Rep. Clark Boyd’s Newsroom

State Representative Clark Boyd’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 Clark Boyd (R-Lebanon) 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 Boyd 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.

 

Clark Boyd serves as a member of the House Insurance & Banking Committee. He is also a member of the House Consumer & Human Resources Committee and Subcommittee. Boyd lives in Lebanon and represents House District 46, which includes Cannon, and part of Wilson and Dekalb Counties. He can be reached by email at: Rep.Clark.Boyd@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-7086. 

Wilson County Delegation Applauds Passage Of Bill Ending Mandatory Vehicle Emissions

April 23, 2018

HB 1782 passes by 96-0 vote tally in House Monday night.

(NASHVILLE) – An initiative co-sponsored by members of the Wilson County Legislative Delegation, State Representative Susan Lynn (R-Mt. Juliet) and State Representative Clark Boyd (R-Lebanon), requiring counties to take all necessary steps to end mandatory vehicle emissions testing in Tennessee has passed in the House chamber.

House Bill 1782 — recently approved by a 96-0 vote tally by House members — would apply to residents of Wilson County where emissions testing is still required prior to vehicle registration or renewal.

The 1990 Federal Clean Air Act required the state to develop more restrictive regulations to control air pollution from mobile sources in counties which were not meeting the Federal Standards for air quality.

Currently, testing is done on vehicles with a model year of 1975 and newer if they are powered by a gasoline or diesel engine and weigh up to 10,500 lbs.  Over 1.5 million vehicles went through emissions testing in Tennessee last year in the six counties where it is required.

The idea for House Bill 1782 came following a report from the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation (TDEC) released last August revealing that all 95 Tennessee counties met federal air quality health standards; after this report was issued, it became clear to the Wilson County Legislative Delegation that mandatory testing was no longer needed.

“Vehicle emissions testing is a process that creates avoidable stress and financial burdens for our working families,” said Representative Lynn. “House Bill 1782 moves Tennessee away from mandatory vehicle emissions testing which benefits our citizens and doesn’t create any harmful environmental side effects.”

“Vehicle testing is not only time consuming but seems to disproportionally affect people who can least afford to make repairs to their cars,” added Representative Boyd. “The people of Wilson County have been loud and clear in their support of this legislation to end emissions testing. I have heard them, and am proud to be a sponsor of this legislation.”

For more information about House Bill 1782click here.

State Representative Clark Boyd’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, State Representative Clark Boyd (R-Lebanon) 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.

 

Lawmakers Approve Legislation Ending Mandatory Emissions Testing

Representative Boyd and House lawmakers this week passed legislation to end mandatory emissions testing for vehicles in Tennessee.

As passed, House Bill 1782 applies to residents of Hamilton, Davidson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson Counties where vehicle emission testing is still required prior to vehicle registration or renewal.

The 1990 Federal Clean Air Act required the state to develop more restrictive regulations to control air pollution in counties which were not meeting the federal standards for air quality.

Currently, testing is done on vehicles with a model year of 1975 and newer if they are powered by a gasoline or diesel engine and weigh up to 10,500 lbs. Over 1.5 million vehicles went through emissions testing in Tennessee last year in the six counties where it is required.

The idea for House Bill 1782 resulted from conversations with Tennesseans who have voiced concerns about the burdensome costs of testing on families across the state. Once the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation released a report last August revealing that all 95 Tennessee counties now meet federal air quality health standards, it became clear that mandatory testing was no longer needed.

Supporters agree that vehicle emissions testing is a perfect example of a well-intentioned government program with harmful, unintended consequences for Tennessee’s middle class, noting that the passage of this legislation will help relieve this burdensome regulation for Tennessee citizens.

For more information about this initiative, click here.

 

Measure Enhancing Security In Tennessee Passes In House

This week, Representative Boyd 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.

 

Clark Boyd serves as a member of the House Insurance & Banking Committee. He is also a member of the House Consumer & Human Resources Committee and Subcommittee. Boyd lives in Lebanon and represents House District 46, which includes Cannon, and part of Wilson and Dekalb Counties. He can be reached by email at Rep.Clark.Boyd@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-7086.

Representative Clark Boyd Addresses TNReady Issues

April 19, 2018

In recent days, The TNReady assessment process has been plagued by yet another round of issues. Like many of you, I am extremely disappointed in the continuous flaws associated with current testing methods. 

You have expressed your concerns to me about TNReady, and I want you to know that I hear you loud and clear, and I share those very same concerns. This entire process has been extremely frustrating and upsetting for our parents, teachers, principals, superintendents, and most importantly — our students.

With these groups in mind, my colleagues and I in the House chamber have taken the lead to try and resolve this issue, rather than waiting for the Tennessee Department of Education. 

In recent days, we have participated in extensive conversations, a hearing to obtain additional information about this week’s failures, and have also begun the process of advancing legislation in order to quickly address this important issue.

We must have a testing system that is reliable and accurate. The consensus among all of us is that this year’s results should not be used in the evaluation of our students, teachers, or schools. I believe these groups should not be penalized for unforeseen circumstances like those that occurred this week.

Education is the cornerstone of the foundation of our state’s future leaders. As a member of our General Assembly, I have prioritized the academic goals and dreams of our students while also working to ensure that our teachers have all the tools they need in order to focus on what is most important — educating our students.


Finding a resolution to this problem remains a top priority. I look forward to working on this important issue that is impacting our entire community, and I will continue to advocate for you in the coming days as we work to ensure that similar problems are avoided in the future.

Measure Sponsored By Representative Boyd Overhauling State’s Welfare System Passes In House

April 13, 2018

(NASHVILLE) — This week Republican lawmakers passed an initiative sponsored by State Representative Clark Boyd (R-Lebanon) designed to overhaul Tennessee’s welfare system.

House Bill 1822 — which passed by an 88-7 vote tally — requires able-bodied adults who receive cash benefits through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program to meet reasonable work requirements in order to continue receiving benefits. Additionally, House Bill 1822 curbs instances of fraud, waste, and abuse within the current system by allowing Tennessee to partner with surrounding states in order to ensure there is no double dipping of welfare benefits.

The passage of House Bill 1822 is the latest in a series of Republican-led efforts — which includes House Bill 1551 also sponsored by Representative Boyd designed to implement work requirements on able-bodied citizens who receive assistance from the state.

Work requirements for entitlement programs encourage self-sufficiency and less dependence on government benefits. In 1996, Congress passed bipartisan welfare reform requiring able-bodied adults to work in order to receive benefits under both SNAP and TANF. The change resulted in millions of people nationwide moving off government assistance and back into the workforce.

In fact, for the first time in more than a decade, the number of Tennesseans receiving SNAP benefits, formerly called food stamps, dropped to less than 1 million this past January.

“This measure guarantees the program’s integrity and ensures that state resources are managed in the most efficient and effective way possible,” said Representative Boyd. “We want our citizens to have meaningful employment, and we also want to make sure that those who are receiving benefits are doing so in good faith and are not taking advantage of the system.”

House Bill 1822 now awaits Governor Haslam’s signature. For more information about this initiative, please click here.

Clark Boyd serves as a member of the House Insurance & Banking Committee. He is also a member of the House Consumer & Human Resources Committee and Subcommittee. Boyd lives in Lebanon and represents House District 46, which includes Cannon, and part of Wilson and Dekalb Counties. He can be reached by email at Rep.Clark.Boyd@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-7086.

Representative Boyd’s Resolution Confirming Karen King’s Appointment To State Textbook Commission Passes

April 3, 2018

(NASHVILLE) — Monday evening, House members voted unanimously to support passage of  House Joint Resolution 716 sponsored by State Representative Clark Boyd (R-Lebanon).

The measure confirms Cannon County resident Karen King’s appointment to the State Textbook & Instructional Materials Quality Commission. It is comprised of one member from each of the state’s grand divisions — usually a school’s principal.

Members receive appointments to serve on the commission from Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. King was selected to represent the Middle Tennessee Division; her term runs from January 18, 2018, through December 31, 2020.

King is serving in her tenth year as a principal in the Cannon County school system. In recent years, she has worked closely with the Tennessee Department of Education as a leadership coach. Additionally, King has served as the statewide chair of the Tennessee Principal Study Council between 2015-2017 and also led her school to Reward status in both achievement and growth. She was also one of nine regional finalists for the 2013 Tennessee Principal of the Year award.

“It is an honor for me to support Karen King’s efforts as she works to improve the quality of course materials used to educate our students,” said Representative Boyd. “Her knowledge, leadership, and experience will serve the commission well, and I know she will be a valuable resource for our entire state.”

For more information about House Joint Resolution 716, please click here.

Clark Boyd serves as a member of the House Insurance & Banking Committee. He is also a member of the House Consumer & Human Resources Committee and Subcommittee. Boyd lives in Lebanon and represents House District 46, which includes Cannon, and part of Wilson and Dekalb Counties. He can be reached by email at Rep.Clark.Boyd@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-7086.

State Representative Clark Boyd Hosts Wilson County Constituents In House Chamber

April 2, 2018

NASHVILLE—Last week, State Representative Clark Boyd (R-Lebanon) hosted constituents from Wilson County in the House chamber.

Representative Boyd welcomed Senior Pastor John F. Hunn of Immanuel Baptist Church to serve as Pastor of the Day in the House chamber on Monday, March 26. Pastor Hunn is Boyd’s family pastor and is also a graduate of Cumberland University; he obtained his Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Since 2008, Pastor Hunn has dedicated himself to service and ministry in Lebanon.

“Pastor Hunn is not only my pastor, but he is also a friend, a prayer-warrior, and a trusted leader in our community,” said Representative Boyd. “It was an honor to host my good friend on the Tennessee House floor.”

Additionally, Representative Boyd welcomed the talented voices of the Wilson Central High School Chamber Choir. Under the direction of Lynn Morin, these young performers offered a stirring rendition of the National Anthem  prior to the House taking up its legislative business. The group has performed at several venues and events across our state and has also accepted an invitation to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City next year.

“These young artists have dedicated countless hours to their craft and it clearly showed. I thank them for blessing our legislative body with such a fantastic performance, and I speak for my colleagues when I say that we wish them all the best in the future.”

Clark Boyd serves as a member of the House Insurance & Banking Committee. He is also a member of the House Consumer & Human Resources Committee and Subcommittee. Boyd lives in Lebanon and represents House District 46, which includes Cannon, and part of Wilson and Dekalb Counties. He can be reached by email at: Rep.Clark.Boyd@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-7086.

Representative Boyd, House Republicans Advance Welfare Reform

March 26, 2018

NASHVILLE—Recently, Tennessee House Republicans passed House Bill 1551 — sponsored by State Representative Clark Boyd (R-Lebanon) — which reinstates work requirements for certain able-bodied citizens receiving benefits through the state’s Medicaid program, TennCare.

House Bill 1551 instructs the commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration to file a new waiver that allows Tennessee to implement reasonable work requirements for TennCare enrollees. Thanks to an important decision by the Trump Administration, the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued new guidelines for state Medicaid programs; this allows Tennessee to file a new Medicaid waiver with the federal government.

“In the Volunteer State, we believe in offering a hand up, not just a handout. These new requirements will open up the door for many TennCare recipients to find meaningful employment and begin working towards no longer needing government subsidized healthcare,” said Representative Boyd. “I am proud to sponsor this common-sense piece of legislation.”

Under the new TennCare waiver, certain able-bodied recipients would be able to fulfill their work requirements by working part-time, volunteering in their community, or by receiving job training that will give them the tools to find substantive employment.

For more information, please click here.

Clark Boyd serves as a member of the House Insurance & Banking Committee. He is also a member of the House Consumer & Human Resources Committee and Subcommittee. Boyd lives in Lebanon and represents House District 46, which includes Cannon, and part of Wilson and Dekalb Counties. He can be reached by email at Rep.Clark.Boyd@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-7086.

State Representative Clark Boyd’s Capitol Hill Review: 03/16/18

March 16, 2018

House Passes Bill Outlawing TennCare Reimbursements To State’s Abortion Providers

Republican-led measure aimed at protecting sanctity of life awaits passage in Senate

Monday evening, House Republicans passed legislation co-sponsored by State Representative Clark Boyd (R-Lebanon) outlawing TennCare reimbursements to the state’s abortion providers.

House Bill 2251 aims at protecting the sanctity of life by eliminating taxpayer funding to facilities that perform elective abortions. It does not impact the availability of other critical health care services offered to Tennessee women.

While some believe taxpayer dollars have been banned from funding abortions in Tennessee, documents from the Tennessee Department of Finance & Administration show providers across the state have received almost $1 million in funding from 2012-2017. Supporters of House Bill 2251 hope to change this by ending taxpayer assistance to these facilities once and for all.

The legislation passed this week is the latest in a series of initiatives designed to protect Tennessee’s unborn.

During the 2017 legislative session, Republican lawmakers passed the Tennessee Infants Protection Act; it prohibits abortions after 24 weeks — except in medical emergency — and requires testing to determine the viability of an unborn child if a woman is at least 20 weeks pregnant. The Tennessee Infants Protection Act also holds physicians who perform late-term abortions accountable for their actions.

For more information about House Bill 2251, please click here.

 

Initiative Supporting Tennessee’s Caregivers Heads To Be Signed Into Law

This week, Republican lawmakers — including Representative Boyd — voted unanimously to pass legislation that supports Tennessee’s caregivers. Now that it has passed in the House, it will be sent to the desk of Governor Haslam to be signed into law.

House Bill 1498 assists caregivers by enabling them to take an occasional, much-needed break from their responsibilities caring for elderly or vulnerable family members by offering additional support services from community organizations.

These brief recesses allow caregivers to recharge and also provide opportunities for them to interact socially with others. Studies indicate that breaks are one of the main requests made by those seeking counseling related to the stresses that are often associated with caring for elderly or vulnerable family members.

Caregiving is a labor of love, but it can also be a tremendous challenge. The daily responsibilities ranging from providing transportation, cooking meals, helping with bathing and dress, or even managing a family member’s finances can become overwhelming. House Bill 1498 supports the state’s caregivers by helping them realize they are not alone as they strive to provide the best possible care for their loved ones.

According to the American Association of Retired Persons, 40 million Americans help parents, spouses, and other loved ones live independently at home each day. Here in Tennessee, there is a critical need. Our state’s elderly population is expected to climb from its current level of 974,000 to almost 1.4 million over the next 15 years.

House lawmakers appreciate the selfless actions of Tennessee caregivers and are committed to providing additional resources that support them in their daily work.

For more information about House Bill 1498, please click here.

Business Expansions On Steady Rise Across State

As another example of the upward swing in Tennessee’s economy, there have been numerous major business expansions recently announced by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and House Republicans. Over the last few months, dozens of companies, both from within the state and from other parts of the country, have decided to expand their operations in Tennessee. With these expansion projects, thousands of jobs will be created along with hundreds of millions of dollars invested into local communities.

Some of the most prominent of the recently announced expansions include:

  • FedEx Corporation, Shelby County — The Memphis hub project includes construction of a new facility and installation of state-of-the-art sort systems, construction of a bulk truck loading building, and a new area to improve package handling. The new $1 billion investment is in addition to current FedEx facility that already employs over 11,000 team members.
  • Green Applications, LLC, Johnson County — A leading supplier specializing in LED lighting products for commercial, residential, marine, and automotive applications, Green Applications will expand operations in Mountain City, investing $1 million and creating 50 new jobs over the next five years.
  • JDS Technologies, Inc., Scott County — The second of JDS’ manufacturing facilities in Tennessee, the new facility means an investment of $2.2 million and the creation of 110 new jobs.
  • Master Tool & Die, Inc., Sullivan County — Founded in Kingsport in 1988, Master Tool & Die provides custom machining, welding, fabrication, and other services for businesses throughout the southeast. Their new expansion will yield $557,500 in local investment and 25 new jobs to the area.
  • DENSO, McMinn County — Expansion of the automotive supplier’s new facility in Athens means 320 new jobs and community investment of $190 million.
  • Asurion, LLC, Davidson County — Nashville-based Asurion is a global technology company that provides support solutions and protection for smartphones, tablets, consumer electronics, and other devices. The company operates in dozens of countries and has 17,000 employees worldwide — Nashville’s new expansion means an additional 400 jobs for Tennessee.

For more information about these expansions and to view other industry announcements from across the state, visit the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development website at www.tn.gov/ecd.

 

Tennessee Continues Trend Of Record Low Unemployment, Record Low Tax Burden In 2018

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development this week announced that unemployment across Tennessee has remained at a record low since the start of 2018. In addition, Wallet Hub — a nonpartisan organization focused on the financial industry — has officially ranked Tennessee as the lowest taxed state in the entire nation.

The unemployment rate in January of 2018 was 1.2 percent lower than the rate for the same month one year ago and has remained 3.3 percent since September 2017. Tennessee’s statewide unemployment rate has been below 4 percent since May 2017.

As multiple studies have noted, this long stretch of low unemployment is a testament to the economic climate in the state, allowing employers the ability to continue to tap into Tennessee’s talented workforce to create high-quality, high-paying jobs. The wholesale trade sector in Tennessee saw the biggest gain in jobs during January. Health care and social assistance ranked second in job growth during the month.

More than 3.1 million Tennesseans are currently working in Tennessee, a number that sets a state record.

While many politicians in Washington and around the country continue policies of reckless spending and partisan bickering, lawmakers in Tennessee have proudly passed initiatives that exercise fiscal restraint, save money for the future, and fully-fund the state’s educational priorities.

Because of this stark contrast with the rest of the nation, Tennessee has rapidly climbed the ladder as one of the overall best-managed states in the country. Coupled with the fact that Tennessee is one of only a handful of states with a higher bond rating than that of the federal government — a major indicator that showcases our state’s stable fiscal environment — it is easy to see why so many are looking to Tennessee for economic guidance.

Other recent awards for the state include:

  • Being named the 3rd best state in the nation for business by Business Facilities Magazine;
  • Placing 2nd place in Site Selection magazine’s annual Prosperity Cup, which ranks states based on overall tax and business climate;
  • Ranking 2nd in the country for transportation/road quality and 2nd in cost of living by CNBC;
  • And being named the #1 state in the nation for retirement by Bankrate.com.

These accolades are in addition to the other accomplishments Republican lawmakers have achieved since 2011, including cutting more than $800 million in taxes over the last 7 years and education advancements that have led to the fastest improving student test scores in the entire country.

There is no doubt that in Tennessee, things are moving in the right direction. Through a strong partnership of the General Assembly’s Republican majority and the work of Governor Bill Haslam, Tennessee has been successful in attracting job-creators, inspiring entrepreneurs, and putting people back to work. While Washington and many states around the country are struggling to come together, Tennessee is truly doing things the right way.

Clark Boyd serves as a member of the House Insurance & Banking Committee. He is also a member of the House Consumer & Human Resources Committee and Subcommittee. Boyd lives in Lebanon and represents House District 46, which includes Cannon, and part of Wilson and Dekalb Counties. He can be reached by email at: Rep.Clark.Boyd@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-7086. 

State Representatives Susan Lynn & Clark Boyd, Department of Education Announce Critical Growth Funds

February 22, 2018

(NASHVILLE) — State Representative Susan Lynn (R-Mount Juliet), State Representative Clark Boyd (R-Lebanon), and the Tennessee Department of Education today announced that Wilson County Schools and Lebanon Special School District have both received district growth funding to support education initiatives in Wilson County.

Specifically, Wilson County Schools received $746,000 and Lebanon Special School District received $176,500.

This funding is a direct result of a Republican-led effort to not only fully fund education in Tennessee but also provide an additional $18 million towards school district growth.

These significant investments in many Tennessee school districts will allow growing schools to maintain the necessary resources so that they can continue offering quality education for our state’s young leaders.

“We have made education a priority of the House Finance Committee; we’ve increased funding for K-12 education by over $1.2 billion over the last 7 years while cutting taxes for hardworking Tennesseans.  Wilson County has great schools, and these much needed additional funds help our fast growing districts,” said Representative Lynn.

“Providing a quality education for this next generation of Tennesseans is a top priority for me. I am honored and proud to work with my Republican colleagues as we continue that fight today and every day,” said Representative Boyd.

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.

Susan Lynn is the Chairman of the House Consumer & Human Resources Subcommittee. Lynn is also a member of the House Consumer & Human Resources, House Finance Ways & Means and House Ethics Committee, as well as the Joint Fiscal Review Committee. She lives in Mount Juliet and represents House District 57, which includes part of Wilson County. Lynn can be reached by email at Rep.Susan.Lynn@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-7462.

Clark Boyd serves as a member of the House Insurance & Banking Committee. He is also a member of the House Consumer & Human Resources Committee and Subcommittee. Boyd lives in Lebanon and represents House District 46, which includes Cannon, and part of Wilson and Dekalb Counties. He can be reached by email at: Rep.Clark.Boyd@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-7086.