Rep. John Holsclaw’s Newsroom

State Representative John Holsclaw’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, State Representative John Holsclaw (R-Elizabethton) 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 Holsclaw 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.

John Holsclaw serves as Chairman of the House Business & Utilities Subcommittee. He is also a member of the House Business & Utilities and House Health Committees. Holsclaw lives in Elizabethton and represents House District 4, which includes Unicoi and part of Carter Counties. He can be reached by email at or by calling (615) 741-7450.

Representative John Holsclaw Appointed Chairman Of Business & Utilities Subcommittee By Speaker Harwell

January 11, 2018

(NASHVILLE) — This week, State Representative John Holsclaw (R-Elizabethton) was appointed Chairman of the House Business & Utilities Subcommittee by Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville).

Holsclaw — who is in his fourth year serving the residents of District 4 — is also currently a member of the House Business & Utilities Committee. This group of effective lawmakers considers legislative initiatives related to utilities, communications, and legislation impacting trade. It also reviews the rules and regulations for all licensed professionals, businesses, and organizations.

“I am honored to receive this appointment from Speaker Harwell and to serve as Chairman of the House Business & Utilities Subcommittee,” said Representative Holsclaw. “Together with my committee colleagues, I know we will further our work supporting community development across our state this year.”

“Representative Holsclaw has demonstrated his leadership during his service as a member of the House Business & Utilities Committee and the General Assembly,” said Speaker Harwell. “We are fortunate to have him, and his knowledge and experience will benefit this important committee.”

John Holsclaw serves as Chairman of the House Business & Utilities Subcommittee. He is also a member of the House Business & Utilities and House Health Committees. Holsclaw lives in Elizabethton and represents House District 4, which includes Unicoi and part of Carter Counties. He can be reached by email at or by calling (615) 741-7450.

State Representative John Holsclaw Announces Funding Approval For New Rocky Fork Visitor Center

July 19, 2017

House Speaker Beth Harwell strongly supported funding efforts for park upgrades

(NASHVILLE) — State Representative John Holsclaw (R–Elizabethton) today announced funding approval for a new visitor center, picnic shelters, and pedestrian bridge at Rocky Fork State Park to better serve citizens of Unicoi County and surrounding areas.

The $4 million project was officially approved today by the State Building Commission which oversees construction of all public state buildings and structures. In recent years, the Commission’s responsibility has been expanded to include authority over most improvement and demolition projects of property owned by the state.

“This is a worthwhile project for our area that will help increase access and enjoyment at one of our state’s best parks,” said Representative Holsclaw. “I am thankful to the State Building Commission and look forward to seeing this project get underway in the near future.”

Established in 2012, Rocky Fork State Park is a 2,037-acre wilderness area situated in the Blue Ridge region of the Appalachian Mountains. The park is adjacent to the Cherokee National Forest and in close proximity to the famous Appalachian Trail.

Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) — a member of the State Building Commission — was a strong supporter of this critical project and encouraged the commission to approve the necessary funding.

“Projects like this are vital in preserving and increasing access to some of our state’s most precious natural resources,” said Speaker Harwell. “I am proud of my colleagues for coming together to approve this important funding, and I thank Representative Holsclaw for his dedication to serving the community.”

John Holsclaw serves as a member of the House Calendar & Rules, House Health, and House Business & Utilities Committees. He is also a member of the House Business and Utilities Subcommittee. Holsclaw lives in Elizabethton and represents House District 4, which includes Unicoi and part of Carter Counties. He can be reached by email at or by calling (615) 741-7450.


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 More information about the Aerospace Park project at Tri-Cities Airport can be found at


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