Posts

Rep. Terry Partnering With Central Magnet School Students in M’Boro to Sponsor Legislation

Press release from the Tennessee House Republican Caucus; February 9, 2015:

(NASHVILLE) — State Representative Bryan Terry, MD, is looking to get more youth involvement in politics. To do so, he has partnered with students at Central Magnet School to co-sponsor legislation this session. Mr. Allen Nichols instructs a class at Central Magnet entitled Contemporary Issues. The class focuses on teaching students about the constitution, as well as, debating current topics and issues.

One of the assignments for the students was to volunteer on a political campaign. Said Bryan Terry, “Before school started, several of the students helped during my primary. When classes began, students were asked as an assignment to volunteer on various campaigns. I had probably twenty or so Central Magnet students get involved in my campaign in some capacity.”

After the campaign, Dr. Terry thought about how he could pay back Mr. Nichols and his students and get them further involved in the legislative process. Dr. Terry reached out to Mr. Nichols with the idea of presenting the class with some legislative ideas that he looked to sponsor. If the Contemporary Issues classes could debate the issues and choose a topic, then Dr. Terry would sponsor or co-sponsor the legislation and keep the class up to date on the legislation.

Mr. Nichols had this to say: “I have the pleasure of teaching high school seniors contemporary issues. In our class, students get involved in citizenship by volunteering for local campaigns and simulating legislative sessions over real proposed bills. This year has been most exciting with an election and a new legislative session for the Tennessee General Assembly. Students enthusiastically debated several bills that are being brought up in Nashville. As a result of our class time devoted to current legislation, these students are more in tune to proposals that will have an impact on them and their families. While they had differing views from across the political spectrum, students appreciated the opportunity and are already seeking new opportunities for additional bills.”

In deference to the class and Mr. Nichols, Dr. Terry said he would not make public the students’ choice nor their comments. However, he did have this to say: “There was spirited debate on the issues with one topic appearing to generate an overwhelming positive response. As the legislation goes through the process, I will keep Mr. Nichols and the class informed on the status of the bill. As legislators, we must reach out to the youth and encourage their involvement in government. Article one, section one of the Tennessee Constitution says that the power is inherent in the people. It is one of my goals to help empower constituents and the youth through self-governance. I appreciate their enthusiasm and participation.”

The Tennessee General Assembly’s regular session begins on February 9 with the bill filing deadline set for February 12. Rep. Bryan Terry’s office can be reached at 615-741-2180 or via email at Rep.Bryan.Terry@capitol.tn.gov .

Fitzhugh Accuses GOP of Getting ‘Cold Feet’ on Insure Tennessee

Press release from Tennessee House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley; February 4, 2015:

Nashville, TN: House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh issued the following statement after the failure of Insure Tennessee:

“When 280,000 Tennesseans are just hours away from getting insurance, Republicans get cold feet and walk away. This is an insult to Governor Haslam, a betrayal of our constituents and proves that Republicans are totally incapable of governing. In my 21 years of service, I cannot recall being more disappointed than I am today.

I hope no Republican has the audacity to file for per diem, because they wasted three days looking for an excuse to vote against Insure Tennessee. For my part, I will return all mine later this week. Going forward I hope the Governor calls us back into special session again and again until we get this right. This isn’t over.”

Fitzhugh Calls on General Assembly to Pass Insure TN

Press release from the Tennessee House Democratic Caucus; February 4, 2015:

Fitzhugh Statement on Billion Dollars Lost
Time for General Assembly to pass Insure Tennessee

Nashville, TN: House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh (D-Ripley) issued the following statement marking the 400th day without a solution for those in the Medicaid gap, as well as the $1 billon mark for funds lost:

“Today is a sad anniversary for Tennessee as we mark the 400th day with no solution for those in the Medicaid gap. As of this morning, our tax payers have lost $1 billion—that’s billion with a ‘B’—to other states, while 800 totally preventable deaths have occurred because working people could not afford coverage. When a solution is so close, delaying passage any further is a moral crisis of the first degree. There are 280,000 working people waiting for the General Assembly to make the right decision. It’s time to act now and pass Insure Tennessee.”

Fitzhugh: ‘Overwhelming Majority’ of House Democrats Support Haslam’s Medicaid Expansion

Press release from the Tennessee House Democratic Caucus; January 30, 2015:

Overwhelming number of House Democrats prepared to support plan

Nashville, TN: House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh issued the following statement on Insure Tennessee after meeting with his caucus members late Thursday afternoon:

“For the last two-years, House Democrats have fought hard to extend health care coverage to the 330,000 Tennesseans who fall in the Medicaid gap. These are able-bodied, working men and women who make too little to qualify for a subsidy on the federal exchange, but earn too much for our traditional Medicaid program.

After 349 days and $872,500,000 lost, Governor Haslam put forward Insure Tennessee as a conservative counter-proposal to traditional Medicaid expansion. Churches and hospitals, business leaders and community activists, chambers of commerce & workers organizations have all expressed their support for this plan.

Insure Tennessee is not traditional Medicaid expansion. This approach is much less generous in terms of coverage and benefits than House Democrats would prefer, but we understand the numbers. While members of both parties still have concerns, we feel strongly that they can be alleviated by giving this legislation a full and fair hearing. Whatever political differences may exist, we can all agree that the lives of the 200,000 Tennesseans this plan covers far outweigh any objection raised by special interest groups.

After studying this waiver, listening to our constituents and meeting together on Thursday, the overwhelming majority of House Democrats are prepared to support the Insure Tennessee plan. It is not perfect; our members have many questions, but the time has come for Tennessee to address this issue once and for all.

Next week our state will mark a sad anniversary as we pass the $1 billion lost mark; the lives lost tell an even greater story of our moral failure to protect the least among us. It is our hope that all members will put aside politics and answer instead to a higher power. That is our prayer and the goal toward which we will work—together with Republicans—over the next week.”

Rep. Powell Announces Support for Insure TN

Press release from State Rep. Jason Powell, D-Nashville; January 21, 2015:

Over the last couple of weeks, I have thoroughly reviewed Governor Haslam’s Insure Tennessee Plan, listened to the constituents of House District 53, and asked questions to the Administration as well as healthcare experts.  After careful consideration, I support Insure Tennessee and will vote for the proposal when given the opportunity on the House Floor.

Insure Tennessee is a unique Tennessee plan that will provide 200,000 working Tennesseans the opportunity to have basic healthcare.  Insure Tennessee takes a conservative approach to insuring more Tennesseans by offering new private market choices while promoting personal responsibility through cost-sharing components of the plan.  Most importantly, the proposal will not create any new taxes for Tennesseans or add any state cost to the budget.

I hope my fellow legislators will put people above politics, governing before elections, and pragmatism over ideology in consideration of Insure Tennessee.  I believe it is important to make my support known now to continue building consensus on both sides of the aisle.  I will assist as needed during the special session of the General Assembly to help win passage of this resolution.  There are 200,000 working Tennesseans counting on 132 legislators to do the right thing.  These working Tennesseans can count on me to support Insure Tennessee and continue moving our state forward.

House, Senate Speakers Assign Legislative Committee Memberships

The 109th Tennessee General Assembly officially convened its regular session Saturday afternoon, following the inauguration of Republican Gov. Bill Haslam to his second term as Tennessee’s governor. The Legislature, which also concluded its week-long organizational session Saturday, will return to Legislative Plaza Feb. 2 to discuss Haslam’s Medicaid expansion proposal in a special session. The regular legislative session is scheduled to resume Feb. 9.

The bill filing deadline for both chambers was announced as the close of business Thursday, Feb. 12.

In the House, several changes were made in committee leadership, and the Education Committee was split into two separate committees: Education Administration & Planning and Education Instruction & Programs.

Senate committee chairmanships saw no changes.

The committee assignments for both chambers are as follows:

Senate

Commerce & Labor

  • Chairman: Sen. Jack Johnson, R-Franklin
  • 1st Vice Chair: Sen. Mark Green, R-Clarksville
  • 2nd Vice Chair: Sen. Jim Tracy, R-Shelbyville
  • Sen. Todd Gardenhire, R-Chattanooga
  • Sen. Dolores R. Gresham, R-Somerville
  • Sen. Steve Southerland, R-Morristown
  • Sen. Reginald Tate, D-Memphis
  • Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson
  • Sen. Ken Yager, R-Kingston

Education

  • Chairman: Sen. Dolores R. Gresham, R-Somerville
  • 1st Vice Chair: Sen. Reginald Tate, D-Memphis
  • 2nd Vice Chair: Sen. Todd Gardenhire, R-Chattanooga
  • Sen. Rusty Crowe, R-Johnson City
  • Sen. Steven Dickerson, R-Nashville
  • Sen. Ferrell Haile, R-Gallatin
  • Sen. Joey Hensley, R-Hohenwald
  • Sen. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown
  • Sen. Jim Tracy, R-Shelbyville

Energy, Agriculture & Natural Resources

  • Chairman: Sen. Steve Southerland, R-Morristown
  • 1st Vice Chair: Sen. Frank S. Niceley, R-Strawberry Plains
  • 2nd Vice Chair: Sen. Paul Bailey, R-Sparta
  • Sen. Mike Bell, R-Riceville
  • Sen. Mark Green, R-Clarksville
  • Sen. Dolores R. Gresham, R-Somerville
  • Sen. Lee Harris, D-Memphis
  • Sen. Kerry Roberts, R-Dickson
  • Sen. Ken Yager, R-Kingston

Finance, Ways & Means

  • Chairman: Sen. Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge
  • 1st Vice Chair: Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson
  • 2nd Vice Chair: Sen. Doug Overbey, R-Maryville
  • Sen. Steven Dickerson, R-Nashville
  • Sen. Ferrell Haile, R-Gallatin
  • Sen. Thelma Harper, D-Nashville
  • Sen. Joey Hensley, R-Hohenwald
  • Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro
  • Sen. Mark Norris, R-Collierville
  • Sen. John Stevens, R-Huntingdon
  • Sen. Reginald Tate, D-Memphis

Government Operations

  • Chairman: Sen. Mike Bell, R-Riceville,
  • 1st Vice Chair: Sen. Ed Jackson, R-Jackson
  • 2nd Vice Chair: Sen. Kerry Roberts, R-Dickson
  • Sen. Paul Bailey, R-Sparta
  • Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet
  • Sen. Janice Bowling, R-Tullahoma
  • Sen. Rusty Crowe, R-Johnson City
  • Sen. Lee Harris, D-Memphis
  • Sen. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown

Health & Welfare

  • Chairman: Sen. Rusty Crowe, R-Johnson City
  • 1st Vice Chair: Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson
  • 2nd Vice Chair: Sen. Joey Hensley, R-Hohenwald
  • Sen. Richard Briggs, R-Knoxville
  • Sen. Ed Jackson, R-Jackson
  • Sen. Becky Duncan Massey, R-Knoxville
  • Sen. Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge
  • Sen. Doug Overbey, R-Maryville
  • Sen. Jeff Yarbro, D-Nashville

Judiciary

  • Chairman: Sen. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown
  • 1st Vice Chair: Sen. Doug Overbey, R-Maryville
  • 2nd Vice Chair: Sen. Janice Bowling, R-Tullahoma
  • Sen. Mike Bell, R-Riceville
  • Sen. Todd Gardenhire, R-Chattanooga
  • Sen. Lee Harris, D-Memphis
  • Sen. Sara Kyle, D-Memphis
  • Sen. Kerry Roberts, R-Dickson
  • Sen. John Stevens, R-Huntingdon

State & Local Government

  • Chairman: Sen. Ken Yager, R-Kingston
  • 1st Vice Chair: Sen. Steven Dickerson, R-Nashville
  • 2nd Vice Chair: Sen. Richard Briggs, R-Knoxville
  • Sen. Mark Green, R-Clarksville
  • Sen. Thelma Harper, D-Nashville
  • Sen. Ed Jackson, R-Jackson
  • Sen. Jack Johnson, R-Franklin
  • Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro
  • Sen. Mark Norris, R-Collierville

Transportation & Safety

  • Chairman: Sen. Jim Tracy, R-Shelbyville
  • 1st Vice Chair: Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Tullahoma
  • 2nd Vice Chair: Sen. Frank S. Niceley, R-Strawberry Plains
  • Sen. Paul Bailey, R-Sparta
  • Sen. Janice Bowling, R-Tullahoma
  • Sen. Sara Kyle, D-Memphis
  • Sen. Becky Duncan Massey, R-Knoxville
  • Sen. Steve Southerland, R-Morristown
  • Sen. Jeff Yarbro, D-Nashville

Calendar

  • Chairman: Sen. Becky Duncan Massey, R-Knoxville
  • 1st Vice Chair: Sen. Mark Norris, R-Collierville
  • 2nd Vice Chair: Sen. Lee Harris, D-Memphis

Ethics

  • Chairman: Sen. Doug Overbey, R-Maryville
  • 1st Vice Chair: Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro
  • 2nd Vice Chair: Sen. Mark Norris, R-Collierville
  • Sen. Thelma Harper, D-Nashville
  • Sen. Reginald Tate, D-Memphis

Rules

  • Chairman: Sen. Mark Norris, R-Collierville
  • 1st Vice Chair: Sen. Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge
  • 2nd Vice Chair: Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson
  • Sen. Doug Overbey, R-Maryville
  • Sen. Jeff Yarbro, D-Nashville

House

Agriculture & Natural Resources

  • Chairman: Rep. Curtis Halford, R-Dyer
  • Vice Chair: Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden
  • Rep. David Byrd, R-Waynesboro
  • Rep. David B. Hawk, R-Greeneville
  • Rep. G.A. Hardaway, D-Memphis
  • Rep. Bud Hulsey, R-Kingsport
  • Rep. Ron Lollar, R-Bartlett
  • Rep. Pat Marsh, R-Shelbyville
  • Rep. Steve McDaniel, R-Parkers Crossroads
  • Rep. Debra Moody, R-Covington
  • Rep. Dennis Powers, R-Jacksboro
  • Rep. Jay D. Reedy, R-Erin
  • Rep. Johnny Shaw, D-Bolivar
  • Rep. Art Swann, R-Maryville
  • Rep. John Mark Windle, D-Livingston

Agriculture & Natural Resources Sub

  • Chairman: Rep. Ron Lollar, R-Bartlett
  • Rep. G.A. Hardaway, D-Memphis
  • Rep. Curtis Halford, R-Dyer
  • Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden
  • Rep. Jay D. Reedy, R-Erin
  • Rep. Johnny Shaw, D-Bolivar

Business & Utilities

  • Chairman: Rep. Pat Marsh, R-Shelbyville
  • Vice Chair: Rep. Kent Calfee, R-Kingston
  • Rep. Martin Daniel, R-Knoxville
  • Rep. Barry Doss, R-Leoma
  • Rep. Kevin Dunlap, D-Rock Island
  • Rep. Brenda Gilmore, D-Nashville
  • Rep. Tilman Goins, R-Morristown
  • Rep. Marc Gravitt, R-East Ridge
  • Rep. Patsy Hazlewood, R-Signal Mountain
  • Rep. John B. Holsclaw, Jr., R-Johnson City
  • Rep. Harold M. Love, Jr., D-Nashville
  • Rep. Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga
  • Rep. Jason Powell, D-Nashville
  • Rep. Jay D. Reedy, R-Erin
  • Rep. Jerry Sexton, R-Bean Station
  • Rep. Mike Sparks, R-Smyrna
  • Rep. Art Swann, R-Maryville
  • Rep. Tim Wirgau, R-Buchanan

Business & Utilities Sub

  • Chairman: Rep. Art Swann, R-Maryville
  • Rep. Kent Calfee, R-Kingston
  • Rep. Martin Daniel, R-Knoxville
  • Rep. Patsy Hazlewood, R-Signal Mountain
  • Rep. Brenda Gilmore, D-Nashville
  • Rep. Marc Gravitt, R-East Ridge
  • Rep. John B. Holsclaw, Jr., R-Johnson City
  • Rep. Pat Marsh, R-Shelbyville
  • Rep. Jason Powell, D-Nashville

Civil Justice

  • Chairman: Rep. Jon Lundberg, R-Bristol
  • Vice Chair: Rep. Mike Carter, R-Ooltewah
  • Rep. Carson W. (Bill) Beck, D-Nashville
  • Rep. Jim Coley, R-Bartlett
  • Rep. Martin Daniel, R-Knoxville
  • Rep. John Forgety, R-Athens
  • Rep. Sherry Jones, D-Nashville
  • Rep. Courtney Rogers, R-Goodlettsville
  • Rep. Leigh Wilburn, R-Somerville

Civil Justice Sub

  • Chairman: Rep. Jim Coley, R-Bartlett
  • Rep. Carson W. (Bill) Beck, D-Nashville
  • Rep. Mike Carter, R-Ooltewah
  • Rep. Sherry Jones, D-Nashville
  • Rep. Jon Lundberg, R-Bristol
  • Rep. Leigh Wilburn, R-Somerville

Consumer & Human Resources

  • Chairman: Rep. Jimmy Eldridge, R-Jackson
  • Vice Chair: Rep. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon
  • Rep. Glen Casada, R-Franklin
  • Rep. G.A. Hardaway, D-Memphis
  • Rep. Susan Lynn, R-Mt. Juliet
  • Rep. Bo Mitchell, D-Nashville
  • Rep. Bryan Terry, R-Murfreesboro
  • Rep. Ron Travis, R-Dayton
  • Rep. Johnnie Turner, D-Memphis
  • Rep. Mark White, R-Memphis
  • Rep. Rick Womick, R-Rockvale

Consumer & Human Resources Sub

  • Chairman: Rep. Susan Lynn, R-Mt. Juliet
  • Rep. Glen Casada, R-Franklin
  • Rep. Jimmy Eldridge, R-Jackson
  • Rep. Bo Mitchell, D-Nashville
  • Rep. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon
  • Rep. Johnnie Turner, D-Memphis

Criminal Justice

  • Chairman: Rep. William Lamberth, R-Cottontown
  • Vice Chair: Rep. James (Micah) Van Huss, R-Jonesborough
  •  Rep. Raumesh Akbari, D-Memphis
  • Rep. Sheila Butt, R-Columbia
  • Rep. Andrew Farmer, R-Sevierville
  • Rep. Tilman Goins, R-Morristown
  • Rep. Antonio “2 Shay” Parkinson, D-Memphis
  • Rep. Mike Stewart, D-Nashville
  • Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, R-Lancaster

Criminal Justice Sub

  • Chairman: Rep. Andrew Farmer, R-Sevierville
  • Rep. Raumesh Akbari, D-Memphis
  • Rep. Tilman Goins, R-Morristown
  • Rep. William Lamberth, R-Cottontown
  • Rep. Mike Stewart, D-Nashville
  • Rep. James (Micah) Van Huss, R-Jonesborough

Education Administration & Planning

  • Chairman: Rep. Harry Brooks, R-Knoxville
  • Vice Chair: Rep. Debra Moody, R-Covington
  • Rep. Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland
  • Rep. Kent Calfee, R-Kingston
  • Rep. Jim Coley, R-Bartlett
  • Rep. John J. DeBerry, Jr., D-Memphis
  • Rep. Kevin Dunlap, D-Rock Island
  • Rep. Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley
  • Rep. Eddie Smith, R-Knoxville
  • Rep. Johnnie Turner, D-Memphis
  • Rep. Dawn White, R-Murfreesboro
  • Rep. Mark White, R-Memphis
  • Rep. Rick Womick, R-Rockvale

Education Administration & Planning Sub

  • Chairman: Rep. Mark White, R-Memphis
  • Rep. Harry Brooks, R-Knoxville
  • Rep John J. DeBerry, Jr., D-Memphis
  • Rep. Kevin Dunlap, D-Rock Island
  • Rep. Debra Moody, R-Covington
  • Rep. Eddie Smith, R-Knoxville
  • Rep. Dawn White, R-Murfreesboro
  • Rep. Rick Womick, R-Rockvale

Education Instruction & Programs

  • Chairman: Rep. John Forgety, R-Athens
  • Vice Chair: Rep. Billy Spivey, R-Lewisburg
  • Rep. Raumesh Akbari, D-Memphis
  • Rep. Harry Brooks, R-Knoxville
  • Rep. Sheila Butt, R-Columbia
  • Rep. David Byrd, R-Waynesboro
  • Rep. Bill Dunn, R-Knoxville
  • Rep. Roger Kane, R-Knoxville
  • Rep. Sabi “Doc” Kumar, R-Springfield
  • Rep. Ron Lollar, R-Bartlett
  • Rep. Harold M. Love, Jr., D-Nashville
  • Rep. Joe Pitts, D-Clarksville
  • Rep. Joe Towns, Jr., D-Memphis
  • Rep. Ryan Williams, R-Cookeville

Education Instruction & Programs Sub

  • Chairman: Rep. Roger Kane, R-Knoxville
  • Rep. Sheila Butt, R-Columbia
  • Rep. David Byrd, R-Waynesboro
  • Rep. Bill Dunn, R-Knoxville
  • Rep. Harold M. Love, Jr., D-Nashville
  • Rep. John Forgety, R-Athens
  • Rep. Joe Pitts, D-Clarksville
  • Rep. Billy Spivey, R-Lewisburg

Finance

  • Chairman: Rep. Charles Sargent, R-Franklin
  • Vice Chair: Rep. David Alexander, R-Winchester
  • Rep. Joe Armstrong, D-Knoxville
  • Rep. Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland
  • Rep. Karen D. Camper, D-Memphis
  • Rep. Mike Carter, R-Ooltewah
  • Rep. Barbara Ward Cooper, D-Memphis
  • Rep. Bill Dunn, R-Knoxville
  • Rep. Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley
  • Rep. Brenda Gilmore, D-Nashville
  • Rep. Mike Harrison, R-Rogersville
  • Rep.  David B. Hawk, R-Greeneville
  • Rep. Ryan A. Haynes, R-Knoxville
  • Rep. Patsy Hazlewood, R-Signal Mountain
  • Rep. Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough
  • Rep. Curtis Johnson, R-Clarksville
  • Rep. Susan Lynn, R-Mt. Juliet
  • Rep. Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga
  • Rep. Steve McDaniel, R-Parkers Crossroads
  • Rep. Steve McManus, R-Cordova
  • Rep. Larry J. Miller, D-Memphis
  • Rep. Bo Mitchell, D-Nashville
  • Rep. Curry Todd, R-Collierville

Finance Sub

  • Chairman: Rep. Mike Harrison, R-Rogersville
  • Rep. David Alexander, R-Winchester
  • Rep. Joe Armstrong, D-Knoxville
  • Rep. Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland
  • Rep. Karen D. Camper, D-Memphis
  • Rep. Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley
  • Rep. David B. Hawk, R-Greeneville
  • Rep. Ryan A. Haynes, R-Knoxville
  • Rep. Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga
  • Rep. Steve McDaniel, R-Parkers Crossroads
  • Rep. Charles Sargent, R-Franklin
  • Rep. Curry Todd, R-Collierville

Government Operations

  • Chairman: Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby
  • Vice Chair: Rep. John Ragan, R-Oak Ridge
  • Rep. Glen Casada, R-Franklin
  • Rep. John Ray Clemmons, D-Nashville
  • Rep. Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley
  • Rep. Curtis Halford, R-Dyer
  • Rep. Dan Howell, R-Georgetown
  • Rep. Curtis Johnson, R-Clarksville
  • Rep. Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga
  • Rep. Mike Stewart, D-Nashville

Health

  • Chairman: Rep. Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville
  • Vice Chair: Rep. Barry Doss, R-Leoma
  • Rep. John Ray Clemmons, D-Nashville
  • Rep. John J. DeBerry, Jr., D-Memphis
  • Rep. JoAnne Favors, D-Chattanooga
  • Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby
  • Rep. Mike Harrison, R-Rogersville
  • Rep. John B. Holsclaw, Jr., R-Johnson City
  • Rep. Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough
  • Rep. Darren Jernigan, D-Old Hickory
  • Rep. Sherry Jones, D-Nashville
  • Rep. Sabi “Doc” Kumar, R-Springfield
  • Rep. Mary Littleton, R-Dickson
  • Rep. Judd Matheny, R-Tullahoma
  • Rep. Bob Ramsey, R-Maryville
  • Rep. Bryan Terry, R-Murfreesboro
  • Rep. Leigh Wilburn, R-Somerville
  • Rep. Ryan Williams, R-Cookeville

Health Sub

  • Chairman: Rep. Ryan Williams, R-Cookeville
  • Rep. John Ray Clemmons, D-Nashville
  • Rep. Barry Doss, R-Leoma
  • Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby
  • Rep. JoAnne Favors, D-Chattanooga
  • Rep. Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough
  • Rep. Sabi “Doc” Kumar, R-Springfield
  • Rep. Judd Matheny, R-Tullahoma
  • Rep. Camera Sexton, R-Crossville
  • Rep. Bryan Terry, R-Murfreesboro

Insurance & Banking

  • Chairman: Rep. Steve McManus, R-Cordova
  • Vice Chair: Rep. Ron Travis, R-Dayton
  • Rep. Glen Casada, R-Franklin
  • Rep. Jeremy Durham, R-Franklin
  • Rep. Andrew Farmer, R-Sevierville
  • Rep. JoAnne Favors, D-Chattanooga
  • Rep. Timothy Hill, R-Blountville
  • Rep. Curtis Johnson, R-Clarksville
  • Rep. Kelly Keisling, R-Byrdstown
  • Rep. Roger Kane, R-Knoxville
  • Rep. Bill Lundberg, R-Bristol
  • Rep. Judd Matheny, R-Tullahoma
  • Rep. Jimmy Matlock, R-Lenoir City
  • Rep. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon
  • Rep. Joe Pitts, D-Clarksville
  • Rep. Dennis Powers, R-Jacksboro
  • Rep. Charles Sargent, R-Franklin
  • Rep. David Shepard, D-Dickson
  • Rep. Mike Stewart, D-Nashville
  • Rep. Joe Towns, Jr., D-Memphis

Insurance & Banking Sub

  • Chairman: Rep. Kelly Keisling, R-Byrdstown
  • Rep. Jeremy Durham, R-Franklin
  • Rep. Curtis Johnson, R-Clarksville
  • Rep. Steve McManus, R-Cordova
  • Rep. Dennis Powers, R-Jacksboro
  • Rep. David Shepard, D-Dickson
  • Rep. Joe Towns, Jr., D-Memphis

Local Government

  • Chairman: Rep. Tim Wirgau, R-Buchanan
  • Vice chair: Rep. Mike Sparks, R-Smyrna
  • Rep. Dale Carr, R-Sevierville
  • Rep. Jimmy Eldridge, R-Jackson
  • Rep. Marc Gravitt, R-East Ridge
  • Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden
  • Rep. Dan Howell, R-Georgetown
  • Rep. Larry J. Miller, D-Memphis
  • Rep. Antonio “2 Shay” Parkinson, D-Memphis
  • Rep. Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville
  • Rep. David Shepard, D-Dickson
  • Rep. Billy Spivey, R-Lewisburg
  • Rep. James (Micah) Van Huss, R-Jonesborough

Local Government Sub

  • Chairman: Rep. Dale Carr, R-Sevierville
  • Rep. Dan Howell, R-Georgetown
  • Rep. Larry J. Miller, D-Memphis
  • Rep. Antonio “2 Shay” Parkinson, D-Memphis
  • Rep. Mike Sparks, R-Smyrna
  • Rep. Tim Wirgau, R-Buchanan

State Government

  • Chairman: Rep. Bob Ramsey, R-Maryville
  • Vice Chair: Rep. Mary Littleton, R-Dickson
  • Rep. Jeremy Durham, R-Franklin
  • Rep. Ryan A. Haynes, R-Knoxville
  • Rep. Bud Hulsey, R-Kingsport
  • Rep. Darren Jernigan, D-Old Hickory
  • Rep. William Lamberth, R-Cottontown
  • Rep. Jason Powell, D-Nashville
  • Rep. Johnny Shaw, D-Bolivar
  • Rep. Bill Sanderson, R-Kenton
  • Rep. Curry Todd, R-Collierville

State Government Sub

  • Chairman: Rep. Bill Sanderson, R-Kenton
  • Rep. Darren Jernigan, D-Old Hickory
  • Rep. Bud Hulsey, R-Kingsport
  • Rep. Mary Littleton, R-Dickson
  • Rep. Bob Ramsey, R-Maryville.

Transportation

  • Chairman: Rep. Jimmy Matlock, R-Lenoir City
  • Vice Chair: Rep. Courtney Rogers, R-Goodlettsville
  • Rep. David Alexander, R-Winchester
  • Rep. Joe Armstrong, D-Knoxville
  • Rep. Carson W. (Bill) Beck, D-Nashville
  • Rep. Karen D. Camper, D-Memphis
  • Rep. Dale Carr, R-Sevierville
  • Rep. Barbara Ward Cooper, D-Memphis
  • Rep. Kelly Keisling, R-Byrdstown
  • Rep. Timothy Hill, R-Blountville
  • Rep. John Ragan, R-Oak Ridge
  • Rep. Bill Sanderson, R-Kenton
  • Rep. Jerry Sexton, R-Bean Station
  • Rep. Eddie Smith, R-Knoxville
  • Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, R-Lancaster
  • Rep. Dawn White, R-Murfreesboro
  • Rep. John Mark Windle, D-Livingston

Transportation Sub

  • Chairman: Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, R-Lancaster
  • Rep. Barbara Ward Cooper, D-Memphis
  • Rep. Timothy Hill, R-Blountville
  • Rep. Jimmy Matlock, R-Lenoir City
  • Rep. Jerry Sexton, R-Bean Station
  • Rep. John Ragan, R-Oak Ridge
  • Rep. Courtney Rogers, R-Goodlettsville
  • Rep. John Mark Windle, D-Livingston

Calendar & Rules

  • Chairman: Rep. Bill Dunn, R-Knoxville
  • Vice Chair: Rep. Timothy Hill, R-Blountville
  • Rep. Harry Brooks, R-Knoxville
  • Rep. Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland
  • Rep. Glen Casada, R-Franklin
  • Rep. Jimmy Eldridge, R-Jackson
  • Rep. Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley
  • Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby
  • Rep. John Forgety, R-Athens
  • Rep. Curtis Halford, R-Dyer
  • Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville
  • Rep. Curtis Johnson, R-Clarksville
  • Rep. Williams Lamberth, R-Cottontown
  • Rep. Harold M. Love, Jr., D-Nashville
  • Rep. Bill Lundberg, R-Bristol
  • Rep. Pat Marsh, R-Shelbyville
  • Rep. Jimmy Matlock, R-Lenoir City
  • Rep. Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga
  • Rep. Steve McManus, R-Cordova
  • Rep. Antonio “2 Shay” Parkinson, D-Memphis
  • Rep. Bob Ramsey, R-Maryville
  • Rep. Mike Stewart, D-Nashville
  • Rep. Charles Sargent, R-Franklin
  • Rep. Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville
  • Rep. Jerry Sexton, R-Bean Station
  • Rep. Tim Wirgau, R-Buchanan

Ethics:

  • Chairman: Rep. Steve McDaniel, R-Parkers Crossroads
  • Rep. Kevin Brooks, R-Cleveland
  • Rep. Karen D. Camper, D-Memphis
  • Rep. Mike Carter, R-Ooltewah
  • Rep. John Forgety, R-Athens
  • Rep. Ryan A. Haynes, R-Knoxville
  • Rep. Antonio “2 Shay” Parkinson, D-Memphis
  • Rep. Joe Pitts, D-Clarksville
  • Rep. David Shepard, D-Dickson
  • Rep. Mike Stewart, D-Nashville

Holt Looking to Halt Use of Traffic Cameras in TN

A conservative Northwest Tennessee Republican lawmaker is hoping to build a bipartisan consensus in the General Assembly that’ll lay the brakes to the proliferation of unmanned traffic-enforcement cameras — and maybe end their use altogether over time.

“We recognize that this has been attempted in the past here in the state, but think that the conditions are right now that would help to benefit this legislation,” state Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden, told TNReport this week. Similar legislation has been passed or proposed around the country, and Holt said he’s examining those initiatives to ensure Tennessee lawmakers get the benefit of “other legislative perspectives from across the nation.”

Holt believes unmanned cameras violate a core doctrine in American constitutional law — the right for people accused of a violations of law to face their  accusers, which is enshrined in the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Bill of Rights.

He also doubts there are any public safety benefits that result from the wide use of unmanned cameras.

Governments using traffic-enforcement cameras are “not a good substitute for law enforcement” and “an unconstitutional action” to boot, Holt said.

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 13 states have laws banning the use of speed cameras and 10 states have laws prohibiting the use of red light cameras. Tennessee law permits both red light and speed camera use.

Holt attributes their prevalence to “municipal greed,” and calls revenue gathered through their use a “pseudo-tax.”

“If I could single-handedly outlaw every speed camera in the Great State of Tennessee, I would do it without a second thought,” Holt said in a press release issued last week. “Regardless of political party, the vast majority of folks are 100 percent against them.”

He said he recognizes, however, that contractual agreements exist between companies and municipalities across the state which could make instituting an immediate difficult. “We’re obviously going to have to deal with that. But what we want to go ahead and do is set a stake in the ground to say that red light cameras, speed cameras — unmanned — are not welcome in this state,” he said.

The constitutionality of red-light cameras has long been a contentious issue.

In 2009, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled red light cameras are not a violation of due process.

In 2010, then-Attorney General Robert Cooper issued an opinion that found red-light camera citations are constitutional, as the “Confrontation Clause” pertains to “testimonial statements,” which a photograph is not. An AG opinion represents the officeholder’s best judgment of how a judge would rule in a particular case, but is not legally-binding.

And most recently the Ohio Supreme Court, in a divided 4-3 ruling in December, upheld traffic camera enforcement by municipalities, reversing an Ohio Court of Appeals judgment that the municipal court has “exclusive authority over traffic-ordinance violations.”

As of February 2014, there had been a 6 percent decline since 2012 in the number of communities using red-light cameras. Growing questions about whether the cameras enhance safety or cause more accidents, as well as about the motives for their use, have been cited as likely causes of the decline.

In 2008, the City of Chattanooga was ordered to refund $8,800 in red-light camera fines to 176 motorists after it was discovered the cycle for the yellow light was too short.

The Tennessee General Assembly passed a bill in 2014 clarifying that drivers who clear an intersection after a traffic light turns red are not guilty of running the light unless their front tires passed the stop bar after the light switched. The proposed wording change was inspired by language used in red-light camera laws.

The 109th General Assembly will convene Feb. 9 for regular session, following a special session on Feb. 2 to discuss Gov. Bill Haslam’s “Insure Tennessee” Medicaid expansion proposal.

Holt said he expects to file legislation in the next few weeks.

‘Insure TN’ Brouhaha Brewing Between House, Senate?

Disagreement appears to have developed between the Republican-dominated chambers of the General Assembly over how to handle Gov. Bill Haslam’s “Insure Tennessee” proposal scheduled for discussion in a special session beginning Feb. 2.

On Thursday, leaders of the Tennessee Senate’s GOP supermajority indicated the upper chamber will be holding off on committee votes on the issue until the House approves a resolution authorizing Tennessee to sign up for the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion funding.

But that doesn’t seem to sit well with some Republicans in the House.

“Apparently, there was a Senate Republican Caucus meeting yesterday where it was fantasized to the effect that we would go through this process on Insure Tennessee through several committees before they even considered it in the Senate, and I would like to dispel that silly notion that they had in that Senate Republican Caucus meeting,” Majority Leader Gerald McCormick said Friday morning on the House floor.

“That will not happen,” said the Republican from Chattanooga, who is expected to attempt to guide the governor’s Insure Tennessee plan to approval in the House.

Haslam’s Medicaid expansion plan — the centerpiece of which is a system of Affordable Care Act-financed vouchers to allow the purchase of private-sector health insurance by lower income Tennesseans — has been met with skepticism by many members of the Republican Legislature, even as GOP leaders have pledged to keep an open mind about the expansion.

According to an emailed statement Friday from the office of Speaker of the House Beth Harwell, the lower-chamber leadership was under the impression “that the House and Senate would each run the resolutions concurrently. “

House Will Get First Crack at Haslam’s Medicaid Expansion Plan

It looks as if the Tennessee House of Representatives will take the lead on deliberations over Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposal to expand state Medicaid eligibility using federal Obamacare dollars.

The General Assembly is scheduled to go into an “extraordinary session” beginning Feb. 2 to approve or reject the Haslam administration’s “Insure Tennessee” plan, the centerpiece of which is a system of Affordable Care Act-financed vouchers for lower income residents to purchase private-sector health insurance.

The “vehicle” in the Legislature for discussing Insure Tennessee will likely be a “joint resolution” originating in the House that’ll be carried by the chamber’s GOP majority leader, Gerald McCormick of Chattanooga.

Before it gets to the full floor of the 99-member chamber, though, the joint resolution will have to win approval from several committees and subcommittees, among them the House Insurance and Banking Committee, the Health Committee, the Finance Committee and the Calendar and Rules Committee, a spokeswoman for Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, told TNReport.

McCormick indicated this week that the vote-count within the House GOP caucus appears very tight at present. There are 73 Republicans and 26 Democrats in the House. Fifty votes are required to pass a measure out of the chamber.

Although the Senate will likely hold hearings and discussions about Insure Tennessee while the resolution is working its way through the House, upper-chamber Republican leaders said Senate committee-votes won’t be taken until after — and only if — the resolution clears the House.

“If it fails in the first House sub(committee), we’re done,” Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, who presides over the Senate, told majority-party lawmakers during a caucus meeting Thursday afternoon.

Both Ramsey and Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris estimate that as many as three-quarters of their caucus remains undecided on the Haslam plan. Among them are Jack Johnson of Franklin and Randy McNally of Oak Ridge, who chair powerful committees that will likely handle the resolution.

Republicans outnumber Democrats in the Senate by a tally of 28-5. It takes 17 votes to pass a measure in the Senate.

“We have members who are outspokenly opposed to the proposal,” Norris said at the Senate GOP caucus gathering. “There are other members here supportive of it. But most members are just in the middle with open minds.”

Norris, who has himself voiced reservations about Haslam’s plan, said he’s hopeful there’s a full and robust discussion about all facets of the proposal. He described Insure Tennessee as “very complicated” in the way it touches on numerous aspects of state and federal law, the Internal Revenue Code and previous developments in the history of TennCare, the state’s program for administering the federal Medicaid system.

“All those things interrelate,” said Norris, a lawyer from Collierville. “Regardless of which side of the issue you may find yourself on, all these issues could be very important, whether you are against it, whether you are for it or whether you are unsure which way to go.”

He added, “What we are trying to do is lay out a timely and orderly process to get everyone through it in the best way possible, so that you can truly say that you are representing your constituents.”

Norris said one of the goals is to avoid the accusation of passing legislation “and not knowing what is in it.”

“Nobody wants to be in that situation,” he said.

Insure Tennessee has been offered by the administration as a two-year pilot program, and it includes incentives for healthier lifestyles. It is designed to enable the state to draw down Medicaid expansion funding through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to cover people making up to 138 percent of the poverty level — which could translate to more than 450,000 potentially eligible Tennesseans.

Gilmore, Akbari Elected to Leadership Roles with Women In Government

Press release from the Tennessee House Democratic Caucus; January 14, 2015:

Tennessee— the 21st Annual State Directors’ and 11th Biennial First Term Legislators’ Conference in St. Pete Beach, Tennessee State Representatives Raumesh Akbari & Brenda Gilmore were sworn in as 2015 State Directors with Women In Government. They were elected by their peers

“Women In Government congratulates both Rep. Akbari & Rep. Gilmore on their positions as State Directors. State Directors play a critical role in setting policy priorities for our organization,” said Dyan Alexander, Executive Director of Women In Government. “Both of these members are recognized leaders in their state, and we are excited that they will now share their leadership skills with other women policymakers throughout the country.”

“Women in Government is a great organization that I have enjoyed participating in,” said Rep. Gilmore of Nashville. “As I begin my new term, I hope to work with women from across the country to advance our policy goals.”

“I am honored to have been chosen by my fellow legislators,” said Rep. Akbari of Memphis. “I look forward to working with WIG to make our state a better place for women & girls.”

At the 21st Annual State Directors’ Conference, women state legislators heard from expert speakers on a variety of public policy topics and their impact on states. Topics included developing energy diversity, the role of nutrition in healthy aging, methods for creating opportunities for families, diabetes prevention and awareness, and many others. This meeting also provided attendees with the opportunity to network with colleagues across state borders and share best practices to advance successful public policies.

About Women In Government
Women In Government Foundation, Inc. is a national, non-profit, non-partisan organization of women state legislators providing leadership opportunities, networking, expert forums, and educational resources. Women In Government serves all 1,785 women who serve in state legislatures from across the country. For more information, visit www.womeningovernment.org.