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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, a member of the Finance Ways and Means Committee and the Ethics Committee. She holds a BS in economics and a minor in history.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Weekly Wrap - February 21

Republican Lawmakers Move Forward with Pro-Military Legislation

House lawmakers moved forward this week with multiple pieces of legislation designed to help military members across the state.

One of those bills, set to be heard on the House floor next week, will allow the five soldiers killed in the Chattanooga terrorist attack that occurred in July to be eligible for the ‘Tennessee Fallen Heroes Medal’. Currently, the medal is awarded to honor residents of Tennessee killed while serving on active duty or engaged in military support operations involving a conflict with an opposing foreign force.

As introduced, this new legislation expands on this criteria to also allow the honor to be bestowed on those military men and women killed on Tennessee soil during an attack specifically targeting service members.

The medal is awarded solely by the Governor or the Governor's designee to the immediate survivor of the recipient.

A second piece of legislation, the National Guard Force Protection Act, enhances protection at Tennessee National Guard facilities and military installations. The bill follows hearings regarding the safety of military installations by the state’s top leaders.

To fund the bill, the governor’s budget includes $1.6 million for an emergency phone systems, window film, magnetic locks, security camera systems, privacy screens, and bollards to protect soldiers at state military installations.

The legislation is set to next be heard in the House Finance, Ways & Means Committee.

Helmet Bill to be Heard in Finance Committee on Tuesday

A bill that may exempt motorcyclists from the requirement that they wear a crash helmet will be heard in Finance Ways and Means Committee this week.  The proposed bill would allow riders 21 years and older not insured with TennCare, to ride without a helmet. Tennessee’s current law requires all motorcyclists to wear a helmet, regardless of age or experience of the rider.

HB0700 by *Reedy, *Goins, *Weaver, *Casada, *McDaniel, *Rogers, *DeBerry, *Ragan, *Keisling, *Brooks K, *Alexander, *Butt, *Hill T, *Windle, *Sexton C, *White D, *Todd, *Sanderson, *Matheny, *Holt, *Powers, *Sexton J, *VanHuss.

(SB0925 by *Roberts.)

Traffic Safety - As introduced, exempts drivers and passengers over 21 years of age from the requirement to wear a crash helmet while operating or riding in motorcycles, motor-driven cycles, and motorized bicycles, if the person is covered by health or medical insurance other than insurance through TennCare; makes a violation of the helmet law a secondary offense. - Amends TCA Section 55-9-302.

Summary for *HB0700

Lynn Guest on News Channel 5’s Open Line

This week I was very proud to defend the pro-life position on Open Line with Rep. Sherry Jones defending the pro-abortion side.  Please watch for yourself and provide some feedback.

The Charitable Vehicle Prep Tag bill moved forward this week passing the full committee and is headed to the House floor.   The bill will assist ministries that refurbish vehicles in order to give them away to needed individuals.

Under current law, a ministry accepts a donated vehicle and must purchase a license plate in order to drive it on the public roads to take it for repair and to test drive the vehicle.  Most often the ministry only has the car for a few weeks so the purchase of the license plate for each vehicle they refurbish can add up to quite an expense.

Enter the Charitable Vehicle Prep Tag – much like a prep tag for an auto dealer which allows the dealer to use the tag on any vehicle in inventory – this tag will allow ministries to use a single tag for any vehicle they are refurbishing for donation to a needy individual.  This bill will save ministries a great deal of money.

The General Assembly is speaking up to support the Williamson County lawsuit filed by former state Senator David Flower of the Family Action Counsel of Tennessee through the resolution I filed called HJR529.

David’s lawsuit will hopefully end same sex marriage in Tennessee.  The legislature does not have standing to sue to our resolution in support of this lawsuit is also a great effort to defend separation of powers and the doctrine of severability.  

When the SCOTUS stated that Tennessee's marriage law was invalid they next also declared that same sex couples can now marry.  But this action in reality violates separation of powers; the SCOTUS cannot make law by decree - that power is reserved for legislatures.  Under the doctrine of severability, if the court is going to strike part of a law it cannot change the meaning of the law into something that the legislature had never actually voted to enact.

However, that is exactly what the Court did in this case, and exactly why we, as lawmakers, need to support this lawsuit.  Imagine the implications for the future if we let this action go unchallenged and unsupported; we as legislators would be giving into the court and allowing them to make law.  The language of the amendment that re-writes the resolution is below.

Gallop Poll: 2/3rds of Tennesseans Support State Government.

According to a recent Gallop poll - roughly 2/3 of TN residents have confidence in our State government---some states did not fare so well!  Take a look.  Thank you to my friend Robert Springer for bringing this to my attention.

House Republicans Call for Creation Of Task Force Aimed At Improving Care For Stroke Patients In Tennessee; Work Towards Improving AED Training

House Republicans this week joined together in support of legislation that seeks to create a task force designed to study and implement stroke best practices and treatment guidelines for the state.

Once created, the task force will be made up of designated members from key stroke centers and hospitals around the state, as well as various other health professionals.

The task force, with the assistance of the Department of Health and the College of Public Health at East Tennessee State University, will be responsible for making recommendations to both the House and Senate Health Committees regarding improvements to the state’s treatment policies surrounding those who suffer from a stroke.

Strokes kill over 128,000 people each year in the U.S. It is the fifth highest cause of death in Tennessee and the leading cause of disability in the state. The goal of the legislation is to ensure the rapid identification, diagnosis, and treatment of strokes, and to help reduce the risk of preventable complications and stroke-related deaths throughout the state.

Supporters of the legislation believe the task force is a necessary addition to our state’s public health system, to insure the state is providing for the needs of families and individuals who are victims of a stroke.

Similarly, another piece of legislation has been filed with a similar goal in mind: helping to save lives across Tennessee.

Sudden cardiac arrest is one of America’s leading causes of death. For every minute a person goes without defibrillation during a cardiac episode, their chance of survival goes down 10 percent. According to studies, 50,000 lives can be saved annually by the availability and proper training of automated external defibrillators (AEDs).

Under new legislation sponsored this year, a requirement would be placed in state law for all public school personnel in the state who work in facilities that have one or more AEDs to have an annual training on how to use the machines along with information distributed informing personnel about the location of AEDs and the school’s response plan during an emergency.

In addition, the legislation calls for schools to also conduct an annual cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) drill for school personnel to practice the use of these life saving measures. For students enrolled in CPR classes, training for the use of AEDs will also be provided.

Early voting closes Feb 23 Wilson County for the March 1 presidential preference primary.

Early voting closes on Feb. 23 in four locations in Wilson County.

Vote Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Saturdays, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Voting locations;

 Wilson County Election Commission office at 203 E. Main St. in Lebanon.

Mt. Juliet Community Center at 1075 Charlie Daniels Pkwy. in Mt. Juliet.

Watertown Community Center at 8630 Sparta Pike in Watertown.

Gladeville Community Center at 95 McCreary Road in Gladeville.

Voting locations;
Wilson County Election Commission office at 203 E. Main St. in Lebanon.

Mt. Juliet Community Center at 1075 Charlie Daniels Pkwy. in Mt. Juliet.

Watertown Community Center at 8630 Sparta Pike in Watertown.

Gladeville Community Center at 95 McCreary Road in Gladeville.

 Voting locations;
Wilson County Election Commission office at 203 E. Main St. in Lebanon.

Mt. Juliet Community Center at 1075 Charlie Daniels Pkwy. in Mt. Juliet.

Watertown Community Center at 8630 Sparta Pike in Watertown.

Gladeville Community Center at 95 McCreary Road in Gladeville.

Republican Majority Continues Work On State Budget

Earlier this month, Governor Bill Haslam delivered his annual State of the State Address to a joint convention of the legislature this week, unveiling his budget for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

Haslam addressed multiple issues during the State of the State, the most prominent of which include job recruitment and workforce development, a continued push to make government more efficient and effective, and major investments in both K-12 and higher education.

Among other key points in the Governor’s speech was a focus on a balanced budget, low taxes, fiscal responsibility, and the proposal of 261 million in new dollars for Tennessee public education, including $104.6 million for teacher salaries — the largest investment in K-12 education without a tax increase in state history.

Including the current fiscal year’s appropriation, Haslam’s proposal will invest more than 414 million in new dollars in Tennessee schools. Additionally, Haslam proposed funding the 12th month of health insurance for teachers and doubling the state’s recurring contribution for technology needs at schools.

The Governor’s proposal also puts $100 million into the state’s Rainy Day Fund, bringing it to an estimated $668 million on June 30, 2017. Once passed, the plan will repay $130 million from the state’s general fund into the transportation fund to help with future road project needs.

Other notable budget investments are:

·        $24 million in state funds for the Employment and Community First (ECF) CHOICES program to allow the state to serve more people currently on the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities’ waiting list and others eligible for services;

·        $12.8 million for facilities and homeland security upgrades for the Military Department;

·        $10 million for the Department of Economic and Community Development’s Rural Development Initiative; and

·        $1.27 million to increase the number of drug recovery courts from 41 to 50 and for two additional veterans courts.

Rural Economic Opportunity Act Moves Forward In House Committee Process

Legislation spearheaded by House Republicans to spur economic development across the state moved forward this week in the House committee process.

Known as the ‘Rural Economic Opportunity Act of 2016’, the legislation has two main parts. First, the bill would implement a new program called ‘PREP’ or ‘Propelling Rural Economic Progress’. This innovative program would allow grants from the PREP fund to be used to help rural counties build sites and infrastructure to make their communities more attractive to prospective companies.

Second, the legislation would restructure the county tier system making it easier for businesses in rural counties to qualify for job tax credits. This, in turn, would make it easier for businesses in those counties to expand and hire new workers.

As the 2016 legislative session continues, House Republicans will continue working to increase economic development opportunities in the state.

Additional information regarding this legislation can be found on the General Assembly website at http://1.usa.gov/1TnY9AX.

Our Baby Ben

Two years ago today our grandson Benjamin was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at just 23 months. It's been a long road for our daughter and son-in-law; for all of us really as we learn to manage the disease.

One thing that is frustrating for our daughter is that so many do not know the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease; there is nothing one does to contract it nor can it be avoided. If your body develops the antibodies, you will get the disease.

Several insulin injections a day are the life-long life support of the Type 1 coupled with many finger pricks to check blood sugar. Sugar hasn't given them diabetes it actually saves their life when they go low. Parents wake each night at 2 am for blood sugar checks.

This disease is very expensive but thank God we have our Benny. Without insulin every Type 1 diabetic would have drifted off into severe illness and departed us.

Seeing him laugh and smile today with us and his sisters, he is so full of love and sweetness, I just want to forget how gravely ill he was 2 years ago.

Today we celebrate Benny's life. We're so thankful to our heavenly Father for this beautiful and wonderful little boy, nearly 4 years old now.

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