The Tennessee General Assembly
Susan M. Lynn
House of Representatives
CAPITOL HILL REVIEW
A weekly wrap-up of legislative news
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Several readers are receiving the weekly wrap for the first time tonight. I hope you enjoy learning what your state government is doing and please share the Wrap with friends.
More 2018 Legislative Survey and Preliminary Results
Please visit my blog to take the 2018 legislative survey on current issues before the General Assembly; susan-lynn.blogspot.com. Issues include the states amending the US Constitution, medical cannabis oil, the National Motto Bill and many others.
I have also mailed a statistically significant number of surveys for the size of the district. See preliminary survey results here.
SR 109 is Officially Under Construction
I am excited to report to you that on Friday we officially broke ground on the construction of SR 109 with a ceremony on the property of Laguardo Baptist Church. The Commissioner of TDOT came out as we marked the moment with a desire to see the project done safely as well as quickly. The event received very nice coverage in the Lebanon Democrat. The project is expected to be complete in 2020.
In the paper I stated, "Somebody had to vote to do something [about SR109] so when the IMPROVE Act came along and it used the $500 million budget surplus to put $250 million towards roads and cut taxes by $250 million how can anyone say that it's not a win/win?"
Now onto more important details on the project, last week I provided the name of the TDOT contact for the project but I want to provide his information again for your safe keeping and because there are more people on the list this week. Please do not hesitate to contact TDOT or me with questions, or if you see anything unusual during the course of the project – such as hazards etc.
Additionally, TDOT has set up a special email address for comments concerning this project that will reach a broader audience of state workers that I think would also be very good to utilize if you have need: TDOT.Comments@tn.gov.
As promised, I have obtained the PowerPoint slides from the meeting on February 27th. Please download the PowerPoint file here; Meeting Presentation. I have already checked and the link is virus free.
In response to questions about the scheduled temporary closing of Northern Road; TDOT has responded that this will be on the east side of the project, and that it should not affect traffic when Burton Rd is temporarily closed. All effort will be made to coordinate all activities in a timely manner to ensure that the roads are closed for the least amount of time possible.
Please let me encourage you to visit my website – I have a great deal of information on several state matters that may be important to you: www.susanlynn.us.
Governor, Lawmakers Form Working Group To Review School Safety
Leaders in government, safety, education, and mental health to make immediate safety recommendations to enhance security
This week in Nashville, Governor Bill Haslam announced the formation of a working group of leaders from the executive branch, General Assembly, safety, education, and mental health communities to immediately begin reviewing school safety in Tennessee and provide recommendations to enhance the security of school children.
While all schools in Tennessee currently have safety plans in place, the Governor’s working group will convene this week to review the policies, procedures and process of developing and implementing those plans, as well as other school safety measures, including communication and collaboration among law enforcement, educators, and mental health professionals.
House Republicans believe all children in Tennessee deserve to learn in a safe and secure environment and this new safety working group plans to move quickly in making practical recommendations that can implemented in the coming weeks and months to help increase the safety of children across Tennessee. The review will be wide ranging, but will include specific items, such as entry to and exit from schools, training and availability of school resource officers, and in-school mental health resources for students.
Lawmakers expect to have the first recommendations from the working group before the end of the 2018 legislative session.
House Republicans Approve Initiative To Attract & Retain High Quality Educators
House Republicans voted unanimously this week to support passage of a new initiative designed to help Tennessee attract and retain the best and brightest educators.
House Bill 1549 decreases regulatory burdens on highly-qualified school teachers as they proceed from an initial three year license issued by the state to their six year license. The overall goals of the measure are to streamline the licensure process for the state’s exceptional teachers while also enabling them to focus all of their efforts and energy on instructing Tennessee’s next generation of leaders.
While House Bill 1549 is the latest way House leaders are working to support teachers and continue moving the needle in education, lawmakers know work must continue to ensure that both educators and students have all the tools and resources they need in order to succeed.
Under the leadership of House Republicans, Tennessee students are the fastest improving in the country across math, reading, and science. Over the last several years, the state has gone from being ranked 49th out of 50 states to 35th in the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) ratings — a statistic lawmakers hope to continue improving in the coming days.
Tennessee also ranks in the Top 10 in percentage increases for K-12 state expenditures, outpacing the national average increase in teacher salaries. Republican lawmakers have invested more into education over the past couple of years than at any point in state history.
House Bill 1549 now heads to Governor Haslam’s desk where it will be signed into law. For more information about this initiative, please click here.
House Lawmakers Move Forward With Measure Increasing Protections For Intellectually Disabled Tennesseans
An initiative sponsored by House Republicans aimed at increasing protections for intellectually disabled Tennesseans is advancing through the General Assembly’s committee process.
Wednesday afternoon, members of the House Criminal Justice Committee voted to send House Bill 1930 to the Finance, Ways & Means Committee. The measure increases penalties on individuals who promote citizens with intellectual disabilities for prostitution to a Class D felony.
Currently, prostitution is considered a Class E felony — the least serious of all felonies in Tennessee; those convicted receive anywhere from one to six years in prison, as well as a fine of up to $3,000.
Class D felonies carry penalties ranging from two to twelve years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
House Bill 1930 is one of more than 20 initiatives sponsored by House leaders over the last decade related to sexual and human trafficking. As champion for victims, these efforts have resulted in Tennessee having the toughest laws in the entire nation related to these types of crimes.
As studies from several prominent anti-human trafficking organizations note, Tennessee has made remarkable progress in order to protect the state’s most vulnerable citizens from becoming victims of sexual and human trafficking, as well as exploitation over the last several years.
For more information about House Bill 1930, please click here.
New Tennessee Life Science Caucus Formed
A new caucus was formed this week in Nashville — the Tennessee Life Science Caucus - and I am happy to be a part.
The purpose of the caucus is to give General Assembly members valuable insight from national and industry experts related to policies and initiatives that will promote growth across all sectors of Tennessee’s life science industry.
Caucus goals include developing sound knowledge of the industry — including biotechnology, medical device, diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, academic research, and health IT.
Additionally, members will meet monthly in order to work with Life Science TN in an effort to create a legislative agenda focused on supporting a favorable environment that will encourage and promote industry growth.
Currently, the life science industry employs more than 40,000 citizens across Tennessee through 1,200 establishments. The average salary for employees in this field is more than $83,000 annually.
By fostering an environment that grows life science across the state, lawmakers seek to not only help create high quality jobs for residents, but also improve health and well-being through exciting new research opportunities and medical breakthroughs.
House Bill 1782 designed to ease cost burdens on Wilson County residents
(NASHVILLE) – State Representative Susan Lynn (R-Mt. Juliet) and State Representative Clark Boyd (R-Lebanon) are co-sponsoring legislation that would end mandatory emissions testing for vehicles in Tennessee.
House Bill 1782 — which is receiving unanimous support from members of the Wilson County Legislative Delegation, as well as Tennessee General Assembly members — would apply to the hardworking men, women, and families of Hamilton, Davidson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson Counties where vehicle emissions testing is still required prior to vehicle registration or renewal…click link above to read more…
(NASHVILLE) — State Representative Susan Lynn (R-Mt. Juliet) is taking action to ensure that the residents of her community and citizens in cities and towns across Tennessee remain safe.
Monday evening, Lynn and her Republican colleagues passed House Joint Resolution 741. The measure expresses strong support for President Donald Trump’s proposal to construct a security border wall. It also urges members of U.S. Congress to immediately take action in order to fund the wall’s construction. President Trump’s border wall is expected to cost $21.6 billion to complete…click link above to read more…
Thank you again for letting me serve you. Please do not hesitate to call my office if I can help you.
Rep. Susan Lynn