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Legislative Update from Representative Chris Hurt

Meeting with Local Leaders

This past week I met with many local leaders from various organizations. I met with the ladies from Delta Sigma Theta where we discussed prison reform and education. I also met with representatives from both Forked Deer Electric and Gibson Electric and what the legislature is doing that might affect electric cooperatives in the state as well as increase efforts to bring broadband internet to the rural areas in our district. Finally, I met with representatives from Ripley Power and Light who updated me on legislation affecting the Tennessee Municipal Electric Power Association members.

Toured Nashville TCAT Facility

On Thursday, I visited a Tennessee College of Applied Technology facility in Nashville that is very similar to the one we have in Ripley. It was a very informative tour that gave me a better understanding of what exactly TCAT facilities can offer residents throughout the state.

House Republicans File Legislation Empowering Tennessee To Lead On Healthcare

Recently, House Republicans introduced legislation that will empower Tennessee to lead on healthcare and create a patient-centered system that addresses the unique needs of our citizens, while lowering costs.

House Bill 1280 calls on the Governor, acting through the Commissioner of Finance & Administration to submit a waiver to the federal centers for Medicare and Medicaid services to immediately provide assistance to the state’s TennCare population through the implementation of block grants.

Block grants authorized through House Bill 1280 must convert the federal share of all medical assistance funding for Tennessee into an allotment that is tailored to meet our state’s specific needs. All grant funding must be indexed to take into account both inflation and population growth.

In recent years, Tennessee has become a national leader in innovation — whether it is job creation, or improving our education system. This legislation enables us to once again lead on a critical local and national issue, without federal mandates.

Obamacare Expansion Won’t Alleviate Rural Hospital Struggles

Reports began circulating earlier this month that Cumberland River Hospital would be closing on March 1.

Following this news, House Democrats immediately began spreading their false narrative that expanding Obamacare would solve all of the issues facing our rural hospitals. However, this is simply not true.

According to the Upper Cumberland Business Journal, “the decision to close Celina’s Cumberland River Hospital ultimately came down to three major factors: declining reimbursements from all payers, increased operating costs, and decreasing patient volume.”

While House Democrats use the excuse of rural hospital struggles to push their liberal agenda for socialized medicine, Republicans are working to provide patient-centered solutions to our healthcare crisis.

In the days, weeks, and months ahead, House Republicans will unveil a new plan that focuses on the unique needs of our citizens. By implementing a patient-centered approach to address healthcare, we will achieve our goals of increasing access, improving the quality of care, and lowering costs through increased competition and transparency.

Gov. Bill Lee Announces the Future Workforce Initiative

This week, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced the Future Workforce Initiative to increase science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) training in K-12 schools as part of his first-year legislative agenda for education.

This investment in STEM-focused early college and career experiences supports the Tennessee Department of Education’s “Tennessee Pathways” Certification process, as well as the STEM School Designation partnership with groups like Tennessee STEM Innovation Network and

The Future Workforce Initiative aims to put Tennessee in the top 25 states for job creation in the technology sector by 2022 through three areas of emphasis including:

  • Launching new CTE programs focused in STEM fields with 100 new middle school programs and tripling the number of STEM-designated public schools by 2022.
  • Growing the number of teachers qualified to teach work-based learning and advanced computer science courses through STEM teacher training and implementation of K-8 computer science standards.
  • Expanding postsecondary STEM opportunities in high school through increased access to dual credit, AP courses and dual-enrollment.

Republican Lawmakers Introduce Legislation To Prevent Elder Financial Abuse And Fraud

This week, Republican lawmakers introduced legislation to increase the penalty for those who are financially exploiting Tennesseans through telephone and electronic scams.

As introduced, House Bill 799 increases the penalty and broadens the offense of financial exploitation of n elderly or vulnerable person to include the use of a telephone or other electronic or communication device to fraudulently or deceptively obtain or attempt to obtain money, property, or anything of value from the victim.

According to media reports, law enforcement officials have been warning Tennesseans, especially our elderly and vulnerable adults, about potential scams targeting these groups during tax season. Some of these scam artists will call or email and pose as an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official, asking for sensitive information. Don’t be fooled by these callers. Ask for a name, title and phone number, but don’t call back. Report any suspicious activity to the proper authorities.

Governor Lee, Republican Leaders Announce FedEx Logistics Move To Downtown Memphis

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, joined with Republican leaders and FedEx Logistics earlier this week to announce the company will move its headquarters to downtown Memphis —  an investment of $44 million, which will create 689 jobs.

A subsidiary of FedEx Corporation, FedEx Logistics provides worldwide freight forwarding services that can help increase supply chain efficiency and drive down costs by replacing a maze of channels with one global distribution command and control center. FedEx Logistics integrates international freight forwarding, customs brokerage, trade and customs advisory services, and other cross-border service to create comprehensive solutions to international trade.

According to the press release, FedEx Logistics will be consolidating its Memphis operations into the former Gibson Guitar Factory building, located in downtown Memphis. FedEx currently employs more than 30,000 people in the Memphis area.



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