Rep. Ron Gant’s Newsroom

Recent Tennessee Job Developments Tied To Work Of Representative Gant & House Republicans

May 4, 2018

(NASHVILLE) — Two major Tennessee job developments this week are a direct result of the work of State Representative Ron Gant (R-Rossville) and House Republicans.

Wednesday morning, global investment firm AllianceBernstein announced it is making a $70 million investment in a new Nashville headquarters. The move is expected to create 1,050 new jobs and is directly tied to the passage of House Bill 2112 — sponsored by Representative Gant during the recently completed legislative session.

The measure adds a job recruitment tool through tax incentives related to the Franchise & Excise (F&E) Tax. By law, any industry that is chartered or organized in Tennessee and is doing business here must register and pay the tax based on factors like property, payroll, and sales.

House Bill 2112 reduces these factors for financial asset management companies who desire to move to Tennessee by removing property and payroll from the equation and using only a company’s sales factor. This initiative is designed to help maintain our state’s recent economic momentum by supporting the ongoing efforts to attract new business to Tennessee.

Wednesday afternoon, Gant joined with Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam for a celebration to mark the opening of two new assembly lines at Monogram Refrigeration, LLC in Selmer, Tennessee. The new production lines will create refrigerators and packaged thermal air conditioning units. They are backed by a $9.3 million investment in upgrades to the Selmer facility by GE — a move that has created 210 new jobs.

“My Republican colleagues and I have fought to bring high-paying jobs to all regions of our state, and Wednesday’s developments are only just the beginning,” said Representative Gant. “We are seeing top-notch companies come to Tennessee because they know that we have created an environment where they will be able to thrive. I am excited about these recent developments and will not rest until more of our citizens and more Tennesseans have the quality jobs they desire.”

In recent years, the efforts of Representative Gant and House Republicans have led to the creation of almost 400,000 net new private sector jobs. As of April 30, statewide unemployment remains near the lowest rates ever recorded in Tennessee’s 222-year history.

For more information about how House Republicans are advancing Tennessee’s conservative values, please click here.

Ron Gant serves as Assistant Majority Floor Leader. He is also a member of the House Health Committee and the House Calendar and Rules Committee, as well as the House Insurance & Banking Sub and Full Committees. Gant lives in Rossville and represents House District 94, which includes Fayette, McNairy, and part of Hardeman County. He can be reached by email at: rep.ron.gant@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-6890.

General Assembly Approves Representative Gant’s Bill Creating Jobs For Rural Tennesseans

May 2, 2018

(NASHVILLE) — The Tennessee General Assembly has approved a measure sponsored by State Representative Ron Gant (R-Rossville) designed to spur rural job growth.

House Bill 1914 paves the way for economic development in rural cities and towns across our state by allowing local governments to decide whether they want to reinvest surplus monies that currently reside in municipal gas utility accounts into a community or economic development initiative spearheaded by a local chamber of commerce.

The measure further reduces red tape and bureaucracy by promoting partnerships between local government and business so that they can work together to identify new opportunities to promote rural Tennessee communities in efforts to make them desirable destinations for future employers.

While statewide unemployment remains near the lowest rates ever recorded in Tennessee’s 222-year history, Representative Gant knows there is an ongoing need for more high-quality jobs in his community.

Gant believes House Bill 1914 is an important step in the creation of these types of jobs that will benefit residents of District 94.

“Over the past two years, I have prioritized job growth and economic opportunity in our communities, and I am pleased that House Bill 1914 adds another resource to promote business-friendly environments,” said Representative Gant. “I will continue to fight for more resources so that our cities and towns have the tools they need to succeed when it comes to job creation.”

“This initiative gives Dyersburg a new tool to use as we work to attract new employers looking to expand their operations to Tennessee,” said Dyersburg Mayor John Holden. “I am grateful to Representative Gant and his House colleagues for their efforts on this important legislation, and I look forward to partnering with him in order to address our future needs.”

“This development is tremendous news for our town,” said Selmer Mayor John Smith. “I am excited about the possibilities this legislation creates as it relates to new jobs, and I thank Representative Gant for fighting to ensure its passage.”

“Our community and our region is prepared for the next wave of high quality jobs heading to Tennessee, and House Bill 1914 gives us another resource to help sell our community to new employers,” said Somerville Mayor Ronnie Neill. “I appreciate Representative Gant’s leadership on this important issue, and I know our citizens will benefit tremendously from this bill’s passage.”

Over the last several years, the efforts of Representative Gant and House Republicans have led to the creation of more than 400,000 net new private sector jobs in cities and towns across Tennessee.

House Bill 1914 now heads to Governor Haslam’s desk where it is expected to be signed into law. For more information, please click here.

Ron Gant serves as Assistant Majority Floor Leader. He is also a member of the House Health Committee and the House Calendar and Rules Committee, as well as the House Insurance & Banking Sub and Full Committees. Gant lives in Rossville and represents House District 94, which includes Fayette, McNairy, and part of Hardeman County. He can be reached by email at: rep.ron.gant@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-6890.

Representative Gant’s Measure Increasing Access To Resources Will Spur Economic Development & Job Growth Across Rural Tennessee

April 30, 2018

As other states struggle with out-of-control spending and mounting debt, my colleagues and I in the House chamber have created an environment that has positioned Tennessee to remain a national leader in job creation. Since 2011, Republican-led efforts have supported the creation of more than 400,000 net new private sector jobs in cities and towns across Tennessee.

While statewide unemployment remains near the lowest rates ever recorded in Tennessee’s 222-year history, average unemployment in District 94 is a bit higher. That is why I have prioritized resources and initiatives that will spur job growth in our community.

Last week, we took an important step with passage of House Bill 1914. It gives local governments the authority to decide whether they want to reinvest surplus monies that currently reside in municipal gas utility accounts into a community or economic development initiative spearheaded by our local chambers of commerce.

The measure further reduces red tape and bureaucracy by promoting partnerships between local government and business so that they can work together to identify new opportunities to promote our community and make it a desirable destination for future employers.

The local leaders that I have been working with on this idea are very excited about the outcome of House Bill 1914 because they agree that it should pave the way for more jobs and new economic development opportunities. While this is exciting news, we have more work ahead of us.

I will not rest until our residents have the quality jobs they desire and until our counties are removed from the Appalachian Regional Commission’s (ARC) distressed list. It has been an honor to fight for you and for job growth across District 94 throughout my time serving in our General Assembly. Thank you for the opportunity, thank you for your partnership, and thank you for your support.

Ron Gant serves as Assistant Majority Floor Leader. He is also a member of the House Health Committee and the House Calendar and Rules Committee, as well as the House Insurance & Banking Sub and Full Committees. Gant lives in Rossville and represents House District 94, which includes Fayette, McNairy, and part of Hardeman County. He can be reached by email at rep.ron.gant@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-6890.

State Representative Ron Gant’s Final 2018 Capitol Hill Review

April 30, 2018

Republicans Focus On Jobs, Education, Opioids; Adjourn In Timely Manner

In the final few days of this year’s legislative session, State Representative Ron Gant (R-Rossville) 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 Gant 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.

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.

 

Ron Gant serves as Assistant Majority Floor Leader. He is also a member of the House Health Committee and the House Calendar and Rules Committee, as well as the House Insurance & Banking Sub and Full Committees. Gant lives in Rossville and represents House District 94, which includes Fayette, McNairy, and part of Hardeman County. He can be reached by email at: rep.ron.gant@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-6890.

State Representative Ron Gant, House Republicans Pass Conservative Budget and Strengthen Safety Laws

April 23, 2018

Fiscally Conservative Balanced Budget Passed By House Of Representatives

In the final few days of this year’s legislative session, State Representative Ron Gant (R-Rossville) 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.

 

Measure Enhancing Security In Tennessee Passes In House

This week, Representative Gant 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.

 

Ron Gant serves as Assistant Majority Floor Leader. He is also a member of the House Health Committee and the House Calendar and Rules Committee, as well as the House Insurance & Banking Sub and Full Committees. Gant lives in Rossville and represents House District 94, which includes Fayette, McNairy, and part of Hardeman County. He can be reached by email at rep.ron.gant@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-6890.

Measure Sponsored By Representative Gant Addressing Tennessee’s Opioid Crisis Passes In House

April 16, 2018

(NASHVILLE) — A measure sponsored by State Representative Ron Gant (R-Rossville) designed to address Tennessee’s opioid crisis has passed in the House chamber.

House Bill 1993 requires all prescriptions for Schedule II controlled substances in Tennessee to be issued electronically by July of 2020. The measure includes exceptions for doctors in rural communities who may encounter technological barriers in the treatment of their patients.

Schedule II controlled substances have a high potential for abuse which may lead to severe psychological dependence. They include substances such as methadone, oxycodone, fentanyl, and morphine.

Recent studies suggest that Tennessee pharmacists filled over 500,000 fraudulent prescriptions last year alone. House Bill 1993 addresses this issue and is an additional tool in fighting a public health crisis that has impacted cities and towns across Tennessee.     

In 2016 alone, there were over 1,600 opioid-related overdose deaths, one of the highest death rates in the nation, and statistics show these numbers are only increasing. Every day in Tennessee, at least three people die from opioid-related overdoses — more than the daily number of traffic fatalities.

“It is clear that we have reached a defining moment in determining future health outcomes for the citizens of our state,” said Representative Gant. “This current opioid epidemic has no boundaries, and many of our residents are all too familiar with its destructive outcomes. House Bill 1993 is a step forward in limiting the number of prescription opioids available in our communities, and I believe it will be one of many solutions that will enable Tennesseans to finally end the cycle of addiction.”

For more information about House Bill 1993, please click here.

Ron Gant serves as Assistant Majority Floor Leader. He is also a member of the House Health Committee and the House Calendar and Rules Committee, as well as the House Insurance & Banking Sub and Full Committees. Gant lives in Rossville and represents House District 94, which includes Fayette, McNairy, and part of Hardeman County. He can be reached by email at rep.ron.gant@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-6890.

Representative Gant & House Republicans Take Action To Begin Addressing Tennessee’s Opioid Crisis

April 16, 2018

While conversations about the opioid epidemic have only just begun at the federal level, Tennessee has taken the lead on an issue that will define future health outcomes for the citizens of our state.

Last week, we implemented three new solutions in an effort to begin addressing a public health crisis that claimed the lives of more than 1,600 Tennesseans in 2016 alone, one of the highest death rates in the entire nation.

Every day in Tennessee, at least three people die from opioid-related overdoses — more than the daily number of traffic fatalities. Thankfully, we are making progress curbing instances of opioid and drug abuse in cities and towns across Tennessee.

House Bill 1831 begins to address opioid abuse by limiting initial addiction among Tennesseans. It decreases the supply and dosage of prescription opioids with an emphasis on new patients and prescriptions. Ultimately, it reduces the number of opioids available in our communities.

According to the Tennessee Department of Health and the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, more than 7 million opioid prescriptions are filled annually in our state. Studies indicate that patients who receive opioid prescriptions exceeding five days face a higher risk of addiction.

House Bill 1832 supports the goal of House Bill 1831 by updating 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, reducing recidivism rates and saving taxpayer money.

Finally, House Bill 1993 — which I sponsored — requires all prescriptions for Schedule II controlled substances in Tennessee to be issued electronically by July of 2020. The measure includes exceptions for doctors in rural communities who may encounter technological barriers in the treatment of their patients.

Schedule II controlled substances have a high potential for abuse which may lead to severe psychological dependence. They include substances such as methadone, oxycodone, fentanyl, and morphine. Recent studies suggest that Tennessee pharmacists filled over 500,000 fraudulent prescriptions last year alone.     

While none of these measures will completely eliminate our opioid crisis, they are important steps that begin the process of breaking the cycle of addiction here in Tennessee. I want you to know that I will continue to fight for additional resources in the coming days in order to ensure the future health of our state.

Ron Gant serves as Assistant Majority Floor Leader. He is also a member of the House Health Committee and the House Calendar and Rules Committee, as well as the House Insurance & Banking Sub and Full Committees. Gant lives in Rossville and represents House District 94, which includes Fayette, McNairy, and part of Hardeman County. He can be reached by email at rep.ron.gant@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-6890.

Removing Employment Barriers For Tennesseans Seeking Fresh Start

April 9, 2018

As the 2018 legislative session enters its final weeks, House Republicans remain focused on supporting initiatives that promote job growth and economic prosperity in all regions of our state.

Tennessee continues to experience near historic low levels as it relates to unemployment. Recent numbers released for February show that our statewide unemployment rate currently sits at 3.4 percent. This means that over the past 12 months, our unemployment rate has decreased more than a full percentage point and also remains less than the national average of 4.1 percent.

Our consistently record low unemployment rates showcase the impact of the policies passed by Republican lawmakers. These initiatives have helped to foster an environment where businesses can thrive and create jobs. Additionally, we are finding new ways to support those hoping to capitalize on the larger number of high-quality jobs available.

Just last week, we passed legislation removing barriers to employment for Tennesseans seeking a fresh start in life. House Bill 2248also known as the Fresh Start Act — provides a pathway to employment for citizens who are returning to their communities following incarceration and who desire new opportunities in life.

Currently, Tennessee requires licenses for 110 different jobs; many impacts those seeking manual labor or other industrial-related work. State licensing boards can deny a license for these professions to individuals with past criminal records, including lower-level forms of crime classified as misdemeanors.

As passed, House Bill 2248 requires that denials and refusals for license renewals based on a prior criminal conviction are only allowable when the criminal offense directly relates to an individual’s ability to perform duties associated with the occupation or profession they are seeking a licensure for — excluding violent felonies.

Supporters of the legislation agree that additional punishment for individuals who have paid their debt to society is wrong and this bill allows for a person to fix past mistakes while also helping citizens capitalize on a greater number of high-quality jobs available in Tennessee.

According to the Council of State Governments (CSG), nearly 10 million U.S. adults return to their communities following incarceration every year; upon their release, many face significant barriers to securing employment. CSG estimates that occupational restrictions can result in 2.85 million fewer people employed nationally and also raise consumer expenses by more than $200 billion.

My colleagues and I will continue to support initiatives like the Fresh Start Act because they will help sustain Tennessee’s economic momentum while removing barriers and regulations that hinder employment. We will continue to fight for you and provide additional resources that support our citizens in their efforts to secure the quality jobs they desire.

Ron Gant serves as Assistant Majority Floor Leader. He is also a member of the House Health Committee and the House Calendar and Rules Committee, as well as the House Insurance & Banking Sub and Full Committees. Gant lives in Rossville and represents House District 94, which includes Fayette, McNairy, and part of Hardeman County. He can be reached by email at: rep.ron.gant@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-6890.

House Republicans Focus On Student Safety

April 2, 2018

Under the leadership of House Republicans, Tennessee students are the fastest improving in the entire nation across math, reading, and science. Last year, our state also posted the highest graduation rate ever — 89.1 percent.

While evidence suggests that we are moving in the right direction as it relates to improving our state’s education system, there is more work to be done. This is especially true when it comes to protecting our children during school hours.

Recent, violent events involving innocent school children in both Kentucky and Florida have served as a reminder to all of us that we live in a very different world than when we were children.

Two weeks ago, Governor Haslam announced that he is allocating an additional $30 million as part of his Fiscal Year 2019 budget in order to address and identify risks and improve overall student safety in academic institutions across our state.

These monies will fund solutions created by the Governor’s School Safety Working Group. Last week, this group of lawmakers, law enforcement officials, and stakeholders released their official recommendations after three weeks of meetings — zeroing in on three immediate priorities.

The first is a review and assessment of all school facilities in an effort to identify vulnerabilities. This will help determine the most appropriate use of resources in order to address them.

Additionally, the group has recommended funding for more school resource officers with an initial focus on schools with less capacity to fund them through local resources.

The final immediate priority is to develop or secure a statewide technology application for the anonymous reporting of threats and critical concerns. Other recommendations focus on training and drills, as well as promoting positive behavioral health for all students.

Even if we are able to implement all of these ideas, we still may not be able to completely prevent future incidents from occurring. I believe it is imperative that we also remember the importance of faith in our daily lives. We can do this by looking inwardly at the condition of our own hearts and get back to loving our neighbors as ourselves.

What we are witnessing in communities across our nation today is a moral shift within society, and we must reverse this in order to finally put an end to these senseless tragedies once and for all. I want you to know that I am committed to protecting our students, our teachers, and our school staff members, and I look forward to the work ahead of us as a legislative body.

Ron Gant serves as Assistant Majority Floor Leader. He is also a member of the House Health Committee and the House Calendar and Rules Committee, as well as the House Insurance & Banking Sub and Full Committees. Gant lives in Rossville and represents House District 94, which includes Fayette, McNairy, and part of Hardeman County. He can be reached by email at rep.ron.gant@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-6890.

 

Tennessean Continues To Lead In Job Creation

March 26, 2018

Recently, we learned that our statewide unemployment rate for the month of February was a full percentage point lower than it was in February of 2017. Tennessee continues as a leader in job creation and economic growth. For several weeks, my colleagues and I have remained focused on how we can better prepare all regions of our state to contend with neighboring states when it comes to attracting quality jobs.

Last week in the House chamber, we voted to unanimously support passage of House Bill 2112 — which I sponsored. The measure adds another recruitment tool to our state’s arsenal through tax incentives — especially as it relates to the state’s Franchise & Excise (F&E) Tax.

By law, any corporation, limited partnership, limited liability company or business trust that is chartered/organized in Tennessee and is doing business in this state must register for and pay the F&E Tax. This tax takes into account factors like net worth or book value of personal property owned or used in Tennessee, as well as net earnings or income for a specific tax year.

House Bill 2112 reduces those factors for financial asset management companies who desire to move to Tennessee. It simplifies their tax liability and promotes job creation through the use of a single sales factor. Under this method, the sales factor is the only factor considered when it comes to determining a company’s tax base.

This initiative is the latest in a series of Republican-led measures designed to spur economic growth and prosperity in cities and towns across Tennessee. Over the last several years, House Republicans have slashed more than $800 million in taxes and created more than 400,000 net new private sector jobs. Because we have implemented a conservative fiscal strategy, we have the lowest overall taxes of any state, and we are open for business.

I am pleased with the support that House Bill 2112 has received and am eager to see it signed into law by Governor Haslam. I know it will open up a new world of possibilities as it relates to quality job growth across all regions of our state.

My colleagues and I will continue to back sensible initiatives and provide additional resources so that Tennessee can continue to thrive. This will allow more of our citizens to have an opportunity to achieve their version of the American Dream. House Bill 2112 keeps the Volunteer State moving in the right direction.