Rep. John Ragan’s Newsroom

State Representative JohnRagan, Department of Education Announce Critical Growth Funds

February 22, 2018

(NASHVILLE) — State Representative John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge) and the Tennessee Department of Education announced district growth funding for Clinton City Schools to support education initiatives in the county.

Specifically, Clinton County Schools received $95,000.

This funding is a direct result of a Republican-led effort by Tennessee General Assembly members to not only fully fund education in Tennessee but also provide $18 million to cover school district growth as part of Governor Bill Haslam’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget.

These significant investments will allow many of our state’s school districts with soaring populations to maintain proper student to teacher ratios so that they can continue offering quality education for our next generation of leaders.

“Education has to be at the core of all we do,” said Representative Ragan. “By providing for our many growing school districts, we continue to ensure quality education and resources for our students.”

This funding has been so well received by parents, education officials, and teachers that Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam added another $18 million in growth funds to his proposed Fiscal Year 2019 budget.

John Ragan is Vice-Chair of the House Government Operations Committee and the Joint Government Operations Education, Health & General Welfare Subcommittee. He is also a member of the House Health Committee and Subcommittee, as well as the Joint Government Operations Committee. Ragan lives in Oak Ridge and represents District 33, which includes part of Anderson County. He can be reached at Rep.John.Ragan@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-4400.

Representative Ragan, House Health Committee Members Improve Healthcare For Tennesseans In 2017

November 6, 2017

(NASHVILLE) — During the 2017 legislative session, the House Health Committee — including State Representative John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge) — effectively worked to improve healthcare and the quality of life for citizens across Tennessee. Committee members advanced a total of 62 legislative initiatives in 2017; fifty were signed into law by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam.

These initiatives combat prescription drug abuse, address Tennessee’s opioid crisis, improve relationships between providers and medical professionals, streamline the application process for members of Tennessee’s medical industry, and protect the state’s unborn children. They include:

  • House Bill 137: Combats prescription drug abuse by allowing the Tennessee Department of Health to establish and maintain a voluntary prescription drug donation repository program.
  • House Bill 315: Streamlines the continuum of practice for providers from entry, reentry, and gradual exit while safeguarding patients through enhanced accountability measures.
  • House Bill 405: Protects the rights of licensed pharmacists from discrimination by managed health insurance providers.
  • House Bill 628:  Incorporates pharmacist-provided medication therapy management into all TennCare delivery systems.
  • House Bill 644:  Enacts the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact which streamlines the application process for credentialed medical professionals moving to Tennessee for work.
  • House Bill 952:  Creates the Visiting Sports Team Act which allows traveling team physicians at the collegiate, amateur, or professional level to use existing licenses to practice medicine.
  • House Bill 1189:  Enacts the Tennessee Infants Protection Act which prohibits abortions — except in medical emergency — after 24 weeks and requires testing to determine viability of an unborn child if a woman is at least 20 weeks pregnant.
  • House Bill 1207:  Combats Tennessee’s ongoing opioid epidemic by identifying high-risk prescribers.

“I am pleased that our work is transforming the health and well-being of residents in communities across our state,” said Representative Ragan. “I know we have made tremendous strides refining healthcare this year, and I am excited to continue our efforts in 2018 and beyond.”

“The men and women who serve on the House Health Committee have done a remarkable job improving the overall health and quality of life for Tennesseans in 2017,” said House Health Committee Chairman Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville). “As I reflect on our work, I know we created new solutions to important health and wellness issues that impact residents in communities across our state. As we prepare for 2018, I look forward to partnering with my colleagues again so that we can make Tennessee a model for health and well-being that other states will continue to follow.”

Additionally, the efforts of the committee did not go unnoticed by House leadership, especially Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville).

“I want to personally thank the hardworking members of the House Health Committee for taking steps to ensure that our residents have access to high-quality healthcare and that our medical professionals have the tools they need to effectively treat the citizens of this state,” said Speaker Harwell. “The efforts of this important panel during the 2017 legislative session will have a tremendous impact on health outcomes now and in future years.”

John Ragan is Vice-Chair of the House Government Operations Committee and the Joint Government Operations Education, Health & General Welfare Subcommittee. He is also a member of the House Health Committee and Subcommittee, as well as the Joint Government Operations Committee. Ragan lives in Oak Ridge and represents District 33, which includes part of Anderson County. He can be reached at Rep.John.Ragan@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-4400.

State Representatives Calfee & Ragan Announce Wastewater Construction Loan From TDEC

June 27, 2017

(NASHVILLE) — State Representative Kent Calfee (R-Kingston) and State Representative John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge) announced today that the City of Oak Ridge is one of seven communities to receive low-interest loans from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) for water and wastewater infrastructure improvement projects.

Specifically, the City of Oak Ridge will receive a traditional wastewater loan from TDEC totaling $3.1 million to be used for a Pump Station Rehabilitation and Improvements project. The project will be funded for a period of 20 years using monies obtained through the loan at an interest rate of 1.69 percent.

The funds are part of Tennessee’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) program. It enables communities, utility districts, and water and wastewater authorities to obtain loans with lower interest rates than most can obtain through private financing for the planning, design, and construction of wastewater facilities. Interest rates for these loans vary from zero percent to market rate based on each community’s economic index. Additionally, loans utilizing EPA grant funds can include a principal forgiveness component.

TDEC administers the SRF program in conjunction with the Tennessee Local Development Authority. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides grants to fund the program, and the state provides a 20 percent match. Loan repayments are returned to the program and are used to fund future SRF loans. The funding order of projects is determined by the program’s Priority Ranking Lists that rank potential projects according to the severity of their pollution and/or compliance problems or for the protection of public health.

“Today’s announcement is great news for Oak Ridge and Anderson County,” said Representative Ragan. ‘This low-interest loan will help cover the costs of a crucial project that will truly improve the quality of life for our residents.”

“I appreciate Governor Haslam and TDEC’s commitment to helping us address a sizable need in our community,” said Representative Calfee. “This project will allow us to keep pace with the increased demands of our residents and also improve our wastewater infrastructure in Roane County.”

Tennessee’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) program has awarded more than $1.7 billion in low-interest loans since its inception in 1987. Additional information about the program is available at https://tn.gov/environment/topic/wr-srf-state-revolving-fund-program.

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Representative Ragan Fights To Increase Employment Opportunities For Veterans And Their Families

March 13, 2017

(NASHVILLE) — Thursday, lawmakers unanimously passed legislation sponsored by Representative John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge) aimed at increasing private employment opportunities for military veterans and their families.

House Bill 165 encourages private employers to hire honorably discharged veterans, spouses of a veteran with a service-connected disability, unmarried widows or widowers of veterans who died of service-connected disability, and unmarried widows or widowers of a member of the military who died in the line of duty.

Private employers that adopt a veteran’s preference must have their policy in writing and may require a potential employee to submit a certificate of release or discharge from active duty as proof of their eligibility for the preference. The veteran’s preference must be applied consistently to all employment decisions made by a company regarding hiring and promotion.

“It’s important for us to remember that our military servicemen and women make sacrifices daily in order to protect and defend our freedom,” said Representative Ragan. “We must work with private businesses to increase employment opportunities for our veterans and their families so they can achieve their professional goals and dreams.”

House Bill 165 is the latest in a series of legislation that demonstrates support for and honors Tennessee military veterans and their families. In 2016, five soldiers killed in the Chattanooga terrorist attack were awarded the “Tennessee Fallen Heroes Medal” by Governor Bill Haslam for their heroic efforts on Tennessee soil.

Recently, lawmakers also passed the National Guard Force Protection Act, which enhances protection at Tennessee National Guard facilities and military installations. Additionally, legislation passed the full House that strengthened and made the Veterans Education Transition Support (VETS) program available to private, non-profit institutions of higher education throughout the state. The highly successful VETS program encourages colleges and universities to prioritize outreach to veterans and successfully deliver the services necessary to create a supportive environment where student veterans can prosper while pursuing their education.

The full text of House Bill 165 can be accessed by visiting the Tennessee General Assembly website at: http://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/110/Bill/HB0165.pdf

John Ragan is Vice-Chair of the House Government Operations Committee and Joint Government Operations Education, Health & General Welfare Subcommittee. He is also a member of the House Health Committee and Subcommittee, as well as the Joint Government Operations Committee. Ragan lives in Oak Ridge and represents District 33, which includes part of Anderson County. He can be reached at Rep.John.Ragan@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-4400.

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