Rep. Dennis Powers’s Newsroom

Governor Haslam Signs Primacy & Reclamation Act Sponsored By State Representative Dennis Powers and Senator Ken Yager

May 3, 2018

Primacy and Reclamation Act designed to create new jobs in surface mining industry.

(NASHVILLE) — Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has signed an initiative sponsored by State Representative Dennis Powers (R-Jacksboro) and State Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) allowing Tennessee to reclaim control over its surface mining industry.

House Bill 571/Senate Bill 686, also known as the Primacy and Reclamation Act of Tennessee, restores sovereignty over mining and reclamation operations in the state.

It is the culmination of several years of hard work and advocacy by Representative Powers and Senator Yager in an effort to ensure that Tennessee has direct oversight — including the issuing of permits, as well as regulations enforcement by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC).

Currently, Tennessee is the only state in the entire nation that allows the federal office of surface mining to regulate all surface mining and reclamation operations. This has been the case ever since our state relinquished control to the federal government in 1984.

This initiative is expected to create more than 1,200 new mining jobs in Tennessee.

“The federal government has controlled all aspects of this important industry for far too long, and it is time that we had a say in its future here in Tennessee,” said Representative Powers. “House Bill 571/Senate Bill 686 allows us to do just that, and I know it will promote new job growth; I am pleased that Governor Haslam has chosen to support this measure by signing it into law, and I will continue to fight for additional resources that bring more high-quality jobs to our region and to our state.”

“The Primacy and Reclamation Act will restore Tennessee’s competitive advantage and trigger significant economic development in Campbell and surrounding counties,” said Senator Yager.  “I am very pleased the governor has signed the bill.”

Additional information about House Bill 571/Senate Bill 686 is available by clicking here.

Dennis Powers serves as Vice-Chairman of the House Republican Caucus. He is also a member of the House Business & Utilities Committee, as well as the House Insurance & Banking Committee and Subcommittee. Powers lives in Jacksboro and represents House District 36, which includes Campbell and parts of Union and Anderson Counties. He can be reached by email at: Rep.Dennis.Powers@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-3335.

Senator Yager serves as Chairman of the Senate State and Local Government Committee, Chairman of the Joint House and Senate Fiscal Review Committee and as a member of the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee.  He represents Campbell, Fentress, Morgan, Rhea, Pickett and Scott Counties in Senate District 12.  He can be reached by email at:  Sen.Ken.Yager@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-1449.

Initiative Sponsored By Representative Powers Leading To Job Creation In Mining Industry Passes

April 10, 2018

(NASHVILLE) — Monday evening, Republican lawmakers passed an initiative sponsored by State Representative Dennis Powers (R-Jacksboro) designed to create jobs in the mining industry.

House Bill 571, also known as the Primacy and Reclamation Act of Tennessee, restores sovereignty over mining and reclamation operations to our state.

Currently, Tennessee is the only state in the entire nation that allows the federal office of surface mining to regulate all surface mining and reclamation operations. This has been the case ever since our state relinquished control to the federal government in 1984.

This initiative is expected to create more than 1,200 new mining jobs.

“For too long, we have allowed the federal government to dictate the direction of this important industry in our state, ” said Representative Powers. “I am pleased that this measure will restore Tennessee’s authority over it, and I know it will lead to the creation of quality jobs that will allow Tennessee to continue its recent economic momentum.”

House Bill 571 now awaits Governor Haslam’s signature. Additional information is available by clicking here.

Dennis Powers serves as Vice-Chairman of the House Republican Caucus. He is also a member of the House Business & Utilities Committee, as well as the House Insurance & Banking Committee and Subcommittee. Powers lives in Jacksboro and represents House District 36, which includes Campbell and parts of Union and Anderson Counties. He can be reached by email at Rep.Dennis.Powers@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-3335.

Initiative Sponsored By Representative Dennis Powers Leading To Job Creation In Mining Industry Advances

April 4, 2018

(NASHVILLE) — An initiative sponsored by State Representative Dennis Powers (R-Jacksboro) designed to create jobs in the mining industry is moving through the Tennessee General Assembly’s committee process.

This week, members of the House Finance, Ways, & Means Committee voted to advance House Bill 571, also known as the Primacy and Reclamation Act of Tennessee. The measure restores sovereignty over mining and reclamation operations to the state.

Currently, Tennessee is the only state in the entire nation that allows the federal office of surface mining to regulate all surface mining and reclamation operations. This has been the case ever since Tennessee relinquished control to the federal government in 1984.

If passed, House Bill 571 is expected to create more than 1,200 new mining jobs.

“This measure enables Tennessee to set precedence as it relates to regulations that restrict job growth within our mining industry,” said Representative Powers. “I am pleased that this measure will help create new jobs and enable Tennessee to continue its economic momentum. I look forward to seeing it signed into law in the weeks ahead.”

House Bill 571 will now be heard by members of the House Calendar & Rules Committee. Additional information about the initiative is available by clicking here.

Dennis Powers serves as Vice-Chairman of the House Republican Caucus. He is also a member of the House Business & Utilities Committee, as well as the House Insurance & Banking Committee and Subcommittee. Powers lives in Jacksboro and represents House District 36, which includes Campbell and parts of Union and Anderson Counties. He can be reached by email at Rep.Dennis.Powers@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-3335.

House Speaker Beth Harwell Recognizes Members Of Task Force On Opioid Abuse For Their Work

September 8, 2017

Lawmakers commended for their efforts to combat ongoing opioid epidemic

(NASHVILLE) — Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) today commended members of the Ad Hoc Task Force on Opioid Abuse and thanked them for their work addressing the opioid epidemic paralyzing Tennessee and the entire nation.

Speaker Harwell convened the task force at the beginning of the 2017 legislative session with the goal of finding new methods to attack this extremely dangerous issue.

This week, task force members made their recommendations to address a crisis that has claimed the lives of more than 6,000 Tennesseans over the past five years. Some of the recommendations made by the task force include:

  • The addition of 25 Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) agents in the coming year.
  • Limiting the number of controlled drugs prescribed by providers in emergency rooms.
  • Creating a new Tennessee Commission to Combat Drug Abuse.
  • Requesting additional funding from the White House to fight addiction.

Tennessee consistently ranks at the top of the charts nationally with regards to prescription drug abuse. Additionally, the state is seeing an increase in the rates of babies being born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). Harwell will now review the recommendations made by the group before presenting them to Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam in order to determine possible legislation for the upcoming session.

“My colleagues who have participated on this task force have done a remarkable job considering all options so that we can find solutions to address this critical issue that has led to so many tragic outcomes for families across Tennessee,” said Speaker Harwell. “While we have made considerable progress, our work is far from over. I am confident that these recommendations are a tremendous starting point that will support our work in the coming months.”

“I am proud of what my colleagues and I have been able to achieve over these last several months as it relates to assisting the men, women, and families who are battling addiction,” said Representative Powers. “Moving forward, I know our work will help all of us become more effective at creating and implementing new solutions to eventually end this terrible crisis.”

Dennis Powers serves as Vice-Chairman of the House Republican Caucus. He is also a member of the House Business & Utilities Committee, as well as the House Insurance & Banking Committee and Subcommittee. Powers lives in Jacksboro and represents House District 36, which includes Campbell and parts of Union and Anderson Counties. He can be reached by email at Rep.Dennis.Powers@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-3335.

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Representative Powers, House Insurance & Banking Committee Members Produce Strong 2017 Results

July 17, 2017

(NASHVILLE) — Throughout the first half of the 110th Tennessee General Assembly, the House Insurance and Banking Committee was particularly active in the legislative process. Thanks to the hard work of State Representative Dennis Powers (R-Jacksboro) and fellow committee membersthe panel advanced a total of 23 legislative initiatives with eighteen of those bills being signed into law by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam.

These initiatives support business growth and development, cut prescription and health care costs, and improve communication between providers and patients. Some of the legislation includes:

  • House Bill 18: Reduces the cost burden of prescription eye drop refills for patients.
  • House Bill 77: Clarifies guidelines for insurance coverage of off-highway vehicles.
  • House Bill 150: Increases totals paid out to benefactors of deceased investors.
  • House Bill 280: Revises fee provisions for owners under the vehicle insurance verification program.
  • House Bill 304: Promotes business growth by reducing government regulations.
  • House Bill 338: Lowers health care costs and improves the quality of care public elementary and secondary school students receive.
  • House Bill 405: Protects licensed pharmacists from discrimination by managed health insurance providers.
  • House Bill 498: Improves communication between health providers and patients.

“Serving alongside the men and women on my committee is an absolute honor; Tennesseans are well-served by the dedicated members of the House Insurance and Banking Committee,” said the Committee Chairman, State Representative Ron Travis (R-Dayton). “As I reflect on our work in 2017, I believe we all fought diligently on behalf of small businesses, health care patients and providers, and the entire state. I look forward to continuing our work for the people of Tennessee during the 2018 legislative session.”

Furthermore, 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 Insurance and Banking Committee for their dedication to growth and stability throughout Tennessee,” said Speaker Harwell. “Their work during the 2017 legislative session will deeply impact and improve the lives of Tennesseans everywhere.”

Dennis Powers serves as Vice-Chairman of the House Republican Caucus. He is also a member of the House Business & Utilities Committee, as well as the House Insurance & Banking Committee and Subcommittee. Powers lives in Jacksboro and represents House District 36, which includes Campbell and parts of Union and Anderson Counties. He can be reached by email at Rep.Dennis.Powers@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-3335.

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House Speaker Beth Harwell Works to Eliminate Opioid Abuse

January 27, 2017

Speaker Harwell Announces Task Force on Opioid Abuse

 

NASHVILLE – Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) this week created a task force on opioid and prescription drug abuse. The task force’s immediate goal will be to work on legislation, but its efforts will be ongoing to determine the best strategies for tackling the opioid epidemic. Tennessee is consistently ranked at the top of the charts nationally with regards to prescription drug abuse.

“This task force presents an opportunity to have a very serious conversation about opioid and prescription drug abuse in our state,” said Speaker Harwell. “The statistics are devastating: there are more opioid prescriptions than there are people in Tennessee. In 2015, 1,451 Tennesseans died from drug overdoses, the highest annual number in our state’s history. And the number of babies born who have been chronically exposed to opioids is high, particularly in East Tennessee. The Tennessee Department of Health reports that from 2000 to 2012, the rate of babies born with exposure increased 15 fold. We can, and should, do more to ensure this is not happening.”

She continued, “The Tennessee General Assembly has passed some legislation in the past targeting the problem, but I believe we also need to look toward solutions that include treatment and prevention measures. I believe this task force can be an asset as we work to address this issue in this session and in the future.”

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that prescription opioid abuse has a total economic burden of $78.5 billion per year in the United States. There is an estimated $7.7 billion criminal justice cost across the country.

 

Speaker Harwell appointed the following members to the task force:

Speaker Pro Tempore Curtis Johnson, R-Clarksville – Chair

Representative JoAnne Favors, D-Chattanooga

Representative Curtis Halford, R-Dyer

Representative Darren Jernigan, D-Old Hickory

Representative William Lamberth, R-Portland

Representative Dennis Powers, R-Jacksboro

Representative Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville

 

“I have asked the members of the task force to work toward legislation that can be filed this year, as well as working collaboratively with other members who have legislation on the topic. Working together, I am hoping we can create some comprehensive solutions to this epidemic,” concluded Speaker Harwell.

Future meeting times for the task force will be announced as they are scheduled.

 

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