Rep. Glen Casada’s Newsroom

House Republicans Lead Efforts To Better Protect Tennessee’s Students

May 3, 2018

(NASHVILLE) — Throughout the 2018 legislative session Republicans lawmakers — led by House Republican Caucus Chairman Ryan Williams (R-Cookeville) and House Majority Leader Glen Casada (R-Thompson’s Station) — have fought to strengthen protections against Tennessee educators who do not have the best interests of their students in mind.

House Republicans supported passage of five different initiatives that strengthen penalties against these individuals and reduce future instances of misconduct from occurring. They are the direct result of a recent report and recommendations made by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office of Research and Education Accountability (OREA) designed to better protect our students. The measures include:

  • House Bill 1997: Enhances background checks for current educators and potential candidates.
  • House Bill 2009: Strengthens reporting of misconduct involving Tennessee teachers.
  • House Bill 2099: Improves the sharing of information and data regarding disciplinary action taken against educators.
  • House Bill 2165: Clarifies boundaries between educators and their students by updating the Tennessee Teacher’s Code of Ethics.
  • House Bill 2433: Improves school district transparency related to settlements involving teacher misconduct.

“As a father of two teenage children, I am proud to support my colleagues as we work to better protect our students from educators who do not have their best interests in mind,” said Chairman Williams. “These measures will increase student safety in classrooms and schools across our state by holding our educators to higher standards of behavior.”

“Tennessee students and their parents place their unwavering trust in their teachers,” said Leader Casada. “We must do all we can to ensure that trust is never betrayed, and these initiatives are a step in the right direction. I know we will continue to strengthen our laws related to this important issue in the days ahead.”

Williamson County Delegation Applauds Passage Of Bill Ending Mandatory Vehicle Emissions

April 20, 2018

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

(NASHVILLE) – An initiative supported by members of the Williamson County Legislative Delegation including State Representative Glen Casada (R-Thompson’s Station), State Representative Charles Sargent (R-Franklin), and State Representative Sam Whitson (R-Franklin) requiring counties to take all necessary steps to end mandatory vehicle emissions testing in Tennessee has passed in the House chamber.

House Bill 1782 — approved by a 96-0 vote tally by House members this week — would apply to residents of Williamson 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 Williamson 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 Casada. “House Bill 1782 moves Tennessee away from mandatory vehicle emissions testing which benefits our citizens and doesn’t create any harmful environmental side effects.”

“Those who can least afford to participate in vehicle emissions testing are baring cost burdens associated with this obsolete practice,” added Representative Sargent.  “I am proud to have sponsored legislation that will enable our hardworking families to save more of their money while maintaining total air quality.”

“This bill allows local governments to petition the Environmental Protection Agency to end testing if they continue to maintain total air quality standards already in place across Tennessee,” said Representative Whitson. “Moving away from this time consuming and costly form of testing will have a life-changing financial impact on our citizens who are living paycheck to paycheck and who depend on their vehicles to get to and from work each day.”

For more information about House Bill 1782, click here.

State Representative Bill Dunn Spearheads Efforts To Help Combat Tennessee Opioid Epidemic

February 7, 2018

(NASHVILLE) — While the federal government has only just commenced conversation about the opioid epidemic, Tennessee leads the way in fighting the situation here at home. This week, State Representative Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville) was chosen by House Majority Leader Glen Casada (R-Thompson’s Station) and Governor Bill Haslam to shepherd House Bill 1832 through the legislative process.

The goal of the bill, which is part of Haslam’s Tennessee Together proposal, is to combat the state’s opioid problem head on through the three major components of prevention, treatment, and law enforcement. The plan incorporates recommendations made by Speaker Beth Harwell’s Ad Hoc Task Force on Opioid Abuse.

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.

Legislative solutions proposed by House Bill 1832 include updates to the state’s controlled substance schedules in order to better track, monitor, and penalize the use and unlawful distribution of dangerous and addictive drugs — including fentanyl. The bill also includes sentence reduction credits for prisoners who successfully complete intensive substance use disorder treatment programs while incarcerated.

“By solving the opioid epidemic, we ultimately save lives and taxpayer dollars,” said Representative Dunn. “I am honored the Governor has asked me to carry this important and much-needed legislation.”

Over the last five years, Representative Dunn has worked closely with the Metro Drug Coalition (MDC) in identifying substance abuse solutions and providing direction to the community. The MDC was established 31 years ago by a joint resolution of the City of Knoxville and Knox County to unite policymakers and leaders to address drug problems.

“The opioid epidemic is an issue that has impacted every single one of us,” continued Leader Casada. “This legislation is a significant step forward in taking an aggressive approach to both penalizing those who break the law while also helping those truly in need. I am proud to stand beside Representative Dunn as he shepherds this bill through the legislative process and am confident in his ability to get the job done.”

House Bill 1832 will first be heard in the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee in the coming weeks. For the full text of the bill, visit http://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/110/Bill/HB1832.pdf.

House Leadership Welcomes Representative Kevin Vaughan To Republican Caucus

January 17, 2018

Vaughan receives committee appointments from House Speaker Beth Harwell

(NASHVILLE) — Recently, the House of Representatives officially gaveled into session, marking the beginning of the second half of the 110th General Assembly in Tennessee.

As part of the opening week ceremonies, State Representative Kevin Vaughan (R–Collierville) officially joined his colleagues in the House and was selected to serve on three committees by House Speaker Beth Harwell (R–Nashville): the House Business & Utilities Committee, the House Business & Utilities Subcommittee, and the House Insurance & Banking Committee.

This year, legislators are looking to build upon the success of the previous legislative session that saw wasteful government spending cut from the budget, taxes reduced for all Tennesseans, measures passed to encourage job growth and numerous government reforms.

“It is great to have Representative Kevin Vaughan as a member of our Republican Caucus,” said House Republican Caucus Chairman Ryan Williams (R–Cookeville). “His enthusiasm for the residents of District 95 and the issues that impact the West Tennessee region will benefit our entire caucus and enable us to better serve the residents of our state.”

Kevin and his wife Johnna have been married for 28 years and have two kids, Alex and Grayson. In addition to many other hats Kevin wears, including serving as a thirty-year member of First Baptist Church in Collierville, he is also the owner of a real estate and development consulting firm.

“Kevin’s conservative beliefs and small business experience will be a true asset to the legislature and state of Tennessee,” continued House Majority Leader Glen Casada (R–Thompson’s Station). “We all look forward to rolling up our sleeves and working with Representative Vaughan this session.