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Maggart Urges Swift Passage of Hearing Aid Insurance Fix

Press Release from Rep. Debra Maggart, R-Hendersonville; April 12, 2011:

Republican Caucus Chair from Hendersonville Lauds Effort to Guarantee Insurance Coverage for Children’s Hearing Aids, Calls for Swift Senate Passage

(April 12, 2011, NASHVILLE) – Last week, in a landslide bipartisan vote, the House of Representatives passed HB 761, legislation requiring private insurance plans to include coverage of hearing aids for children.

House Republican Caucus Chair Debra Maggart (R—Hendersonville) applauded the efforts of her House colleagues by saying, “The passage of this legislation represents the culmination of years of effort by my friends on both sides of the aisle. This is an important issue where Republicans and Democrats can come together and do what is best for the children of Tennessee. In these troubling economic times, parents have a lot to deal with when it comes to taking care of their families. This bill will at least provide some stability and help for those children who are struggling with a world of silence.”

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Maggart for the past three sessions of the General Assembly. This year, House Education Chairman Richard Montgomery (R—Seveirville) is the lead sponsor for the bill and was responsible for guiding it through the House with Chairwoman Maggart. She remarked, “Chairman Montgomery deserves a lot of credit for working with Members and ushering this legislation to passage. He understands that by instituting this simple fix for insurance plans, our State ensures children with hearing impairments will have every opportunity to succeed in the classroom and in life.”

The final vote in the House was 82-12. The bill, which can be accessed here, now awaits final action from the Senate. Currently, the bill is in that Chamber’s Finance, Ways & Means Committee. Essentially, the bill requires that certain health insurance policies provide coverage of up to $1,000 per individual hearing aid per ear, every three years, for every child covered as a dependent by the policy holder.

Rep. Maggart urged her Senate colleagues to act swiftly, “Every day that passes without this coverage, we are potentially limiting a child’s ability to grow and learn. We cannot let that continue. I know there are hard-working Senators guiding this bill on their side and I pledge to do all I can to support their efforts so we can get this vital legislation to the Governor’s desk as soon as possible.”

House GOP Applauds New Education Commissioner Taking Helm

Press Release from the Republican Caucus of the Tennessee House of Representatives, April, 5, 2011:

Visionary Leader Takes Reins at Department of Education, Will Help Enact Reforms That Lead to Job Growth

(April 5, 2011, NASHVILLE) – On Tuesday, Governor Bill Haslam swore in his pick to guide Tennessee’s Department of Education, Kevin Huffman. As the new Commissioner of Education, Huffman is tasked with guiding and implementing the much-needed reforms that are at the heart of the education initiatives moving through the General Assembly.

Following the swearing in ceremony, leaders of the House of Representatives released statements applauding Commissioner Huffman taking the reins at the Department of Education.

Speaker of the House Beth Harwell (R–Nashville) stated, “I am looking forward to working with Commissioner Huffman to ensure Tennessee students have every opportunity at their fingertips and every classroom has a great teacher at the helm. Kevin Huffman’s background of strong reform will build on the momentum we currently have here to make our schools even better. Strong schools lead to job growth and prepare the next generation for our global economy.”

House Education Chairman Richard Montgomery (R–Sevierville) said, “I look forward to working with Commissioner Huffman over the coming years to enact an agenda that is both visionary and attainable. Raising the standards for student achievement and teacher excellence are laudable goals and I am confident we will reach them.”

House Education Subcommittee Chairman Dr. Joey Hensley (Hohenwald–R) remarked, “Governor Haslam took his time to find a strong, qualified candidate to lead education reforms in Tennessee. He found that person in Kevin Huffman. He has a strong track record of reform and will be a key leader for revolutionizing Tennessee’s education system.”