About Me

My photo
Business, Free Enterprise and Constitutional Issues; Pro-Life and Pro Second Amendment. Susan Lynn is a member of the Tennessee General Assembly. She serves as Chairman of the Consumer and Human Resources subcommittee and on the Finance Ways and Means Committee. She holds a BS in economics and a minor in history.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Tennessee Voters for Animal Protection Endorses Lynn for Re-election

Tennessee Voters for Animal Protection (TVAP) have announced their endorsement of State Representative Susan Lynn for Re-election to the Tennessee House.  TVAP is a grassroots, all-volunteer, non-partisan political action committee (PAC) dedicated to electing Tennessee candidates based on their support and promotion of animal welfare legislation.

"Rep. Susan Lynn has been a champion for animals in Tennessee," said Anjie Crow, President of Tennessee Voters for Animal Protection. "For two years in a row, Rep. Lynn co-sponsored the Tennessee Animal Abuser Registration Act and sponsored a bill that aimed to strengthen animal cruelty laws by addressing important oversight concerns related to commercial dog-breeding facilities in Tennessee. She has also co-sponsored important pro-animal legislation over the years, and we are very pleased to be able to endorse her once again this year as an animal-friendly candidate!"

Payton Robbins, Legislative Liaison, TVAP wrote Lynn “We want to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to you for your support of animal legislation.  We understand the political climate for animals in Tennessee has been a tough one and we cannot thank you enough for standing strong when it comes to pro-animal legislation and standing against legislation that would be detrimental to Tennessee's animals.”

Lynn now adds the TVAP endorsement to her growing list endorsements and top rankings from Tennessee Right to Life, the NRA, NFIB, American Conservative Union, American’s for Prosperity, the Family Action Council, GNRC Legislator of the Year, Tennessee Professional Fire Fighters Assn., Wilson County TEA Party, Mount Juliet Republican Women and the Wilson County Republican Party. 

Susan Lynn is a member of the Tennessee General Assembly.  She severed from 2002 – 2010 and was re-elected in 2012.  She is chairman of the Consumer and Human Resources Sub Committee and on the Finance, Ways and Means Committee.


##

HASLAM ANNOUNCES LEAP GRANT for LEBANON LOCATION

The Labor Education Alignment Program Grants (LEAP) support Drive to 55 by aligning workforce needs with higher education
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced the recipients of the Labor Education Alignment Program (LEAP) competition, a state initiative that supports the Drive to 55 by awarding grants to community and academic partnerships formed to help communities align workforce needs with higher education.
“If we can eliminate gaps in the skills needed by local manufacturers and other companies and the types of degrees and courses offered by local community and technical colleges, we can strengthen our workforce to meet industry demands,” Haslam said. “These LEAP grants help create programs that tie specific training and skills to current workforce needs, helping more Tennesseans qualify for good, high paying jobs. This is a key piece of our Drive to 55 campaign to increase the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary degree or credential to 55 percent by 2025.”
The General Assembly appropriated $10 million in the 2016-17 fiscal year budget for LEAP grants. Among the many recipients across the state the Greater Nashville Regional Council (GNRC) awarded TCAT Hartsville/Lebanon $944,009.

Rep. Susan Lynn who the legislative member on the board of GNRC stated "This grant will make a tremendous difference for our area students."

The LEAP competition required applicants to respond to a competitive Request for Proposals that was released on May 4, 2016. Proposals were reviewed and selected by the Governor’s Workforce Subcabinet, consisting of commissioners and staff from the following agencies:
Tennessee Board of Regents
Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
Tennessee Department of Education
Tennessee Department of Human Services
Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Tennessee Higher Education Commission.
About the Drive to 55
In 2013, Governor Haslam launched the Drive to 55 to increase the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary degree or certificate to 55 percent by 2025. As a result, the Drive to 55 has established the Tennessee Promise program, the nation’s first scholarship and mentorship program that provides high school graduates last-dollar scholarships to attend two years of community or technical college free of tuition and fees; reduced the number of college freshmen requiring remediation through the SAILS (Seamless Alignment and Integrated Learning Support) program; provided free technical college for adults through TCAT Reconnect Grants; created Tennessee Reconnect + Complete to help more adults return to college to complete unfinished degrees; developed a more comprehensive state approach to serving student veterans; and leveraged technology to enhance classroom instruction and college advising.
###

HASLAM ANNOUNCES LEAP GRANT for LEBANON LOCATION

The Labor Education Alignment Program Grants (LEAP) support Drive to 55 by aligning workforce needs with higher education
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced the recipients of the Labor Education Alignment Program (LEAP) competition, a state initiative that supports the Drive to 55 by awarding grants to community and academic partnerships formed to help communities align workforce needs with higher education.
“If we can eliminate gaps in the skills needed by local manufacturers and other companies and the types of degrees and courses offered by local community and technical colleges, we can strengthen our workforce to meet industry demands,” Haslam said. “These LEAP grants help create programs that tie specific training and skills to current workforce needs, helping more Tennesseans qualify for good, high paying jobs. This is a key piece of our Drive to 55 campaign to increase the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary degree or credential to 55 percent by 2025.”
The General Assembly appropriated $10 million in the 2016-17 fiscal year budget for LEAP grants. Among the many recipients across the state the Greater Nashville Regional Council (GNRC) awarded TCAT Hartsville/Lebanon $944,009.

Rep. Susan Lynn who the legislative member on the board of GNRC stated "This great will make a tremendous difference for our area students."

The LEAP competition required applicants to respond to a competitive Request for Proposals that was released on May 4, 2016. Proposals were reviewed and selected by the Governor’s Workforce Subcabinet, consisting of commissioners and staff from the following agencies:
Tennessee Board of Regents
Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
Tennessee Department of Education
Tennessee Department of Human Services
Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Tennessee Higher Education Commission.
About the Drive to 55
In 2013, Governor Haslam launched the Drive to 55 to increase the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary degree or certificate to 55 percent by 2025. As a result, the Drive to 55 has established the Tennessee Promise program, the nation’s first scholarship and mentorship program that provides high school graduates last-dollar scholarships to attend two years of community or technical college free of tuition and fees; reduced the number of college freshmen requiring remediation through the SAILS (Seamless Alignment and Integrated Learning Support) program; provided free technical college for adults through TCAT Reconnect Grants; created Tennessee Reconnect + Complete to help more adults return to college to complete unfinished degrees; developed a more comprehensive state approach to serving student veterans; and leveraged technology to enhance classroom instruction and college advising.
###

Friday, September 16, 2016

The House's Authority Expel a Member

State Representative Susan Lynn



Dear Members,

This letter is to assist in answering any questions regarding the House's action to expel a member this week, and to clarify issues regarding the historical precedent, constitutionality, and the rules and authority of the House.

HISTORICAL PRECEDENT 
There have been two expulsions since reconstruction in the Tennessee House of Representatives; in 1866 and 1980.  The first was during an Article III, Section 9 call by the Governor to Special Session.  In that Session six members were expelled at the same time by motion from the House floor.

Neither the expulsions, nor the authority of the House to conduct such business, were challenged.

An Article III, Section 9 call is the same call to Special Session that Governor Haslam made to the 109th General Assembly requiring our attendance this past week.

CONSTITUTIONALITY
Article III, Section 9 reads;

“He may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the General Assembly by proclamation, in which he shall state specifically the purposes for which they are to convene; but they shall enter on no legislative business except that for which they were specifically called together.”

The term 'legislative business' needs clarification. The Attorney General has opined that “the words ‘legislative business’ refer to substantive matters, rather than matters of procedural or administrative nature.”  See, Tenn. Op. Atty. Gen. 84-009 (January 10, 1984).

Each House is constitutionally incapable of performing legislative business on its own without the approval of the other body.  Therefore, according to the AG, any action which the House can independently perform on its own is not legislative business. 

Consequently, “they shall enter on no legislative business except that for which they were specifically called together” means that we cannot meet at the call of the Governor to fix the DUI law and then also take up Insure TN as some hoped to do.  And to be sure, no action of the Executive branch has any power to prevent the House from working on non-legislative business such as procedural or administrative matters of the House.  Expulsion from the House is a procedural matter on which the House may act independently – not legislative business.

The state Constitution gives clear authority to each House to discipline and expel members in Article II, Section 12;

“Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member, but not a second time for the same offense; and shall have all other powers necessary for a branch of the Legislature of a free state.”

Art III, Sec. 9 cannot be interpreted to render Art. II, Sec. 12 inoperable.

HOUSE RULES
House Rule 82, Ethics Code for the House of Representatives, is lengthy so I will not print the entire rule – only relevant portions; 
  • The purpose of the rule is “to establish standards of conduct for the representatives, to authorize the House Ethics Committee to consider alleged violations of this code, and to authorize the House Ethics Committee to render advisory opinions to the House.” 
Note that Rule 82 does not require an Art. II, Sec. 12 disciplinary motion or an expulsion motion to be referred to (or screened by) the ethics committee.  Such motions are made on the Floor of the House as was done in 1866 and in 1980.   The only limitation on expulsion is found under Art. II, Section 12; the House or Senate, as applicable, must vote to expel a member, and 2/3 of the body must vote in favor of expulsion to expel the member.
  • The ethics “code is in addition to and separate from standards of conduct that may be required under state or federal law.”
Criminal offenses are judicial matters which should be investigated by, and prosecuted by, the local District Attorney etc.  
  • The ethics code also states that “no complaint by a member of the House of Representatives alleging sexual harassment shall be received or considered by the [ethics] committee.” 
The Legislature’s Workplace Harassment Policy is set up to investigate sexual harassment complaints filed by the offended party.   Although there were accounts in the press of a sexual nature, no one filed a complaint.  
  • The ethics committee has the “authority to receive and consider complaints, based upon personal or constructive knowledge, concerning alleged violations of [the] House Ethics Code.”
Although Durham’s behavior was unbecoming, and press accounts covered a number of substantial issues, no member of the House filed an ethics complaint against Durham to bring about an Ethics Committee investigation.

AUTHORITY of SPEAKER
No House Rule prevents the Speaker of the House from taking action deemed necessary and appropriate for the good of the House such as naming a Special Ad Hoc committee, including a committee to consider matters that would fall under Article II. Sec 12.

Further, nothing prohibits a Special Ad Hoc Committee named by the Speaker from naming a third party to perform an investigation on behalf of the Committee.  In this case, the Ad Hoc Committee requested the Attorney General to assist the committee in investigating the conduct of Jeremy Durham.

The Committee’s request for the AG’s assistance is exactly the same procedure and investigative authority granted to the House Ethics Committee by Rule 82, Article IV, (c)(2) where it reads “[the Ethics] Committee may request the…Attorney General…to assist the committee in investigating any complaint received or initiated by the committee.”

CONCLUSION
Therefore, it is perfectly constitutional for the House to take up procedural business during a Special Session called by the Governor, and;

It is perfectly within the Speaker’s authority to name a Special Ad Hoc Committee, and;

It is perfectly appropriate for the Special Ad Hoc Committee to request the assistance of the Attorney General to perform an investigation, and;

It is perfectly permissible for the House to address the discipline or expulsion of a member from the floor of the House.

Please have confidence that the House followed historical precedent, constitutional authority, and the rules and authority of the House of Representatives. Please write back should you have any questions.

Thank you for your time, and blessings for your re-election.

Most sincerely,

Susan Lynn
State Representative 


State Representative, District 57 | State of Tennessee | 104 War Memorial Building | Nashville, TN 37243
615-741-7462 | rep.susan.lynn@capitol.tn.gov

Monday, September 12, 2016

Complaint Against Speaker Harwell is without Merit

UPDATE
Rep. Womick withdrew two of his ethics complaints and the other three were immediately dismissed for being without merit. 




We do not understand Rep. Womick except to say that as a Republican he makes a really great Democrat for attacking Republicans all the time. 

Today, Womick spoke passionately on the floor about marriage but just as soon as he was done speaking he defended Rep. Durham - a married man who 22 women have provided details of his harassment.

After Session on Tuesday Rep. Womick filed 5 ethics complaints against Speaker Harwell claiming that she hasn't handled the Durham affair correctly.

Perhaps we should file an ethics complaint against Womick, and several others because they knew about Durham's behavior according one member.


I did not know but I do know what the Speaker did as she learned of his behavior and as it grew more and more erratic and outrageous.  She addressed him – but he made denials.  She repeatedly asked him to resign his leadership position, to resign from the party, and to resign from the House – but he refused.   When some of the victims came forward she asked them to file a complaint so that his actions could be investigated – but they refused. 

She, along with others, urged us Caucus members to take away his leadership position, his party affiliation and to expel him but several members defended him, they didn’t want him to resign as Whip, or from the Caucus, nor from the House, nor did they want to vote him out of any of those positions. 

So to establish formal confirmation she named a committee to investigate his actions, and again, those same people did not support that decision. 

Next she banished him to the Rachel Jackson Building, permitting him only escorted access to the Legislature and the Capitol which we heard a few call harsh.  At the time I thought that they were simply misguided but yet now that we know the full breadth of the report your supporters still say that she did it all wrong.

Had the committee not released the report to the public who can doubt that the Representative would have claimed that it was not released because it contained no condemning information – thus, further victimizing the women?

I believe the Speaker handled everything as well as anyone could especially in the face of the few Caucus members who were apparently hoping it would all create political hay down the road.  No one can force anybody else to behave rightly, and no one can force anyone to resign – but for sure - the Speaker should have had the full support of the people who had knowledge of his activities.

It is a shame but it seems there has been a passive aggressive war waged by a few members for years now which makes everyone else in the Caucus feel uncomfortable.   There is an ugly, one-sided blog that is simply spiteful and at times libelous.  No Christian should even waste their time to read such injustice, and no Christian could ever write such injustice. 

I have a little book on ethics from the 1890's – on the topic of justice it says this;

People can do injustice by their thoughts. When we hear complaints or accusations against any person and readily believe them, without knowing what the accused would say in self-defense, we are generally unjust.  Even if a person be very much to blame, he will generally appear less to blame, when we understand the case fully, than he did after we had only heard what was said against him.  We must therefore be careful, and not judge hastily; and we must not, even in our minds, condemn the absent and unheard person.  We should not like to be judged and condemned thus; and it is unjust for us to form opinions in this way about others.  

I wish that blog would print that statement and offer a public apology for their many injustices.  

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Tennessee Right to Life Endorses Susan Lynn for House


"Pro-Life Organization Grateful for Legislator's Consistency and Commitment"



Nashville --The state's oldest and largest pro-life organization urges its members and advocates in state House district 57 to support Susan Lynn for re-election.

"Pro-life Tennesseans rely on Wilson County voters to send pro-life leaders to Nashville," said Cathy Waterbury, legislative liaison for Tennessee Right to Life.  "And pro-life leaders in Nashville have come to know that we can rely on State Representative Susan Lynn to help lead efforts at the General Assembly." 

Rep. Lynn’s pro-life work is extensive. Lynn was the prime co-sponsor of the Governor’s bill to criminalize the sale of fetal body parts; prime sponsor of the abortion clinic licensure and inspection bill and of Tennessee Right to Life’s Anti-Coercion Act.  In 2009, again working with Tennessee Right to Life, Lynn’s efforts defunded Planned Parenthood of state tax dollars – this was a bi-partisan effort and since that time, no state tax dollars have gone to Planned Parenthood. Lynn co-sponsored the bill to enact a reasonable waiting period before an abortion and she co-sponsored SJR127 which became Amendment 1. 

"During her time in the state House, Rep. Lynn has been a consistent and reliable friend to the cause of life and the unborn child," said Waterbury.  "There have been times where it seemed unlikely that Right to Life priorities would be realized until Rep. Lynn stepped up, stood firm, and refused to be moved from the pro-life position.” 

Lynn recounts one of those times - “After a huge floor fight to kill a bill that would have criminalized undercover videos of illegal activities - the bill would have made the LiveNation videos that have exposed Planned Parenthood's sale of fetal body parts and their concealment of sex trafficking illegal - I was very proud to cast.” said Lynn.   Pro-lifers and animal lovers urged legislators to vote NO on the Ag Gag bill however it passed in the House and Senate.  “I saw the Governor immediately after the vote, and I personally asked him to wait for an AG opinion before deciding whether to sign the bill.” The bill was ultimately found to be unconstitutional because it violated the First Amendment and the Governor issued a veto.  
Waterbury concluded “Tennessee Right to Life and pro-life voters across the state remain grateful for the steadfastness and commitment that Rep. Lynn has demonstrated time and again on behalf of the Right to Life cause."   

Lynn has consistently maintained a 100% voting record with Tennessee Right to Life.  She serves as Chairman of the House Consumer and Human Resources Sub-Committee and is a member of the Finance, Ways and Means Committee. 

She is endorsed for re-election by Tennessee Right to Life 's political arm to represent the state's 57th House District seat. 
  
# # # 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

NFIB ENDORSES LYNN


Waste, Fraud and Abuse

A toll-free hotline is provided for citizens to report fraud, waste, and abuse of government funds and property.  

If you observe an agency director or employee engaging in any activity which you consider to be illegal, improper, or wasteful, please call the fraud, waste, and abuse hotline at 1.800.232.5454 or report online.

TEMA Encourages Thoughtful Donations to Louisiana Flood Survivors

 
Nashville, Tenn. – From the Great Tennessee Flood of 2010 to the many localized disasters since, Tennesseans are very familiar with the great amount of effort needed to help communities and citizens recover from disasters.
 
The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) is providing the following guidance and resources on how Tennesseans can provide the most meaningful assistance to those recovering from the severe flooding in Louisiana.
 
“We are fortunate so many Tennesseans care for Louisiana’s flood survivors as if they are their next door neighbors, and want to help,” TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan said.  “Let’s make sure the help from Tennessee is channeled in ways to have the most positive impact in Louisiana without creating a burden on emergency managers and organizations coordinating the assistance.”
 
Cash donations are the most needed and effective way of helping in disaster recovery.  Cash donations help organizations avoid the labor and expense of sorting and transporting donated goods, and voluntary relief organizations use cash to meet individual needs more quickly. 
 
Relief Organizations Helping in Louisiana
 
·         Louisiana Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster:  lavoad.org/how-to-help/
·         Volunteer Louisiana:  www.volunteerlouisiana.gov/
·         Red Cross Louisiana Flood Information:  www.redcross.org/local/louisiana/flood-information
·         Louisiana Flood Relief Fund:  www.braf.org/louisiana-flood-relief
·         United Way of Southeast Louisiana:  www.unitedwaysela.org/flood
 
Before donating goods, confirm what exactly is needed by contacting a voluntary relief organization working to help survivors.  A community hit by a disaster does not have the staff or money to store or dispose of unneeded goods.
 
Do not self-deploy as a volunteer to a disaster.  Instead, volunteer with an organization coordinating volunteer resources with local, state, or federal entities at the disaster scene.
 
On Sunday, a team of Tennessee fire marshals deployed to Louisiana to assist local officials with incident management, building and fire code enforcement, and the inspection of commercial and residential structures.
 
Federal officials call the historic Louisiana flooding the worst in the nation since Hurricane Sandy.   The flooding caused 13 fatalities and damaged 60,000 homes.  According to FEMA, 106,000 Louisiana residents so far have registered for federal recovery assistance. 
 
About the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency: TEMA’s mission is to coordinate preparedness, response and recovery from man-made, natural and technological hazards in a professional and efficient manner in concert with our stakeholders.  Follow TEMA on Facebook, TNDisasterInfo, on Twitter,@T_E_M_A, and at www.tnema.org.

TN Students Make Improvements in ACT Scores



TN Students Make Improvements in ACT Score