Rep. Timothy Hill’s Newsroom

State Representative Timothy Hill’s Final 2018 Capitol Hill Review

April 27, 2018

Republicans Focus On Jobs, Education, Opioids; Adjourn In Timely Manner

In the final few days of this year’s legislative session, Representative Timothy Hill (R-Blountville) and the House of Representatives passed Tennessee’s annual budget with a near-unanimous vote. The bill’s passage and the official adjournment was the culmination of months of tireless work crafting a fiscally responsible and balanced budget.

The $37.5 billion budget builds on previous legislative priorities by making strategic and thoughtful investments across state government. Because of the conservative fiscal choices lawmakers have made over the last several years, Tennessee currently ranks as the lowest taxed and lowest debt state in the entire nation.

When Republicans became the General Assembly’s majority party, Tennesseans asked for fiscal responsibility to be a priority looking forward. The 2018-2019 budget holds true to that principle while ensuring Tennesseans get the services they expect from state government.

As other states struggle with out-of-control spending and growing debt, Republicans in Tennessee have made responsible decisions that will continue to ensure the state is positioned to be a top leader in the country on jobs. Since Republicans took control of state government in 2011, over 400,000 new private sector jobs have been created in Tennessee. Additionally, the state has experienced its lowest unemployment rates in Tennessee’s 222-year history while students have become the fastest-improving in the nation across math, reading, and science.

With the second half of the 110th General Assembly now in the books, the House Republican Caucus is ready to continue advocating for conservative policies to carry forward this year’s efforts into the next legislative session.

 

House Republicans Renew Commitment To Tennessee Teachers, Students, And Schools

Before completing business for the year, Representative Hill and House Republicans renewed their commitment to Tennessee’s teachers, students, and schools in a successful effort to ensure they are held completely harmless in the wake of last week’s TNReady testing problems.

Wednesday night, House members passed House Bill 75 and House Bill 2426 with unanimous support from lawmakers. The measures hold teachers and students completely harmless for failures of this year’s TNReady tests and specify that no adverse action may be taken against any student, teacher, school, or local education agency based, in whole or in part, on student achievement data generated from the 2018 TNReady assessments.

In an unprecedented move, lawmakers joined together in a bipartisan effort to hold the recently passed 2018-2019 budget in the House and not allow it to go to the Governor desk to be signed into law in an effort to encourage members of the Senate to join them in safeguarding all involved parties from being penalized for the latest round of issues involving the state’s standardized testing system.

The fight to protect students and teachers followed three days of problems tied to TNReady’s online testing platform, the most significant of which occurred earlier in the week when the Department of Education reported its testing vendor had experienced a cyber-attack on its computer system. The day before and after this attack, many students were unable to log into or complete their tests. These tests are vitally important to students, teachers, and schools across Tennessee because they count for large portions of final student grades as well as final teacher evaluations and school rankings.

 

Advocates Praise Passage Of Legislation Protecting Tennessee Children

Safety advocates this week praised passage of five bills that help protect Tennessee school children from educator sexual misconduct. The bills were filed after several weaknesses were revealed in a Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury report earlier this year.

All five bills passed on the House floor with bipartisan support. They include:

  • House Bill 2165 — Clarifies the appropriate boundaries that should exist between educators and their students by adding new language to the Tennessee Teacher Code of Ethics. Requires school districts to conduct annual training on the Code of Ethics and its requirements.
  • House Bill 2009 — Clarifies the State Board’s authority to take a range of disciplinary actions against the licenses of educators for misconduct violations. Requires Directors of Schools to report certain offenses or allegations to the Tennessee Department of Education.
  • House Bill 2433 — Prohibits school districts from entering into nondisclosure agreements with employees who have committed sexual misconduct regarding a student.
  • House Bill 2099 — Requires the State Board of Education to post all final disciplinary actions taken by the Board on educator licenses. Also requires the Board to develop policies concerning the transmission of its final disciplinary actions against an educator’s license to a national clearinghouse.
  • House Bill 1997 — Requires all public schools and child care programs to ensure criminal background checks are completed every five years for all educators or any other employee whose job requires them to work with or near school children. Additionally, if Tennessee is accepted into a national program, public schools and child care programs would instead be required to participate in the FBI “Rap Back” program, which provides continual notifications directly to districts of any criminal history reported to the FBI after an employee is hired.

 

In Closing…

Having completed its business for the year, the second session of the 110th General Assembly is now complete. One General Assembly is comprised of two sessions, with the next meeting of the body set to begin on Tuesday, January 8, 2019, at high noon. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your voice in Nashville.

 

Timothy Hill serves as House Majority Whip. He is also a member of the House Calendar & Rules, House Transportation and House Insurance & Banking Committees, as well as the House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee. Hill lives in Blountville and represents House District 3, which includes Johnson and part of Carter and Sullivan Counties. He can be reached by email at Rep.Timothy.Hill@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-2050.

State Representative Timothy Hill’s Capitol Hill Review: 04/20/18

April 20, 2018

Fiscally Conservative Balanced Budget Passed By House Of Representatives

In the final few days of this year’s legislative session, Representative Timothy Hill (R-Blountville) and the House of Representatives passed Tennessee’s annual budget with a near-unanimous vote. The bill’s passage was the culmination of months of tireless work crafting a fiscally responsible and balanced budget.

The $37.5 billion budget builds on previous legislative priorities by making strategic and thoughtful investments across state government. Because of the conservative fiscal choices lawmakers have made over the last several years, Tennessee currently ranks as the lowest taxed and lowest debt state in the entire nation.

When Republicans became the General Assembly’s majority party, Tennesseans asked for fiscal responsibility to be a priority looking forward. The 2018-2019 budget holds true to that principle while ensuring Tennesseans get the services they expect from state government.

As other states struggle with out-of-control spending and growing debt, Republicans in Tennessee have made responsible decisions that will continue to ensure the state is positioned to be a top leader in the country on jobs. Since Republicans took control of state government in 2011, over 400,000 new private sector jobs have been created in Tennessee. Additionally, the state has experienced its lowest unemployment rates in Tennessee’s 222-year history while students have become the fastest-improving in the nation across math, reading, and science.

As part of the budget debate, lawmakers also worked together in fixing problems with one of the state’s standardized tests — called TNReady — that have once again plagued the 2018 testing assessments of schools across Tennessee. The discussions followed three days of problems tied to TNReady’s online testing platform, the most significant of which occurred on Tuesday when the Department of Education reported its testing vendor had experienced a cyber-attack on its computer system. The day before and after this attack, many students were unable to log into or complete their tests. These tests are vitally important to students, teachers, and schools across Tennessee because they count for large portions of final student grades as well as final teacher evaluations and school rankings. The solution agreed upon by lawmakers to address these TNReady problems include giving local education agencies the option to not count TNReady test scores for the year for both students and teachers, allowing each of these groups to be held harmless for the widespread TNReady failures experienced by school systems statewide in 2018.

Specific highlights of the 2018-2019 budget include:

  • Opioids — The multi-faceted plan, called Tennessee Together, is comprised of legislation, $30 million in funds through the budget, and other executive actions to battle opioids through the three major components of prevention, treatment, and law enforcement. In 2016, there were over 1,600 opioid-related overdose deaths, one of the highest in the nation, and statistics show the numbers are only increasing. Each day in Tennessee, at least three people die from opioid-related overdoses — more than the daily number of traffic fatalities. Tennessee Together limits the supply and dosage of opioid prescriptions, with reasonable exception and an emphasis on new patients, as well as education for elementary and secondary schools through revisions to the state’s health education academic standards. The plan increases state funding to attack the illicit sale and trafficking of opioids through additional law enforcement and training and includes updates to the controlled substance schedules in order to better track, monitor, and penalize the use and unlawful distribution of dangerous and addictive drugs — including fentanyl. Finally, the plan provides every Tennessee state trooper with naloxone for the emergency treatment of opioid overdose prior to paramedic arrival.
  • School Safety — House lawmakers approved recommendations made by a working group organized to make suggestions for immediate enhancements to school safety across the state as part of this year’s budget, including a review and risk assessment of all school facilities to identify vulnerabilities, an increase in available resources to help secure school resource officers, and a statewide technology application for anonymous reporting of security threats. The 2018-2019 budget and school safety plan doubles the amount of recurring school safety grant funding for schools, which can be used for resource officers or other facility security measures. To address immediate needs while further state, local, and federal conversations around school security and budgeting take place, total state school safety grant funding will increase by more than 500 percent for the upcoming fiscal year.
  • Education — The approved budget fully funds education in Tennessee with more than $200 million in new funding for K-12 education, $55 million for a teacher pay raises, $114 million in additional funding for higher education initiatives, $11 million for an energy-efficient schools program, and $9 million in nonrecurring funds to purchase equipment at the 27 Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology to improve and modernize a broad variety of workforce development programs.
  • Juvenile Justice — The Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2018 includes $4.5 million in the 2018-2019 budget for targeted investments that support evidence-based programming and community resources — especially in the state’s rural and distressed counties. The measure overhauls the current system of juvenile justice for the first time in more than 20 years by tackling inefficiencies and variations in the system. The program empowers members of local law enforcement communities to intervene in instances involving minor offenses in order to better address a youth’s underlying issues. It also limits probation and incarceration for minor offenses while maintaining judicial discretion. Research suggests that taking youths out of their homes and schools for minor offenses increases the risk of recidivism, diverts resources from youth who pose a risk to the community, and unnecessarily uses taxpayer dollars. Often, studies show, community-based services are more effective and are a wiser use of resources.
  • Economic Development — The 2018-2019 budget includes investments in several key business-friendly programs, including $128 million in new funding for employment job growth, funding to bring the state’s Rainy Day Fund to $850 million — the highest amount in state history, $15 million in broadband accessibility grant dollars, and $10 million in nonrecurring funds for the Aeronautics Development Fund to create jobs and investment opportunities in Tennessee’s aviation industry.
  • Additional Investments — Other important funding contained in this year’s budget includes $3 million in funds for school districts to address the extra costs associated with purchasing buses equipped with seat belts, $10 million for repairs on the state’s important short-line railroads, $11.7 million to help individuals with developmental disabilities, an additional $136 million for TennCare — the state’s version of Medicaid, and funding for capital construction projects and maintenance across the state.

With the budget officially passed, lawmakers now turn their attention to debating the last few legislative items for the year while remaining focused on continuing work to make Tennessee an even better place to live, work, raise a family, and retire.

Representative Hill’s POW/MIA Chair Of Honor Initiative Passes In House Chamber

Measure places unoccupied chair on Capitol campus at no cost to taxpayers

(NASHVILLE) — This week, House members unanimously passed an initiative sponsored by Representative Timothy Hill (R-Blountville) that honors America’s Prisoners of War (POW) and those Missing in Action (MIA).

House Bill 2138 — which passed by a 97-0 vote and is strongly supported by statewide members of Rolling Thunder — expands the POW-MIA Chair of Honor Program to include placement of an unoccupied chair containing the POW/MIA insignia at the Capitol campus in Nashville at no cost to taxpayers.

The POW/MIA Chair of Honor program is designed to serve as a solemn reminder of our soldiers who are still waiting to be brought home. According to data from the Defense Department’s POW/MIA Accounting Agency, more than 80,000 service members are still listed as Missing in Action decades after they served in conflicts like World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.

As the grandson of a United States veteran, House Bill 2138 is the latest in a series of initiatives supported by Representative Hill in order to call attention to the selfless sacrifices of American service members and their families.

A chair containing the POW/MIA insignia is already displayed at various government buildings, including the Capitol in Washington, and other public locations in cities and towns across the country.

House Bill 2138 now heads to Governor Haslam’s desk where it will be signed into law. For additional information about this initiative, please click here.

 

Measure Enhancing Security In Tennessee Passes In House

This week, Representative Hill and Republican lawmakers supported passage of a measure to strengthen safety and security in communities across Tennessee.

House Bill 2312 fights back against sanctuary cities by prohibiting state and local government officials or employees from accepting consular identification cards and other similar documents which are not authorized by the federal government or the State of Tennessee for identification purposes.

The bill is a preemptive measure to ensure that abuses seen in other cities in the U.S. to issue government identification cards to illegal aliens are not implemented here.

Matricula consular cards were prohibited as a source of identification for receiving a driver’s license under a law adopted by the Tennessee General Assembly in 2003 after widespread abuse was reported.

The measure is the latest in a series of Republican-led initiatives designed to strengthen safety and security in cities and towns across our state.

 

Timothy Hill serves as House Majority Whip. He is also a member of the House Calendar & Rules, House Transportation and House Insurance & Banking Committees, as well as the House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee. Hill lives in Blountville and represents House District 3, which includes Johnson and part of Carter and Sullivan Counties. He can be reached by email at Rep.Timothy.Hill@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-2050.

Representative Timothy Hill’s POW/MIA Chair Of Honor Initiative Passes In House Chamber

April 17, 2018

Measure places unoccupied chair on Capitol campus at no cost to taxpayers

(NASHVILLE) — Tuesday morning, House members unanimously passed an initiative sponsored by Representative Timothy Hill (R-Blountville) that honors America’s Prisoners of War (POW) and those Missing in Action (MIA).

House Bill 2138 — which passed by a 97-0 vote and is strongly supported by statewide members of Rolling Thunder — expands the POW-MIA Chair of Honor Program to include placement of an unoccupied chair containing the POW/MIA insignia at the Capitol campus in Nashville at no cost to taxpayers.

The POW/MIA Chair of Honor program is designed to serve as a solemn reminder of our soldiers who are still waiting to be brought home. According to data from the Defense Department’s POW/MIA Accounting Agency, more than 80,000 service members are still listed as Missing in Action decades after they served in conflicts like World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.

As the grandson of a United States veteran, House Bill 2138 is the latest in a series of initiatives supported by Representative Hill in order to call attention to the selfless sacrifices of American service members and their families.

“These brave servicemen and women have made the ultimate sacrifice defending our freedom, and many have still not returned home decades after serving our great nation,” said Representative Hill. “This is a small way that I can thank them for their service and we can honor their memory. It is humbling to see the support this measure has received from members of Rolling Thunder, and my colleagues in the House and Senate chambers. We must continue to honor America’s heroes, and I will continue to fight for them and their families throughout my time serving the citizens of our community, our region, and our state.”

A chair containing the POW/MIA insignia is already displayed at various government buildings, including the Capitol in Washington, and other public locations in cities and towns across the country.

House Bill 2138 now heads to Governor Haslam’s desk where it will be signed into law. For additional information about this initiative, please click here.

Timothy Hill serves as House Majority Whip. He is also a member of the House Calendar & Rules, House Transportation and House Insurance & Banking Committees, as well as the House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee. Hill lives in Blountville and represents House District 3, which includes Johnson and part of Carter and Sullivan Counties. He can be reached by email at Rep.Timothy.Hill@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-2050.

State Rep. Timothy Hill’s Weekly Wrap: 02/23/18

February 23, 2018

Representative Hill’s Chair Of Honor Initiative Advances

Measure places unoccupied POW/MIA chair on Capitol campus at no cost to taxpayers

An initiative sponsored by Representative Timothy Hill (R-Blountville) that honors America’s Prisoners of War (POW) and those Missing in Action (MIA) is advancing through the General Assembly’s committee process.

Wednesday afternoon, members of the House State Government Subcommittee unanimously voted to send House Bill 2138 to the full State Government Committee.

The measure expands the POW-MIA Chair of Honor Program to include placement of an unoccupied chair containing the POW/MIA insignia at the Capitol campus in Nashville at no cost to taxpayers.

The POW/MIA Chair of Honor program is designed to serve as a solemn reminder of soldiers who are still waiting to be brought home. According to data from the Defense Department’s POW/MIA Accounting Agency, more than 80,000 service members are still listed as Missing in Action decades after they served in conflicts like World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.

House Bill 2138 is the latest in a series of initiatives supported by Representative Hill in order to call attention to the selfless sacrifices of American service members and their families.

A chair containing the POW/MIA insignia is already displayed at various government buildings, including the Capitol in Washington, and other public locations in cities and towns across the country.

For more information about House Bill 2138, please click here.

General Assembly Honors Blind Veterans, American History During House Ceremony

This week on the House floor, Representative Hill and legislators came together to honor Tennessee’s blind veterans as well as pay tribute to all of the men and women who sacrifice themselves for the freedom Americans are able to enjoy on a daily basis during an official ceremony and presentation of the braille American flag.

The House ceremony was led by retired Staff Sgt. Walt Peters, a veteran who served 20 years in the U.S. Army, including three tours of duty in Vietnam. Peters lost his sight 15 years ago as a result of exposure to the chemical Agent Orange while serving in Southeast Asia.

Peters first got involved with the braille American flag in 2014 when he was presented with a durable paper replica of the bronze-cast braille flag. Peters, who only sees faint silhouettes, said that gift meant a lot to him and pushed him to set out on a mission to have a bronze braille flag placed in every veterans’ hospital in the country — just over 150. This mission led him to meeting Randolph Cabral, founder of the Kansas Braille Transcription Institute, who created the braille flag to honor his father, Jesus Sanchez Cabral.

Jesus Sanchez Cabral was a decorated U.S. Army Air Corps veteran who served the United States during World War II. Glaucoma robbed him of his sight 10 years before his death. It also hampered Cabral’s ability to post and fly the American flag on his front porch, a duty he cherished as a patriotic veteran.

The braille American flag serves as a valuable teaching and learning aid for instructing blind students about its place in American history. It is composed of braille figures in the upper left corner that represent the stars of the 50 states. They are arranged in nine rows of alternating clusters. The long smooth horizontal lines represent the red stripes. Each red stripe is lined with the appropriate braille dots to indicate the stripe’s color. The long raised textured areas on the flag represent the white stripes. They are also lined with the appropriate braille dots to indicate the stripe’s color.

The American braille flag is a powerful symbol for more than 30 million blind and low vision Americans. In 2008, the United States Congress authorized its placement at Arlington National Cemetery as a tribute to blind veterans. It is displayed by thousands of sighted and blind civilians, veterans, hospitals, memorial parks, elected officials, schools for the blind, and many other places.

 

Application Process Opens For Tennessee Reconnect

Adults encouraged to apply for tuition-free community or technical college

Representative Hill and House Republicans joined with Governor Bill Haslam this week to announce the application process is officially open for adults to enroll tuition-free this fall at a community or technical college through Tennessee Reconnect.

Tennessee Reconnect builds off the groundbreaking Tennessee Promise program — which provides high school graduates two years of tuition-free community or technical college — by establishing a last-dollar scholarship for adults to earn an associate degree or technical certificate free of tuition or mandatory fees.

Both Tennessee Reconnect and Tennessee Promise are programs under the Drive to 55, an initiative spearheaded by Republicans to increase the number of Tennesseans with a post secondary degree or certificate to 55 percent by 2025. Studies show that by 2025, at least half the jobs in Tennessee will require a college degree or certificate.

Early results of the Tennessee Promise program show that students participating in the program are succeeding at higher rates than their peers. Tennessee is the first state in the nation to offer all citizens, both high school graduates and adults, the chance to earn a postsecondary degree or certificate tuition-free.

Those interested in applying for Tennessee Reconnect can do so by following these 4 simple steps:

  • Complete the application at TNReconnect.gov;
  • Apply to a local community college or eligible Tennessee Reconnect institution;
  • File the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at http://FAFSA.ed.gov;
  • And enroll in a degree or certificate program at least part-time.

To be eligible for Tennessee Reconnect, a student must not already hold an associate or bachelor’s degree, must be a Tennessee resident for at least one year, and be determined as an independent student on the FAFSA.

Timothy Hill serves as House Majority Whip. He is also a member of the House Calendar & Rules, House Transportation, and House Insurance & Banking Committees, as well as the House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee. Hill lives in Blountville and represents House District 3, which includes Johnson and part of Carter and Sullivan Counties. He can be reached by email at: Rep.Timothy.Hill@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-2050.

Representative Timothy Hill’s POW/MIA Chair Of Honor Initiative Advances In Committee Process

February 22, 2018

Measure places unoccupied chair on Capitol campus at no cost to taxpayers

(NASHVILLE) — An initiative sponsored by Representative Timothy Hill (R-Blountville) that honors America’s Prisoners of War (POW) and those Missing in Action (MIA) is advancing through the Tennessee’s General Assembly’s committee process.

Wednesday afternoon, members of the House State Government Subcommittee unanimously voted to send House Bill 2138 to the full State Government Committee.

The measure — strongly supported by statewide members of Rolling Thunder — expands the POW-MIA Chair of Honor Program to include placement of an unoccupied chair containing the POW/MIA insignia at the Capitol campus in Nashville at no cost to taxpayers.

The POW/MIA Chair of Honor program is designed to serve as a solemn reminder of our soldiers who are still waiting to be brought home. According to data from the Defense Department’s POW/MIA Accounting Agency, more than 80,000 service members are still listed as Missing in Action decades after they served in conflicts like World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.

As the grandson of a United States veteran, House Bill 2138 is the latest in a series of initiatives supported by Representative Hill in order to call attention to the selfless sacrifices of American service members and their families.

“I am honored to sponsor passage of an initiative designed to recognize our brave servicemen and women who still have not returned after serving our nation and fighting for our many freedoms,” said Representative Hill. “It is humbling to see the support this measure has received from members of Rolling Thunder, our House State Government Subcommittee, and my Republican colleagues. We must continue to honor America’s heroes, and I look forward to accomplishing this by ensuring passage of House Bill 2138 in the weeks ahead.”

A chair containing the POW/MIA insignia is already displayed at various government buildings, including the Capitol in Washington, and other public locations in cities and towns across the country.

For more information about House Bill 2138, please click here.

Timothy Hill serves as House Majority Whip. He is also a member of the House Calendar & Rules, House Transportation and House Insurance & Banking Committees, as well as the House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee. Hill lives in Blountville and represents House District 3, which includes Johnson and part of Carter and Sullivan Counties. He can be reached by email at: Rep.Timothy.Hill@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-2050.

REPRESENTATIVE TIMOTHY HILL’S CAPITOL HILL REVIEW

February 9, 2018

General Assembly Hosts Vietnam Veterans Of America

Monday night, Representative Timothy Hill (R-Blountville) and the House of Representatives hosted members of the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), Chapter 995 from Jackson, Tennessee.

During their visit to the House chamber, VVA members conducted the 13 Folds of the U.S. Flag Ceremony — a flag folding ceremony performed at funeral services of the men and women who have served our country. They also played Taps, which is a bugle call played at dusk, during flag ceremonies, and at military funerals by members of the United States armed forces.

The VVA was originally created to serve Vietnam veterans. They now preside at any funeral service involving our nation’s heroes, offering their skills to families who have lost loved ones and who desire to have their loved one buried with full military honors.

At the event, Hill and House Republicans expressed their gratitude to the VVA, along with all of the organizations across the state that support Tennessee’s military families.

For more information about VVA Chapter 995, please click here. 

 

Representative Hill, House Republicans Cut Taxes On Automobiles For Tennessee’s Disabled Military Heroes

Representative Hill and his Republican colleagues also unanimously passed legislation aimed at reducing taxes on automobiles for Tennessee’s disabled veterans earlier this week.

House Bill 15 — sponsored by Hill — exempts a new or used vehicle that is sold, given, or donated to a disabled veteran or service member from the sales and use tax.

This initiative is the latest in a series of Republican-led initiatives designed to support Tennessee veterans and military families. During the 2017 legislative session, Representative Hill led the successful efforts of House Republicans as they fought to reduce the amount of property tax owed by veterans, elderly, and disabled homeowners.

Additionally, Hill and his colleagues have recently supported several key pieces of legislation that have helped veterans pursue their educational dreams without fear of financial struggle — including the Support, Training, and Renewing Opportunity for National Guardsman (STRONG) Act. The measure provides last dollar-scholarships to our state’s service members who meet eligibility requirements.

House Bill 433 — also a Republican-led initiative — unanimously passed last year. It assists veterans by determining how their military training can count as college credit at Tennessee’s colleges and universities.

Representative Hill’s grandfather was a World War II veteran; their close relationship has always inspired him to find innovative ways to support military families and also honor the brave men and women of Tennessee who fight to protect our freedoms.

Recently, Hill introduced House Bill 2138; this initiative honors America’s Prisoners of War (POW) and those still classified as Missing In Action (MIA) by placing an empty chair on the grounds of the Capitol in Nashville as part of the POW-MIA Chair of Honor program. Last fall, federal lawmakers placed a POW-MIA Chair of Honor at the Capitol in Washington D.C. in order to ensure that these courageous heroes will never be forgotten.

As of 2016, approximately 83,000 American service personnel were still classified as Missing in Action decades after they saw duty in encounters like World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.

Representative Timothy Hill Introduces Legislation For 2018 To Honor POW And MIA Service Members

December 4, 2017

(NASHVILLE) — Representative Timothy Hill (R-Blountville) today introduced new legislation for 2018 designed to honor United States service members who are designated as Prisoners of War (POW) and Missing In Action (MIA).

Joined by members of the Northeast Tennessee Chapter of Rolling Thunder, Hill launched his initiative Friday morning at Biker Wear in Johnson City. It calls for the POW-MIA Chair of Honor Program to be expanded to include all Tennessee courthouses and additional government buildings — including the historic Capitol Building in Nashville — at no cost to taxpayers.

The POW-MIA Chair of Honor Program places an unoccupied chair in public spaces in cities and towns throughout the country to serve as a solemn reminder of our soldiers who are still waiting to be brought home. According to data from the Defense Department’s POW/MIA Accounting Agency, more than 80,000 service members are still listed as Missing in Action decades after they served in conflicts like World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.

As the grandson of a United States veteran, this is the latest in a series of initiatives supported by Representative Hill in order to call attention to the selfless sacrifices of American service members and their families.

“This chair will serve as a remembrance, a shrine in effect, to the men and women who still have not returned home decades after their noble service to our country,” said Representative Hill. “I am hopeful it will also enable future generations of Tennesseans to understand the important role these brave heroes played in helping us overcome some of the challenging issues we have faced as a nation in order to arrive at our present moment in time.”

A chair containing the POW/MIA insignia is already on display at various government buildings and other public locations in cities and towns across the country.

Timothy Hill serves as House Majority Whip. He is also a member of the House Calendar & Rules, House Transportation and House Insurance & Banking Committees, as well as the House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee. Hill lives in Blountville and represents House District 3, which includes Johnson and part of Carter and Sullivan Counties. He can be reached by email at: Rep.Timothy.Hill@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-2050.

Representative Timothy Hill Begins To Address Tennessee’s Need For Dependable Broadband Services

October 2, 2017

(NASHVILLE) — During the 2017 legislative session, Representative Timothy Hill (R-Blountville) began the process of addressing Tennessee’s need for reliable broadband internet services by cosponsoring House Bill 529, also known as the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act.

The Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act expands broadband internet access and adoption across Tennessee through business investment and deregulation. Coupled with the state budget, the legislation makes targeted investments through grants and tax credits that focus on underserved or unserved areas. Additionally, this initiative permits Tennessee’s private, nonprofit electric cooperatives to provide retail broadband service — something they have been completely unable to do in the past.

Recently, Tennessee ranked 29th in the country for broadband access, with 13 percent of Tennesseans lacking accessibility to high-speed internet. While only 2 percent of urban citizens lacked access, 34 percent of rural residents are without coverage, placing them at a distinct disadvantage over their city counterparts.

Representative Hill believes the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act is an important first step in providing a more permanent, long-term solution to a complex issue that has hindered rural Tennessee businesses and families in recent years.

“The rural areas of our state need access to what has become a vital resource,” said Representative Hill. “I am pleased that my colleagues and I have begun working to resolve a critical issue that has stunted development in many communities across Tennessee. While we have made some initial progress and potentially created new and exciting possibilities for our businesses and families, we still have a long journey ahead. I look forward to exploring additional ideas and solutions in the coming years that complement the work we have already achieved, thanks to the passage of the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act.”

Timothy Hill serves as House Majority Whip. He is also a member of the House Calendar & Rules, House Transportation and House Insurance & Banking Committees, as well as the House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee. Hill lives in Blountville and represents House District 3, which includes Johnson and part of Carter and Sullivan Counties. He can be reached by email at Rep.Timothy.Hill@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-2050.

Speaker Harwell, Northeast Tennessee House Members Advocate for Aerospace Park Project

July 14, 2017

NASHVILLE – Speaker of the Tennessee House Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) today sent a letter to the members of the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission urging them to seriously consider the Tri-Cities Airport’s Aerospace Park project for a major grant from the state. Speaker Harwell toured the site recently and believes the project will give the region a significant economic boost.

“The Aerospace Park project at the Tri-Cities Airport is an innovative and worthwhile project for these grant funds,” said Speaker Harwell. “I hope the commission will give serious consideration to this project because I believe it will be beneficial for the entire Northeast Tennessee region.”

The Northeast Tennessee delegation in the House of Representatives joined Speaker Harwell in advocating for the project.

“The Aerospace Park is one of the most important ventures to come to Northeast Tennessee in recent years because it will create new economic momentum for our entire region,” said Rep. John Crawford (R- Kingsport). I appreciate Speaker Harwell’s support and look forward to working with her and my Northeast Tennessee colleagues to ensure the success of this critical project.”

“The Aerospace Park project will provide a considerable boost to our local economy here in the Northeast Tennessee region,” said Rep. Bud Hulsey (R-Kingsport). “I am grateful to Speaker Harwell for supporting this critical initiative that will create high paying, high tech jobs that are a perfect fit for many of our residents.”

“My colleagues and I in the House worked diligently during the 2017 legislative session in order to ensure that this pivotal project receives the necessary funding in order to move forward,” said Rep. Timothy Hill (R-Blountville). “I know Speaker Harwell understands and appreciates the important economic impact it will have on our community, and I am thankful for her support.”

“Funding the Aerospace Park project will enable Northeast Tennessee’s economy to experience the type of growth that other parts of our state have seen in recent years,” said Rep. John Holsclaw (R-Elizabethton). “I am honored that Speaker Harwell has pledged her full support and is committed to seeing this project come to fruition.”

“Our region is fortunate to have many residents trained in this industry who are ready to fill the jobs that will be created by this important project,” said Rep. David Hawk (R-Greeneville). “I applaud Speaker Harwell’s efforts to help us make aeronautics expansion in Northeast Tennessee a reality.”

“Funding the Tri-Cities Aerospace Park will help our region be more attractive to companies looking to move to or expand their operations in the great State of Tennessee,” said Rep. Micah Van Huss (R-Gray). “I appreciate Representative Timothy Hill’s leadership and Speaker Harwell’s support in helping us move this important project forward, and I am hopeful that the Aeronautics Commission will make this important investment in our community.”

“I am proud of this excellent team of legislators, including Speaker Harwell, for their dedication to seeing this regional project advance,” said Rep. Matthew Hill (R-Jonesborough). “The Aerospace Park development is a critical piece to the future of Northeast Tennessee. It will stimulate our local economy and create jobs that will benefit future generations of our residents.”

The Tennessee Aeronautics Commission (TAC) assists with the formulation of relevant policy planning and all proposed changes in the state airport system plan. More information can be found at https://www.tn.gov/tdot/topic/aeronautics-commission. More information about the Aerospace Park project at Tri-Cities Airport can be found at http://www.triaerospacepark.com/.

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 You can read Speaker Harwell’s full letter by clicking here.