Rep. Mary Littleton’s Newsroom

State Representative Mary Littleton’s Measure Cracking Down On Drug Dealers Passes In House

April 25, 2018

Bill will give law enforcement more tools to prosecute illegal drug crimes.

(NASHVILLE) — This week, Republican lawmakers unanimously supported passage of a measure sponsored by State Representative Mary Littleton (R–Dickson) designed to give law enforcement additional tools to fight Tennessee’s ongoing war on drugs.

House Bill 2190, which passed by a 96-0 vote Tuesday afternoon, creates a second-degree murder penalty for those who distribute an illegal substance that leads to the death of an individual. While current law allows this prosecution to take place for Schedule I drugs like heroin and LSD, House Bill 2190 expands this penalty to apply to all drug Schedules. This means the illegal distribution of other drugs like cocaine, and methamphetamine that leads to death can also be prosecuted for 2nd-degree murder.

Additionally, the bill adds analogs of fentanyl and carfentanil to this same list — a request made specifically by law enforcement officers across the state. Because drug dealers are constantly working to craft new combinations of the most potent drugs in an attempt to get around currently banned substance lists, adding analogs — the individual ingredients that make up a drug — to this list means that law enforcement can better stay on top of new drug combinations being created.

Fentanyl is reportedly 100 times more potent than morphine, and carfentanil is 10,000 times more potent. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the death rate of synthetic opioids —including fentanyl — increased 100 percent between 2015-2016.

Finally, House Bill 2190 closes legal loopholes so that members of the local law enforcement can hold manufacturers and suppliers accountable when more than one illegal substance has resulted in a person’s death. Current law prohibits prosecution for 2nd-degree murder in these instances. Approximately 66 percent of drug-related deaths last year were the result of multiple illegal substances uncovered during toxicology testing.

House Bill 2190 is the latest in a series of initiatives led by Representative Littleton and Republican lawmakers in order to address Tennessee’s drug crisis that has led to so many tragic outcomes in communities across the state.

“It is very disheartening that current law inhibits our local law enforcement community from holding drug dealers fully accountable for their actions, especially when the substances they have manufactured and distributed result in a death,” said Representative Littleton. “I am pleased that House Bill 2190 has received tremendous support from my House colleagues, and I know it will help us begin to break the cycle of addiction here in Tennessee.”

For more information about House Bill 2190, please click here.

Mary Littleton is a member of the House State Government Committee and Subcommittee, as well as the House Criminal Justice Committee. Littleton lives in Dickson and represents House District 78, which includes Cheatham and part of Dickson Counties. She can be reached by email at Rep.Mary.Littleton@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-7477.

State Representative Mary Littleton Introduces Measure To Improve Child Abuse & Neglect Reporting

February 26, 2018

(NASHVILLE) — State Representative Mary Littleton (R-Dickson) today introduced legislation that improves reporting related to instances of child abuse and neglect in Tennessee.

House Bill 2192 requires law enforcement booking agencies to inquire if an arrested person has children and to determine the health status of the children in question.

Additionally, it empowers the booking agency to establish procedures in order to more effectively communicate with the Department of Children’s Services (DCS) so that the department can then conduct a welfare check on a child once they have been notified by the agency.

One of the goals of House Bill 2192 is to reduce occurrences of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in children, which have been shown to negatively impact a child’s brain-building process.

ACEs include physical, emotional or sexual abuse; children who experience four or more ACEs are at a higher risk for poor outcomes later in life including chronic illness, poverty, depression, and addictive behaviors.

“We must do all we can in order to ensure that our children have the opportunity to grow up in environments where they can thrive,” said Representative Littleton. “I am honored to sponsor passage of this initiative because it promotes the health and safety of our youngest citizens so that they can achieve their goals and dreams in life.”

House Bill 2192 is expected to be heard by members of the House Civil Justice Subcommittee on Wednesday, February 28, 2018. For more information about the measure, please click here.

Mary Littleton is a member of the House State Government Committee and Subcommittee, as well as the House Criminal Justice Committee. Littleton lives in Dickson and represents House District 78, which includes Cheatham and part of Dickson Counties. She can be reached by email at Rep.Mary.Littleton@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-7477.

Representative Littleton, House Criminal Justice Committee Members Enhance Safety and Security for Tennesseans

September 28, 2017

(NASHVILLE) — Throughout the first half of the 110th Tennessee General Assembly, members of the House Criminal Justice Committee energetically worked to strengthen laws that improved the safety and security of citizens in communities across the state. Thanks to the hard work of State Representative Mary Littleton (R-Dickson) and fellow committee members, the panel advanced 50 legislative initiatives that were signed into law by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam.

These initiatives enhance the rights of crime victims, protect the confidentiality of minors, crack down on DUI, child abuse, drug, and sexual offenders, create harsher penalties for theft, illegal possession of firearms, human trafficking, and elder abuse, and help address Tennessee’s opioid crisis. Some of the legislation includes:

  • House Bill 29: Streamlines the compensation process for crime victims.
  • House Bill 44:     Establishes guidelines for finding missing persons.
  • House Bill 55:     Enhances penalties on individuals involved in retail theft.
  • House Bill 173: Clarifies sanctions against drug and substance abuse offenders.
  • House Bill 186:   Holds DUI offenders responsible for the cost of testing.
  • House Bill 317:  Ensures safe reentry into society for persons with mental health disorders.
  • House Bill 344: Protects the identities of underage crime victims.
  • House Bill 403:   Strengthens child endangerment laws.
  • House Bill 404:   Creates additional protections against child predators.
  • House Bill 452:   Increases penalties for felons found in possession of firearms.
  • House Bill 560:   Protects personal information of law enforcement members.
  • House Bill 615: Combats human trafficking and child sex abuse.
  • House Bill 810:   Safeguards elderly Tennesseans from abuse and exploitation.
  • House Bill 959:   Refines penalties for juveniles who share explicit images.
  • House Bill 1207: Deters overprescribing of opioids by Tennessee physicians.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve with the remarkable men and women of this committee in order to ensure that we continue to improve the safety and security of our communities,” said Representative Littleton. “The House Criminal Justice Committee was extremely successful at strengthening the current criminal law in 2017, and I look forward to advancing our work beginning in January.”

“I am proud of the work we did throughout the 2017 legislative session in order to heighten the safety and security ofTennesseans across our state,” said Committee Chairman and State Representative William Lamberth (R-Cottontown). “Credit the thorough work of the men and women who serve on this committee and as members of our state’s governing body. They continue to focus their efforts and resources on creating a safer and better Tennessee for future generations.”

Additionally, 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 Criminal Justice Committee for enhancing safety and security measures in order to better protect our residents,” said Speaker Harwell. “Their efforts during the 2017 legislative session will have a tremendous impact on Tennessee now and in the years to come.”

Mary Littleton is a member of the House State Government Committee and Subcommittee, as well as the House Criminal Justice Committee. Littleton lives in Dickson and represents House District 78, which includes Cheatham and part of Dickson Counties. She can be reached by email at Rep.Mary.Littleton@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-7477.

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Representative Littleton’s News

September 7, 2017

This week I had the privilege of visiting with Ian Smith, who is the recipient of the scholarship I offer through Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Dickson (TCAT). When I visited the campus I got to see Ian in action, and it was great to see someone so committed to what he loves. He is a hard worker, who has dedicated himself to his work and is passionate about future opportunities in fashion. Ian has a clothing company, Humble Day Clothing; I have listed the link below and would like to say just how proud I am of his accomplishments. He just released his summer collection, which he created in his classes at TCAT-Dickson. www.HumbleDaysClothing.com

          

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also wanted to also take the opportunity to talk about the scholarship I offer at TCAT- Dickson. My scholarship helps students who have lost their jobs and need retraining, get the education and future they deserve. Because the scholarship fund requires students to use existing financial aid funds first (Pell Grants, state lottery grants, etc.), the actual scholarship amounts will vary from student to student but will be limited to the cost of tuition, books, tools, supplies and uniforms to attend the student’s chosen program for one year. The goal is to provide one year of training with no out-of-pocket expenditures required of the student. The student may apply to the scholarship fund for renewal of the award in a second year. Award recipients will be selected by the Littleton Scholarship Committee established by the institution. The composition of the committee will include representation from the community, faculty, and administration.

To be eligible for the scholarship, a student must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be a resident of either Dickson County or Cheatham County.
  2. Be an existing TCAT – Dickson student or a newly enrolling student.
  3. Submit a Littleton Scholarship Application.
  4. Submit documentation that s/he has been made unemployed/underemployed due to no fault of their own.
  5. Submit a statement outlining retraining needed to secure employment.
  6. Apply and be accepted for enrollment in a program at any of TCAT – Dickson’s campuses. (Individual programs may have additional entrance requirements. Immediate enrollment may be delayed due to a program’s waiting list.)
  7. Apply for state and federal financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  8. Be committed to the completion of the occupational program.
  9. If a newly enrolling student, submit a letter of recommendation from a previous employer that includes a positive statement about the applicant’s work history.
  10. If an existing TCAT – Dickson student, submit a letter of recommendation from instructor addressing student’s grades and work ethic.

Republican Lawmakers Create Additional Protection Against Child Predators

April 24, 2017

(NASHVILLE) — Republican lawmakers have unanimously passed legislation sponsored by State Representative Mary Littleton (R-Dickson) and Senator Mike Bell (R-Riceville) that creates additional protection against child predators.

Communities across Tennessee already rely on the state’s sex offender registry to track and monitor convicted offenders who have moved into permanent or secondary residences upon release from prison.

House Bill 404 enables law enforcement officials to monitor offenders convicted of child rape or a child sexual predator offense who may not have a permanent address by requiring them to enroll in a satellite-based monitoring and supervision program. Anyone in Tennessee who has been convicted of a crime against a child on or after July 1, 2017 that does not have a permanent or secondary address must enroll in the program and remain in it for the duration of their parole term.

According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, 60 percent of children are abused by someone they know. Stop Child Predators, a Washington-based nonprofit dedicated to preventing child exploitation and other crimes against children, estimates that 1 in 5 girls are exploited before they reach adulthood. This legislation adds an additional layer of protection for Tennessee children against predators.

“Children are our most precious gift, and we must focus on protecting their innocence and safety,” said Representative Littleton. “House Bill 404 accomplishes this goal by making it tougher for criminals to elude prosecution from members of our local law enforcement communities.”

“This monitoring system allows us to determine if the probation or parole has been violated by showing the location of the sexual offender,” added Senator Bell. “We want to be able to monitor all offenders, regardless of whether they have a permanent address.  This is the only way to help ensure the safety of children.”

The full text of House Bill 404 can be accessed by visiting the Tennessee General Assembly website at: http://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/BillInfo/Default.aspx?BillNumber=HB0404&ga=110

Mary Littleton is a member of the House State Government Committee and Subcommittee, as well as the House Criminal Justice Committee. Littleton lives in Dickson and represents House District 78, which includes a portion of Cheatham and Dickson Counties. She can be reached by email at: Rep.Mary.Littleton@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-7477.

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Representative Littleton’s New Proposal Targets Illegal Opioid And Prescription Drug Suppliers

March 8, 2017

(NASHVILLE) – As House Republicans boost their efforts to combat the opioid and prescription drug epidemic in Tennessee, Representative Mary Littleton (R-Dickson) has introduced new legislation that would impose tougher penalties on illegal opioid and prescription drug suppliers.

House Bill 786 would enable law enforcement to charge illegal suppliers with voluntary manslaughter when they cause death to a user by unlawfully distributing or delivering controlled substances to them. The charge is a Class C felony in Tennessee and carries a penalty of 3-15 years in prison, as well as a fine of up to $10,000.

“Unfortunately, almost all of us know of someone whose life has been negatively affected by opioid or prescription drug abuse,” said Representative Littleton. “My hope is that this legislation will further reduce access to opioids and prescription drugs for Tennesseans and create a greater accountability for those who supply them.”

Tennessee consistently ranks at the top of the charts nationally as it relates to prescription drug abuse. In 2015, 1,451 Tennesseans died from drug overdoses, the highest annual number in our state’s history. 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.

The full text of House Bill 786 can be accessed by visiting the Tennessee General Assembly website at: http://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/110/Bill/HB0786.pdf

Mary Littleton is a member of the House State Government Committee and Subcommittee, as well as the House Criminal Justice Committee. Littleton lives in Dickson and represents House District 78, which includes a portion of Cheatham and Dickson Counties. She can be reached by email at: Rep.Mary.Littleton@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-7477.

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State Representatives Curcio and Littleton Recognize Dickson Farmers Co-OP

January 30, 2017

Representative Curcio, Representative Littleton Present Legislative Proclamation To Dickson Farmers Co-Op

Local community icon recently celebrated 70 years in business

 

(NASHVILLE) — This week, State Representative Michael Curcio (R–Dickson) and State Representative Mary Littleton (R–Dickson) presented a legislative proclamation to local staff of the Dickson Farmers Co-Op, which provides a range of pet, hardware, and agricultural supplies and services to customers in Dickson County and surrounding areas, as well as contributing to Tennessee’s overall economic success.

The Dickson Farmers Co-Op, created in 1946, recently celebrated its 70th year in business, with 800 of its 1,400 members participating in the anniversary celebrations.

“We commend the Dickson Farmers Co-Op on its seventieth anniversary and extend to its members, board of directors, and employees our best wishes for success in all future endeavors,” said Representative Curcio.

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