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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, April 18, 2010

Tennessean Column

Please see my guest column in today's Tennessean

Taxing the oil and gas industries is a roadblock to economic stability

I believe that we Tennesseans are forward-looking, innovative people. Just think of all the great marvels that came from our state: country music, the typewriter ribbon, the touch-screen monitor, miniature golf and nuclear research. Unfortunately, with a state unemployment rate averaging 10 percent, Tennesseans are lacking opportunities to utilize their ingenuity. President Barack Obama has said jobs are his top priority — well then, he can start creating them through an industry that already supports more than 9 million American workers: the U.S. oil and natural gas industry. Exploration and production of untapped domestic oil and natural gas resources would create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and generate more than $1.7 trillion in revenue. That's money desperately needed to help meet Tennessee's $1 billion budget shortfall, build roads and schools in our cities and fund health-care initiatives. People get it.

Here in the Volunteer State, we can begin by expanding and upgrading projects associated with Canadian oil sands. A study by the Canadian Energy Research Institute estimates that by allowing our neighbors to the north develop their rich and abundant resources, Tennessee could gain 7,000 new indirect and direct jobs — including well-paying jobs in refining — between 2011 and 2015. The study also projects that we'll see an added economic value of $598 million by 2015.

President Obama's recent decision to allow offshore energy development in the Outer Continental Shelf moves Tennesseans an inch closer toward those economic benefits, but we cannot afford to inch along. People understand this. In fact, 72 percent of registered voters are in favor of offshore drilling, according to a recent Rasmussen survey.

We want the president to take prompt action to ensure our state and nation will see recovery, while securing America's energy future and decreasing our dependence on foreign oil. His support for misguided policies, including cap and trade and $80 billion in tax increases on the U.S. oil and natural gas industry, are roadblocks to job growth and economic revival. These proposals would discourage investment and pass on added costs to consumers and businesses, while increasing our dependence on imported energy.

The president has offered rhetoric on harnessing America's oil and natural gas resources to breathe life back into our state and national economies. I sincerely hope he takes swift, but wise, steps to make that happen. As I imagine all of the great innovations that have yet to be born in our state, I know that Tennesseans are eager to put their skills to work.

State Rep. Susan Lynn, R-Mt. Juliet, represents the 57th Legislative District and is chairman of the American Legislative Exchange Council Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Constitutional Amendment Protecting Freedom of Health Care Rights Passes Committee

(NASHVILLE, TN) – Rep. Susan Lynn this morning passed HJR 745 out of the House Commerce Committee. The measure is a Constitutional Amendment to the Tennessee Constitution that would prohibit laws or rules that would compel any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in any health care system.

The amendment is directed at protecting the rights of Tennesseans from any government that would require them to purchase a health insurance project.

"This bill is a necessary step in light of what we see our federal Government passing and attempting to enact," said Rep. Lynn.

The resolution will be heard next in the House Finance, Ways & Means Committee.

Representative Lynn serves House District 57, which consists of part of Sumner and Wilson Counties. She is serving in her fourth term in the Tennessee House of Representatives. Her work includes serving as on the House Government Operations Committee as well as serving on the House Commerce Committee.


AG Opinion: Constitutionally Valid

AG Opinion: Lynn's Health Care Freedom Bill Constitutionally Valid

(NASHVILLE, TN) – Tennessee Attorney General Robert E. Cooper, Jr. today issued an opinion that HB2622 – the Health Care Freedom Act sponsored by State Representative Susan Lynn (R – Lebanon) - is constitutionally valid; the Opinion number 10-47.

“The language in this bill was carefully crafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council and I was confident that the AG would conclude that it is constitutional,” said Rep. Lynn.

The bill today was deferred one week by the House Commerce Committee. It will be heard Tuesday, April 20th at 10 a.m.

Representative Lynn serves House District 57, which consists of part of Sumner and Wilson Counties. She is serving in her fourth term in the Tennessee House of Representatives. Her work includes serving as on the House Government Operations Committee as well as serving on the House Commerce Committee.


HJR704 Passes House 66/29

(NASHVILLE, TN) – State Representative Susan Lynn defended for an hour and a half on Monday night on the House floor the need for a House Joint Resolution to the U.S. Congress that expresses opposition to the institution of new federal review, oversight, or preemption of state health insurance laws, the creation of a federal health insurance exchange or connector, and the creation of a federal health insurance plan (public plan) option.

Days earlier the measure easily passed the Commerce Committee, with the committee recognizing that Tennessee's insurance laws stand to be preempted by the federal health care legislation and that Tennessee will have to implement a very complicated and expensive the federal insurance exchange should the federal legislation come into full effect.

A great deal of debate on the House floor centered around concerns that some members have concerning the uninsured. "The measure is not about the uninsured but about the hundreds of thousands that are insured and satisfied with their insurance coverage; coverage that stands to change due to the new federal law” stated Rep. Lynn. “Insurance laws are the state’s responsibility, not the federal governments."

The bills finally passed after an attempt to table the measure, and to amend the measure were successfully defeated, in addition, motions to re-refer the bill to committee were also held off. The final vote was 66 to 29.

Representative Lynn serves House District 57, which consists of part of Sumner and Wilson Counties. She is serving in her fourth term in the Tennessee House of Representatives. Her work includes serving as on the House Government Operations Committee as well as serving on the House Commerce Committee.

Link to video clip http://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/BillInfo/Default.aspx?BillNumber=HJR0704 Click on video clips. Click on Floor Video - Video. Once the video starts click on HJR0704 under the video.

Video from News Channel 4 http://www.wsmv.com/video/23135068/index.html

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Anti-coercion bill passes Tennessee House

(NASHVILLE, TN) – Representative Susan Lynn (R-Lebanon) today passed the Freedom From Coercion Act on the floor of the House of Representatives.

The bill, passing with bi-partisan co-sponsorships, concerns current law which states that it is illegal to coerce a woman to have an abortion. The bill requires facilities where abortions are performed to post signage informing that it is illegal for anyone to coerce a woman to have an abortion.

House Government Operations chairman Susan Lynn (R-Lebanon) stated “This bill was inspired by a woman who was coerced to have an abortion at the age of 17 - thirty years went by before she sought help for her grief over the event. She subsequently learned that such coercion is not uncommon for women. This legislation is her attempt to try to make a difference. I am honored that I could play a part.”

The Senate version, sponsored by Senator Jack Johnson (R-Franklin), was passed in the Senate on the same day.

Representative Lynn serves House District 57, which consists of part of Sumner and Wilson Counties. She is serving in her third term in the Tennessee House of Representatives. Her work includes serving as on the House Government Operations Committee as well as serving on the House Commerce Committee.


Tennessean Column 4/1/2010

Labeling is just more government control

Last year, I passed an anti-menu-labeling bill that was subsequently vetoed by the governor. We overrode the veto in the House and Senate after reconvening in January, which put the law into effect in Tennessee.

As chairwoman of the American Legislative Exchange Council's Commerce Task Force, a national state legislator organization, I proposed and passed anti-menu-labeling model legislation for the states.

Now we learn that the federal health-care bill contains menu-labeling dictates for restaurant menus, menu boards, drive-through displays and vending machines. A few local and state governments have similar regulations. The evidence varies about whether menu labeling is effective.

Regulation will cost consumers

Some studies show that as few as one in six consumers actually use the information to make purchasing decisions. Harvard University removed menu-labeling information in its dining halls in the fall of 2008 due to concerns from parents and friends over students who developed eating disorders. As a result, other schools have avoided the idea altogether.

What can't be legislated are the motivations of consumers; for instance, another study showed that consumers significantly increased total energy, fat grams, carbohydrate grams and decreased protein and energy from protein when exposed to menu labeling information. It seems that people become overly concerned with calorie information rather than the more important matters of nutrition and variety.

Just as concerning as the misuse of information is the great monetary cost that consumers must suffer. Replacing menus, menu boards and handouts and testing food is expensive. Determining the number of calories in a food item is a matter of science — the food must be burned and the amount of heat it emits determines its calories. In several states the requirement has opened restaurants up to class-action lawsuits due to claims of inaccurate calorie and nutrition counts.
There are loopholes; menu specials, custom orders and ingredient substitutions are exempted —for now.

But where is the principle that allows the federal government to impose such a mandate on restaurants?

The fault is mainly due to a modern misinterpretation of the Commerce clause of the Constitution. Until roughly 1942, the Commerce clause was well understood to be a power of the federal government used only to remove impediments to trade between the states — such as tariffs charged by one state on goods moving through to another state. The idea was to limit state legislatures from restricting trade between each other, thus allowing consumers and merchants freedom to trade. It was never to allow the federal government to decide what commerce will be legal or not legal or what regulations will apply to trades and services.
In addition, such regulations are simply not anywhere part of the federal government's 30 enumerated powers. Further, there must be a constitutional violation of rights in order for government to force us all to incur such expense. What right is being secured by the imposition of menu labeling?

Is it even likely that anyone unschooled on proper diet will even appreciate the information on a menu board? Would not those that already understand know proper choices? Certainly people of good conscience are not fooled by their own purchasing decisions. Federal menu labeling is more big government control.