Rep. David Byrd’s Newsroom

State Representative David “Coach” Byrd’s Capitol Hill Update: 04/19/18

April 19, 2018

House Legislators Pass ‘Tennessee Together’ Plan To Help Combat Opioid Epidemic

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, House Legislators passed legislation to combat the state’s opioid problem head on Tennessee Together.

Tennessee Together is a multi-faceted plan comprised of legislation, $30 million in funds through the proposed 2018-2019 budget, and other executive actions to battle opioids 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 included in Tennessee Together include limiting 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.

Additionally, the plan invests more than $25 million for treatment and recovery services for individuals with opioid use disorder. These services will include an increase in peer recovery specialists in targeted, high-need emergency departments to connect patients to treatment immediately.

Tennessee Together increases state funding to attack the illicit sale and trafficking of opioids through additional law enforcement agencies 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.

House Legislators are dedicated to working closely with the Governor to address Tennessee’s opioid problem. While the Tennessee Together plan is a huge step in the right direction, expect additional time and resources to be spent on the opioid front in the coming days.

As always, I am truly humbled and honored to be your voice in Nashville. If there is ever any issue I can assist you with, please contact my office by calling 615-741-2190 or emailing me at: rep.david.byrd@capitol.tn.gov.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts, ideas, concerns, and suggestions as we continue to protect Tennessee’s conservative values throughout the remainder of the 110th General Assembly.

State Representative David Byrd, Department of Education Announce Critical Growth Funds

February 21, 2018

(NASHVILLE) — State Representative David Byrd (R-Waynesboro) and the Tennessee Department of Education today announced that Hardin County Schools have received district growth funding to support education initiatives in the county.

Specifically, Hardin County Schools received $55,500.

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.

“As the Vice Chairman of the House Education Instruction & Planning Committee, I have experienced first-hand the burden that our state’s growing school districts experience,” said Representative Byrd.  “My hope is that these funds will help our educators and our students as our community expands.”

The inclusion of growth funding as part of the budget has been so well received by parents, education officials, and teachers that the governor has added an additional $18 million in growth funding as part of his proposed Fiscal Year 2019 budget.

David Byrd serves as the Vice-Chairman of the House Education Instruction & Programs Committee. He is also a member of the House Education Instruction & Programs Subcommittee, as well as the House Finance, Ways & Means Committee. Byrd lives in Waynesboro and represents House District 71, which includes Hardin, Lewis, Wayne and part of Lawrence Counties. He can be reached by email at: Rep.David.Byrd@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-2190.

House Republicans Encourage Tennessee Students To Celebrate Freedom

April 26, 2017

(NASHVILLE) — This week, House Republicans passed legislation sponsored by State Representative David Byrd (R-Waynesboro) that helps Tennessee students learn the principles of freedom in our nation’s founding documents.

House Bill 287 designates the week of September 17 as “Celebrate Freedom Week” in Tennessee public schools. The week-long celebration that coincides with Constitution Day each September 17 helps students  learn more about the original intent, meaning and importance of documents like the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, and U.S. Constitution.

While these items are already included in social studies curriculums across the state, Celebrate Freedom Week allows educators to utilize technology to create special lesson plans and also affords  them additional time to teach their students about the historical significance of these documents and other important events.

“Our proud history and important items like the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence are sometimes taken for granted,” said Representative Byrd. “As an educator, I understand  that this legislation will help current and future generations of Tennessee children appreciate U.S. historical documents and better understand their importance in our country’s history.”

The full text of House Bill 287 can be accessed by visiting the Tennessee General Assembly website at: http://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/110/Bill/HB0287.pdf

David Byrd serves as the Vice-Chairman of the House Education Instruction & Programs Committee. He is also a member of the House Education Instruction & Programs Subcommittee, as well as the House Finance, Ways & Means Committee. Byrd lives in Waynesboro and represents House District 71, which includes Hardin, Lewis, Wayne and part of Lawrence Counties. He can be reached by email at: Rep.David.Byrd@capitol.tn or by calling (615) 741-2190.

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