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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.

March 18, 2018 Weekly Newsletter

The Tennessee General Assembly

Susan M. Lynn
House of Representatives
A weekly wrap-up of legislative news

Wilson County Schools Opens New Administration Building

Wilson County Schools opened the new administration building in Lebanon in the former Lebanon High School which is now fully renovated.  The building consolidates nine separate buildings that housed administrative services all over Wilson County now into the one main office building. 

On behalf of the citizens of the 57th House District, I was happy to donate a large state seal which will hang in the school board meeting room behind the members. 

2018 Legislative Survey and Preliminary Results

We had a tremendously busy week at the legislature as I was able to conclude all of the work in my subcommittee and close it at the call of the chair – with that said, we were not able to tally the newly arriving surveys this week.  However, I promise that we will have the new totals next week.  See last week’s totals below.   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.

See preliminary survey results here.

The National Motto Bill

My national motto bill should pass on the floor tomorrow night.  The bill requires every public school in Tennessee to display the United States’ national motto in a public area of the school where students will see it.  

The concept of the bill can be accomplished through a student mural, a donation from the public of a poster or plaque, or through state or local funding for art materials, posters or plaques.  Each year legislators are permitted to request budget amendments for something for their district.  Last year I asked for $10 K for the guard rail on West Division in front of the Eagle Park bicycle park for children, and I received the request.  This year I asked for $100 per school in Wilson County to fulfill the requirements of the national motto bill.

The state legislators are very excited to vote for my bill however some emailers are not so pleased – especially – very surprisingly, one teacher at in Wilson County Schools.  Please help me by remind anyone who may dislike this bill that our national motto is on our money, state license plates and in the sixth line of our national anthem.

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave

Tennessee Continues Trend Of Record Low Unemployment, Record Low Tax Burden In 2018

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development this week announced that unemployment across Tennessee has remained at a record low since the start of 2018. In addition, Wallet Hub — a nonpartisan organization focused on the financial industry — has officially ranked Tennessee as the lowest taxed state in the entire nation.

The unemployment rate in January of 2018 was 1.2 percent lower than the rate for the same month one year ago and has remained 3.3 percent since September 2017. Tennessee’s statewide unemployment rate has been below 4 percent since May 2017.

As multiple studies have noted, this long stretch of low unemployment is a testament to the economic climate in the state, allowing employers the ability to continue to tap into the Tennessee’s talented workforce to create high-quality, high-paying jobs. The wholesale trade sector in Tennessee saw the biggest gain in jobs during January. Health care and social assistance ranked second in job growth during the month.

More than 3.1 million Tennesseans are currently working in Tennessee, a number that sets a state record.

While many politicians in Washington and around the country continue policies of reckless spending and partisan bickering, lawmakers in Tennessee have proudly passed initiatives that exercise fiscal restraint, save money for the future, and fully-fund the state’s educational priorities.

Because of this stark contrast with the rest of the nation, Tennessee has rapidly climbed the ladder as one of the overall best-managed states in the country. Coupled with the fact that Tennessee is one of only a handful of states with a higher bond rating than that of the federal government — a major indicator that showcases our state’s stable fiscal environment — it is easy to see why so many are looking to Tennessee for economic guidance.

Other recent awards for the state include:

·       Being named the 3rd best state in the nation for business by Business Facilities Magazine;

·       Placing 2nd place in Site Selection magazine’s annual Prosperity Cup, which ranks states based on overall tax and business climate;

·       Ranking 2nd in the country for transportation/road quality and 2nd in cost of living by CNBC;

·       And being named the #1 state in the nation for retirement by Bankrate.com.

These accolades are in addition to the other accomplishments Republican lawmakers have achieved since 2011, including cutting more than $800 million in taxes over the last 7 years and education advancements that have led to the fastest improving student test scores in the entire country.

There is no doubt that in Tennessee, things are moving in the right direction. Through a strong partnership of the General Assembly’s Republican majority and the work of Governor Bill Haslam, Tennessee has been successful in attracting job-creators, inspiring entrepreneurs, and putting people back to work. While Washington and many states around the country are struggling to come together, Tennessee is truly doing things the right way.

Business Expansions On Steady Rise Across State

As another example of the upward swing in Tennessee’s economy, there have been numerous major business expansions recently announced by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and House Republicans. Over the last few months, dozens of companies, both from within the state and from other parts of the country, have decided to expand their operations in Tennessee. With these expansion projects, thousands of jobs will be created along with hundreds of millions of dollars invested into local communities.

Some of the most prominent of the recently announced expansions include:

  • FedEx Corporation, Shelby County — The Memphis hub project includes construction of a new facility and installation of state-of-the-art sort systems, construction of a bulk truck loading building, and a new area to improve package handling. The new $1 billion investment is in addition to current FedEx facility that already employs over 11,000 team members.

  • JDS Technologies, Inc., Scott County — The second of JDS’ manufacturing facilities in Tennessee, the new facility means an investment of $2.2 million and the creation of 110 new jobs.

  • Green Applications, LLC, Johnson County — A leading supplier specializing in LED lighting products for commercial, residential, marine, and automotive applications, Green Applications will expand operations in Mountain City, investing $1 million and creating 50 new jobs over the next five years.

  • Master Tool & Die, Inc., Sullivan County — Founded in Kingsport in 1988, Master Tool & Die provides custom machining, welding, fabrication, and other services for businesses throughout the southeast. Their new expansion will yield $557,500 in local investment and 25 new jobs to the area.

  • DENSO, McMinn County — Expansion of the automotive suppliers new facility in Athens means 320 new jobs and community investment of $190 million.

  • Asurion, LLC, Davidson County — Nashville-based Asurion is a global technology company that provides support solutions and protection for smartphones, tablets, consumer electronics, and other devices. The company operates in dozens of countries and has 17,000 employees worldwide — Nashville’s new expansion means an additional 400 jobs for Tennessee.

For more information about these expansions and to view other industry announcements from across the state, visit the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development website at www.tn.gov/ecd.

House Republicans Fight To Ban Child Marriages In Tennessee

This week in Nashville, House Republicans offered their full support for an initiative aimed at officially banning child marriages in Tennessee. In the House Civil Justice Subcommittee, House members cast yes votes in favor of House Bill 1785 which bans marriage for anyone under the age of 17.

The push to update Tennessee marriage laws comes following data released from the Tennessee Department of Health showing there were 7,670 minors wed in Tennessee between 2000 and 2014. Of those cases, 91% were marriages between minors and legal adults and 89% were minor girls married to adult men. In rare circumstances, the statistics also showed children as young as twelve being married. Currently in Tennessee, there is no minimum age required for marriage as long as a judge signs off on the nuptials.

Once passed by the House and Senate, this new initiative will completely ban marriage for anyone under 17 and requires both parental consent and sign off from a judge for those 17 years of age. The legislation also implements a variety of other legal protections to ensure no forced marriages are taking place in Tennessee for 17 year olds. Once a child turns 18 and becomes an adult, there would no longer be any prohibitions for marriage.

Supporters of the legislation were shocked to learn that judges in our state have signed off on marriages for children as young as 12 in the past. After learning about these extreme decisions, legislators knew it was to fight back to ensure child brides are forever banned in Tennessee.

In the House, the bill will next be heard by the full Civil Justice Committee. On the Senate side, the bill is currently being debated by the full body. Once passed by both chambers, the legislation will travel to the desk of Governor Haslam to be signed into law.

House Passes Bill Outlawing TennCare Reimbursements To State’s Abortion Providers
Republican-led measure aimed at protecting sanctity of life awaits passage in Senate

Monday evening, House Republicans passed legislation outlawing TennCare reimbursements to the state’s abortion providers.

House Bill 2251 aims at protecting the sanctity of life by eliminating taxpayer funding to facilities that perform elective abortions. It does not impact the availability of other critical health care services offered to Tennessee women.

While some believe taxpayer dollars have been banned from funding abortions in Tennessee, documents from the Tennessee Department of Finance & Administration show providers across the state have received almost $1 million in funding from 2012-2017. Supporters of House Bill 2251 hope to change this by ending taxpayer assistance to these facilities once and for all.

The legislation passed this week is the latest in a series of initiatives designed to protect Tennessee’s unborn.

During the 2017 legislative session, Republican lawmakers passed the Tennessee Infants Protection Act; it prohibits abortions after 24 weeks — except in medical emergency — and requires testing to determine viability of an unborn child if a woman is at least 20 weeks pregnant. The Tennessee Infants Protection Act also holds physicians who perform late-term abortions accountable for their actions.

For more information about House Bill 2251, please click here.

Initiative Supporting Tennessee’s Caregivers Heads To Be Signed Into Law

This week, Republican lawmakers voted unanimously to pass legislation that supports Tennessee’s caregivers. Now that it has passed in the House, it will be sent to the desk of Governor Haslam to be signed into law.

House Bill 1498 assists caregivers by enabling them to take an occasional, much-needed break from their responsibilities caring for elderly or vulnerable family members by offering additional support services from community organizations.

These brief recesses allow caregivers to recharge and also provide opportunities for them to interact socially with others. Studies indicate that breaks are one of the main requests made by those seeking counseling related to the stresses that are often associated with caring for elderly or vulnerable family members.

 Caregiving is a labor of love, but it can also be a tremendous challenge. The daily responsibilities ranging from providing transportation, cooking meals, helping with bathing and dress, or even managing a family member’s finances can become overwhelming. House Bill 1498 supports the state’s caregivers by helping them realize they are not alone as they strive to provide the best possible care for their loved ones.

According to the American Association of Retired Persons, 40 million Americans help parents, spouses, and other loved ones live independently at home each day. Here in Tennessee, there is a critical need. Our state’s elderly population is expected to climb from its current level of 974,000 to almost 1.4 million over the next 15 years.

House lawmakers appreciate the selfless actions of Tennessee caregivers and are committed to providing additional resources that support them in their daily work.

For more information about House Bill 1498, please click here.

Legislation Sponsored By Representative Susan Lynn Attracting New Business To Tennessee Passes In House
(NASHVILLE) — This week, House Republicans passed legislation sponsored by State Representative Susan Lynn (R-Mt. Juliet)designed to continue Tennessee’s job growth and economic prosperity.
House Bill 1818 provides a road map for Tennessee to attract private trust companies from other states and to expand those currently here through deregulation. This initiative expands the number of clients that a private trust company can conduct business transactions with in Tennessee to empower them and to create jobs across our state.
Private trusts, also known as family trusts, are entities that provide trust and other fiduciary services to a single-family group.
House Bill 1818 is the latest in a series of initiatives sponsored by Representative Lynn in recent years that have led to remarkable job growth and record-low unemployment rates in her community, as well as across all regions of Tennessee.
“I have fought to bring new jobs to District 57 throughout my time serving our men, women, and families, and I am excited that House Bill 1818 will sustain our economic momentum,” said Representative Lynn. “My colleagues and I remain committed to supporting sensible legislation that reduces government regulations and red tape. This will ensure that we are able to continue the creation of high quality jobs that our residents strongly desire.”
Republican lawmakers, led by Representative Lynn, have created more than 400,000 net new private sector jobs over the last eight years. As of early 2018, Wilson County had the fifth lowest unemployment rate in the entire state — just 2.9 percent.
For more information about House Bill 1818, please click here.

State Representative Susan Lynn Sponsors Initiative to Phase Out Professional Privilege Tax

(NASHVILLE) — State Representative Susan Lynn (R-Mt. Juliet) is sponsoring an initiative designed to further reduce taxes on Tennessee’s workers.
House Bill 41 — currently before members of the House Finance, Ways, and Means Subcommittee — rolls back the Professional Privilege Tax over a five-year period, reducing it by $80.00 annually until 2022 when the tax is completely phased out.
According to the Tennessee Department of Revenue (DOR), the Professional Privilege Tax is applicable to those licensed or registered to practice in 22 different professions. They range from accountants, dentists, and physicians to audiologists, speech pathologists, and veterinarians.
Those registered or licensed to practice in one of these professions are required to pay a $400 annual tax. This fee applies to all professionals in these fields, regardless of whether they work as needed, part-time, or full-time.
According to the DOR, 225,000 Tennesseans pay approximately $90,000,000 annually in professional privilege taxes. The tax is due on June 1 every year, and it is paid for the following 12 months.
Representative Lynn continues to lead Republican efforts to further reduce taxes on Tennesseans. House Bill 41 is the latest way she is working to ease tax burdens on our hardworking men, women, and families.
“The Professional Privilege Tax unfairly and unnecessarily penalizes our citizens whose profession occupations fall into one of these categories and require a license,” said Representative Lynn. “No other state in our entire nation has a similar tax, and it is time for Tennessee to take action to end this inequity. I am committed to supporting the ambitions and dreams of our industrious Tennesseans by eliminating this oppressive occupational tax in the weeks ahead.”
Since 2011, Representative Lynn and House Republicans have cut more than $800 million in taxes — including a 30 percent cut on groceries. They have also phased out the inheritance tax, eliminated the gift tax, and raised the exemption level on the Hall tax while scheduling it to be completely phased out in the next two years.
Susan Lynn serves as the Chairman of the House Consumer & Human Resources Subcommittee. Lynn is also a member of the House Consumer & Human Resources, House Finance Ways & Means, and House Ethics Committee, as well as the Joint Fiscal Review Committee. She lives in Mount Juliet and represents House District 57, which includes Wilson County. Lynn can be reached by email at Rep.Susan.Lynn@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-7462.

General Assembly Forms Life Science Caucus  
Sen. Haile and Rep. White serve as inaugural co-chairs with 21 founding members
Nashville, Tenn. (Mar. 12 2018) –Senator Ferrell Haile (R-Gallatin), first vice chair of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, and Representative Mark White (R-Memphis) are founding co-chairs of the bipartisan Life Science Caucus in the General Assembly. To date, there are 21 members of the caucus including State Representative Susan Lynn. The first Caucus meeting was held on February 6.

The purpose of the Caucus is to broaden and deepen policymakers’ knowledge of the life science industry and identify economic opportunities, including through regulatory and workforce policies, to support the industry’s growth.

“As a small-town pharmacist and member of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, I understand the value of life sciences innovations in bringing life-saving technologies and therapies to Tennesseans,” said Senator Haile. “I’m proud to serve as co-chair of the new Life Science Caucus at a time when the industry is seeking to grow its presence in our state, and I welcome the opportunity to expand awareness of this important industry to my colleagues in the General Assembly.”

The life science industry employs more than 40,000 Tennesseans across 1,200 companies and research institutions. Life science industry employees enjoy an average salary of more than $83,000.

“Tennessee is home to internationally acclaimed research institutions, such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital near my district in Memphis as well as Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee and Vanderbilt University,” said Rep. White. “These are incredible assets but they represent just a piece of the life science industry. I look forward to opening a dialogue with industry experts, patient groups and the public to discuss ways to further support this industry.

The caucus is supported by Life Science Tennessee (LST), an industry organization of more than 100 members representing companies, organizations and institutions from the state’s biotechnology, research, diagnostics, pharmaceutical, medical device and agricultural technology industries.

Thank you again for letting me serve you.  Please do not hesitate to call my office if I can help you.

Rep. Susan Lynn

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