8g per month.
Without a doubt, the next several months will contain lively debate and discussion concerning the state’s ever-growing methamphetamine problem as lawmakers work with all sides to reach the most positive outcome for all Tennesseans.
Additional Background:

Tennessee is one of 17 states that currently use the NPLEx system, which works across state lines to track and stop illegal pseudoephedrine sales. As part of the same comprehensive anti-meth bill which implemented NPLEx, lawmakers have also passed legislation which:

  • Increases the penalty for making meth in the presence of children;

  • Makes it easier to prosecute those who purchase medicines containing pseudoephedrine at different times and places for the purpose of exceeding the allowable amount, or through use of false identification; and

  • Imposes minimum mandatory fines on those offenders.

House Republicans Kick Off Statewide Yellow DOT Safety Program
House Republicans have partnered with the Tennessee Department of Transportation to officially kick off the state’s new Yellow Dot Safety Program.

The new initiative, which was passed into law in 2012, is part of a nationwide program designed to provide crucial medical information to emergency responders in the event of a vehicle incident.

The program works by attaching a Yellow DOT sticker to a vehicle’s rear window. Once the sticker is attached, participants then fill out a series of medical information papers to store in the glove compartment of their automobile. If a serious accident takes place, first responders will see the Yellow DOT sticker and know to immediately look in the vehicle’s glove compartment for a photo and medical information on the vehicle’s driver.

Because many victims are often unable to communicate following a motor vehicle accident, the Yellow DOT sticker will assist first responders in their job of saving lives by providing access to important personal and medical information when they arrive on the scene of an incident, regardless of the individual’s condition. In addition, the program will provide better communication with hospital emergency staff concerning any injured parties.

“In that first hour after a serious injury, immediate medical care can dramatically increase a patient's chances for survival,” said Representative Curtis Halford, the primary House sponsor of the Yellow Dot legislation. “This program will help police and other first responders by giving them quick access to potentially life-saving medical information within minutes of a car crash or other accident.”

Individuals interested in participating in the new Yellow DOT program can visit their local driver services facility or by contacting the Tennessee Department of Safety at TennesseeYellowDOT@tn.gov. Participants will receive a Yellow DOT decal, a Yellow DOT folder, and a medical information sheet which consists of areas to fill in emergency contact information, medical information, recent surgeries, hospital preferences, current medications, and insurance and physician’s information.

The full text of the new law can be found by visiting:
http://state.tn.us/sos/acts/107/pub/pc0804.pdf.

Weekly Wrap - January 20, 2014

The Tennessee State Legislature Reconvenes
 
The House of Representatives reconvened last week on Tuesday, January 14 at high noon.  This marks the 2nd half of the 1008th General Assembly.  One of the first orders of business was a memorial service for Rep. Lois M. DeBerry, who passed away July at age 68 after a four year battle with pancreatic cancer.

Immediately following the 20 minute long service her successor was sworn into office.  The next order of business was to swear in a new Republican Representative, Paul Bailey, due to the resignation of Rep. Charlie Curtis from District 43.  Rep. Bailey is a Republican businessman and farmer.  Bailey will not seek re-election to the House as he plans to run for State Senate to fill Senator Charlotte Burkes’ seat.  Burkes has decided not to seek re-election in 2014. 

Republicans now hold 71 seats in the state House and the Democrats hold 28 seats.


House Of Representatives Undergoes Annual Ethics Training

The House of Representatives also participated in our annual ethics training this week, with the Executive Director of the Tennessee Ethics Commission, Drew Rawlins, leading the training session. All 71 House Republicans were present, completing their required two hours of training per General Assembly.

The Tennessee Ethics Commission was created in a special session called by the Governor in 2005 in the wake of the Tennessee Waltz scandal. House Republicans supported stringent ethics requirements in an effort to clean up corruption on Capitol Hill. During that session, the Tennessee Ethics Commission was established to sustain the public's confidence in government by increasing the integrity and transparency of state and local government through regulation of lobbying activities, financial disclosure requirements, and ethical conduct.
Wilson County Commission Calls for Private Acts to Build Expo Center.
Center would be funded by 1%-3% hotel tax and by ticket surcharge.

Last fall with the idea of building an expo center at the Ward Agricultural Fair Grounds, the Wilson County Commission approved two Private Acts for consideration by the General Assembly in order to fund the facility.

A Private Act is necessary when a local government wants to implement a policy that their state charter (their local Constitution) does not authorize them to do.  An Act is run as a bill in the General Assembly by the representatives of the district.  The Act is not voted upon but rather adopted by the Assembly.  Basically, a Private Act asks the General Assembly for permission to allow the local officials to vote upon making a change to their state authorizing charter.

Private Acts are very common and typically ask the General Assembly to allow the locals to change their state charter to do a wide variety of different things – anything from changing the dates for elections to imposing a local tax.

The intent of Acts passed by the Wilson County Commission is to use the funds to build an expo center at the Ward Agricultural Fairgrounds.

Since the expo center is in Senator Beavers’ Senatorial district and Representative Pody’s House district it would be up to each of them to file the necessary bills and run them.  If done, this would allow the County Commission to vote and impose the change of policy asked for in the Acts.

An expo facility is heavily favored by County Commissioner Jeff Joines whose family enjoys participating in rodeos – Joines championed the Acts stating that if an expo center were built, Wilson County it would attract the National Junior Rodeo each year for the next three years.

The first Act would help pay for the expo center by implementing anywhere from a 1%-3% hotel/motel tax upon local hotels.

Wilson County already has a privilege tax on hotels set at 5%.  When combined with the city of Mount Juliet’s hotel tax rate of 5 %, the state sales tax of 7% and the county/city sales tax of 2.25 % – the tax rate for Mount Juliet hotels would be the highest in the nation at 22.25%.   

Naturally, this idea is strongly opposed by the hoteliers in Wilson County and Mount Juliet area elected officials, businesses and residents.  The hoteliers have expressed that they could live with an additional 1% tax but the county’s request, as drafted, calls for between 1%-3% additional tax.  It is not skeptical to imagine that if adopted, the tax would not stay at 1% because it would be allowed to grow to 3%.

The second Private Act passed by the county would impose a surcharge on tickets of $1 for use of the expo center.  The Wilson County Fair Board, who would be the single largest collector of the surcharge, has voted in favor of the measure because they feel the facility would benefit the Wilson County Fair.

Both Acts received a 2/3rds vote of approval by the Wilson County Commission last fall.  Senator Beavers and Rep. Pody have had a standing policy that if a Private Act initially passes the County Commission by two/thirds vote they will each carry the measure through the General Assembly for adoption.  The 2/3rds vote requirement is because after adoption by the General Assembly the local government must then actually carry out the vote that will change their state charter.  Constitutionally, votes to change a charter require a 2/3rds vote of the local boy in order to effective.

However, Rep. Pody reports that Senator Beavers has refused to file the bills unless the bills are each first adopted by the House.

However, House committees have a standing policy that no bill without a companion bill filed in the Senate will be considered by the committee.  This is because it is a terrible waste of the committee’s time when no Senate companion bill is filed.

Stay tuned…

Republicans Come Together To Kick Off A Jobs-Focused Legislative Session

This week marked the beginning of the second half of the 108th General Assembly, with the House of Representatives gaveling into session on Tuesday, January 14 at “high noon” in accordance with the Tennessee Constitution.

Having now officially convened, a number of issues await legislators in Nashville, with House Republicans vowing to make private sector job creation the top priority for the General Assembly.

Tennesseans can also expect Republicans to take up measures that will solidify the state’s ranking as a business-friendly, right-to-work state. In addition, the House Majority will work together to pass a number of proposals to continue improving both the state's economic outlook and education.

With regard to the state budget, officials say revenues have come in below expectations, meaning there will have to be some trimming to how much the state can spend this year. Nevertheless, Republicans have committed themselves to once again crafting a fiscally responsible, balanced budget that does not raise taxes. Just as Tennesseans across the state must live within their means, House Republicans have promised to continue managing taxpayer dollars in a thoughtful, fiscally prudent manner.

Tennessee Named ‘2013 State Of The Year’ For Economic Development

Earlier this week, Business Facilities magazine, a national economic development publication, officially named Tennessee as its ‘2013 State Of The Year’ for economic development, based on the state’s huge success over the last twelve months in recruiting new business and promoting economic development across Tennessee.

Cited in the magazine’s report were the state’s top five economic development projects of 2013, which created a total of 6,900 jobs, $3.2 billion in capital investment, and included seven expansions and three new recruitments.

This new award comes on the heels of other recent accolades for Tennessee, including being named #1 state in the nation for automotive manufacturing strength for an unprecedented four years in a row. Tennessee was also ranked in the top five states with the best business climate by Site Selection magazine and as the fourth best state in the U.S. for business in Chief Executive Magazine’s Annual Best & Worst States for Business Survey.

The top economic development projects for number of jobs created and amount of capital invested named by Business Facilities include:

Top Five Projects for Jobs
·        Hankook Tire Co., Ltd (Montgomery County): 1,800 jobs
·        ARAMARK (Davidson County): 1,500 jobs
·        Nissan North America, Inc. (Rutherford County): 1,400 jobs
·        Calsonic Kansei North America, Inc. (Bedford, Marshall and Rutherford counties): 1,200 jobs
·        UBS (Davidson County): 1,000 jobs
 
Top Five Projects for Capital Investment
·        Eastman Chemical Company (Sullivan County): $1.6 billion
·        Hankook Tire Co., Ltd (Montgomery County): $800 million
·        International Paper Company (Shelby County): $321 million
·        Nike, Inc. (Shelby County): $276 million
·        Alcoa, Inc. (Blount County): $275 million
 
Governor’s Children’s Cabinet Launches New Website For Families
 
Led by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and First Lady Crissy Haslam, the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet announced this week they have officially launched a new website, www.kidcentraltn.com, aimed at helping families across the state more easily find and navigate information and resources related to state government.

The website, described as a “one-stop shop” for families, gathers important information from across different state agencies, making it more convenient for families to find exactly what they need. It also gives individuals a platform to search for various state-related content areas, especially programs related to children’s health, education, and development.

Through www.kidcentraltn.com, parents can receive recommendations for relevant articles and services that might benefit their family. In addition, the website offers families the ability to download a mobile app to search for needed services as well as a directory of all state services available.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Fluoride

My weekly wrap last weekend contained a couple of paragraphs on a bill that would allow citizens to vote on whether to permit the water in their community to be fluoridated. The response from some the dental community was rather angry and incredulous.

But I also received a lot of responses from people who thanked me for keeping an open mind.

One of the individuals sent me this link to a video called An Inconvenient Tooth. It is a little long but please watch it with an open mind.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Survey on Guns in School

There is legislation in the Tennessee House and Senate that would allow school resource officers and teachers to carry guns in schools.

I've had a great deal of phone calls in the office and email on this bill.

Some people don't feel guns in school are appropriate under any circumstances.  Others feel school resource officers should be allowed to carry guns.  Others think the SRO's and teachers should have guns.  Others are afraid that children will be intimidated by the guns.

Please give your opinion on this important legislation. Your answers are anonymous. Please invite your friends to vote. www.susanlynn.net Click on survey.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Rep. Lynn appointed Chairman of Consumer and Human Resources General S

(NASHVILLE, January 10, 2013) - Representative Susan Lynn (R-Mt. Juliet) was appointed Chairman of the House Consumer and Human Resources General Subcommittee on Thursday. Lynn will also be serving on the Consumer and Human Resources full committee and the House Insurance and Banking Committee.

"First let me say how thankful I am to the people of Wilson County for once again allowing me the opportunity to represent their interests in Nashville. I am also honored that my friend, Speaker Harwell, has placed her confidence in me to serve as Chairman of this important subcommittee" said Rep. Lynn. "General subcommittees do the heavy lifting; working out the details of legislation, finding common ground or holding back bills that are not quite ready to advance."

The House Consumer and Human Resources Committee reviews legislation dealing with consumer protection laws, and all human resource and labor law regulations such as workers compensation, union bills or wages.

"My background is ideal for this chairing this committee. Professionally, I oversee safety, legal compliance and supply chain concerns for over 20,000 consumer products. My conservative Republican philosophy and BS in Economics provide a good foundation from where I will work to balance the employee and business interests that are involved with the often controversial bills that will come before my committee." stated Lynn.

Lynn's second assignment, the Insurance and Banking Committee, considers legislation regarding insurance, banks, and other financial institutions.

Susan Lynn is serving her fifth term in the Tennessee House of Representatives. She lives in Mt. Juliet. Professionally, she works in regulatory compliance and process improvement for an international corporation that produces consumer products.  Contact Rep. Lynn through www.susanlynn.net.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fight of the Century: Round 2

Last night's debate reminds me of this great video on Austrian economics vs. Keynesian economics.