Rep. Mark Cochran’s Newsroom

Rep. Mark Cochran announces reelection bid for District 23 State House seat

June 11, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – State Rep. Mark Cochran (R-Englewood) today announced he is seeking reelection to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 2020.

“It has been an incredible honor serving the citizens of District 23, and I will never stop fighting for additional resources to support our citizens and our communities,” said Cochran. “I pledge to continue to uphold the conservative, Tennessee values and principles that make our region and this state the envy of our entire nation.”

Rep. Cochran was first elected to serve the men, women, and families of McMinn and Monroe Counties in 2018. Because of his strong leadership abilities, his peers asked him to serve as Majority Treasurer for the 111th General Assembly. In this Republican leadership position rarely held by a first-term lawmaker, Cochran is responsible for receiving and safeguarding all Caucus funds, ensuring accurate reporting to the Campaign Registry and making quarterly reports to membership on the status of funding.

Cochran has also fought to reduce burdensome taxes and regulations on Tennessee businesses and their employees. He is a powerful voice for the unborn and a staunch defender of the second amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. Currently, Cochran and his Republican colleagues are working to enact constitutional carry in Tennessee.

In 2019, he cosponsored House Bill 1138, which eliminates the amusement tax on small gyms, fitness studios, and similar entities across Tennessee. This measure levels the playing field for these facilities so they can compete against their larger counterparts which obtained an exemption from this burdensome regulation in 1986.

Additionally, Cochran has sponsored and cosponsored several pro-life initiatives during his tenure in our General Assembly. These include House Bill 966, House Bill 77, and House Bill 1029. These bills support parents who have lost an unborn child by recognizing the sanctity of life, and they solidify Tennessee’s status as a strong pro-life state by enhancing safeguards for the unborn.

“We are blessed to live in a strong pro-life state, and these measures increase protections for our most precious gifts,” added Cochran. “I will never stop fighting for the unborn and will always support those parents across Tennessee who have suffered the immeasurable loss of a child.”

During the 2020 legislative session, Cochran joined with his colleagues as the Covid-19 pandemic threatened public health and safety across the state to pass House Bill 2818. This important measure holds students, teachers, and schools harmless as it relates to TNReady testing, teacher evaluation growth scores, final grades, school and district accountability assessments, BEP-related requirements, and post-secondary readiness assessments for the 2019-2020 school year.

Cochran also attached a crucial amendment to the bill that waived the state requirement for portfolios and added language to allow flexibility for student teachers who were unable to finish their term in the classroom.

“What we are seeing in communities across our state and our nation during this ongoing public health emergency is unprecedented,” added Cochran. “I am proud to stand with our teachers, students, and schools and to safeguard them under these extraordinary circumstances because I know they will be a major part of Tennessee’s comeback. We will continue to ensure these important groups have the resources they need to remain successful.”

Rep. Cochran says he is grateful for the overwhelming support he has received during his time in office and humbly asks for the citizens of District 23 to support him once again this year. He remains committed to ensuring Tennessee is the best place in the entire nation to live, work, raise a family and retire.

Mark Cochran serves as Majority Caucus Treasurer for the 111th Tennessee General Assembly. He is also a member of  the House Consumer & Human Resources and the House Education Committees, as well as the House Consumer and the House Curriculum, Testing, & Innovation Subcommittees. Cochran resides in Englewood and represents House District 23, which includes McMinn and part of Monroe County. 

 

 

 

Governor Lee Signs Legislation Co-Sponsored By State Representative Mark Cochran Tossing Gym Tax

April 18, 2019

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has signed an initiative co-sponsored by State Representative Mark Cochran (R-Englewood) that tosses the amusement tax on small gyms.

House Bill 1138 eliminates the amusement tax on small gyms, fitness studios, and similar entities across Tennessee. It levels the playing field for these facilities so they can compete against their larger counterparts, which obtained an exemption from this burdensome regulation in 1986.

Currently, Tennessee ranks in the bottom five states for obesity and fitness. The overall goal of this initiative is to promote a healthier workforce, reduce obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and improve the overall quality of life for the citizens of this state.

House Bill 1138 will not only support our smaller gyms and fitness facilities by increasing their business, it will lead to better health outcomes in cities and towns across Tennessee,” said Representative Cochran. “As someone who grew up working in a small family business, this bill is especially meaningful to me.  I am grateful to Governor Lee for signing this legislation, and I remain committed to supporting small business and also finding ways we can continue to improve the health and well-being of our citizens.”

For more information, please click here.

Mark Cochran serves as Majority Treasurer for the 111th Tennessee General Assembly. Cochran is also a member of the House Consumer & Human Resources and House Education Committees, as well as the House Consumer and House Higher Education Subcommittees. Cochran lives in Englewood and represents Tennessee House District 23, which includes McMinn and a portion of Monroe Counties. He can be reached by email at: Rep.Mark.Cochran@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-1725.

 

 

 

House Passes Legislation Recognizing The Sanctity Of Life

April 5, 2019

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — State Representative Mark Cochran’s (R-Englewood) legislation, House Bill 966, passed the House of Representatives on Monday night with strong bipartisan support.

It requires the Department of Health (DOH) to develop a commemorative certificate of  birth. The legislation also requires DOH to make the appropriate form available on the Department’s website.

“My hope is that this bill offers some solace to parents who face the tragedy of losing their child before he or she is born,” Representative Cochran said.  “I believe Tennessee has taken great strides in recent years to recognize the sanctity of all life, and this bill is yet another important step.”

Cochran introduced the legislation after learning from various constituents that the state of Tennessee did not currently offer a certificate recognizing babies miscarried before the twentieth week of pregnancy. House Bill 966 previously passed in the Senate with bipartisan support and is now headed to the Governor’s desk.

“I would like to thank the constituents who brought this issue to my attention. I was honored to bring it to the floor on their behalf.”

Read of the full text of House Bill 966 here.

Mark Cochran serves as Majority Treasurer for the 111th Tennessee General Assembly. Cochran is also a member of the House Consumer & Human Resources and House Education Committees, as well as the House Consumer and House Higher Education Subcommittees. Cochran lives in Englewood and represents Tennessee House District 23, which includes McMinn and a portion of Monroe Counties. He can be reached by email at: Rep.Mark.Cochran@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-1725.

 

 

 

Representative Cochran Supports $2.8 Million In Broadband Grants For McMinn & Monroe Counties

March 26, 2019

(NASHVILLE) — State Representative Mark Cochran (R-Englewood) today announced he has helped secure a Broadband Accessibility Grant totaling approximately $1.5 million for Tellico Telephone Company, Inc. to expand broadband access in Monroe County.  Additionally, Cochran supported efforts to secure a $1.3 million Broadband Accessibility Grant for the Volunteer Energy Cooperative  to increase broadband services in McMinn County.

These grants will support broadband deployment to 740 homes in the Vonore community of Monroe County and 867 homes in the Spring Creek community of western McMinn County. The overall goal of these grants is to facilitate broadband access to all Tennesseans, while promoting practices that increase deployment and broadband adoption. Funding targets underserved or unserved areas that are unlikely to receive reliable broadband services without these grant dollars.

“I appreciate Governor Lee’s and our Department of Economic & Community Development’s investments in support of broadband expansion in our communities,” said Representative Cochran. “These grant dollars will help support future economic growth across our region. I am grateful to our local officials for their hard work securing these funds through an extremely competitive process, and it was an honor to support them.”

Grantees will provide $20 million in matching funds for a combined investment of nearly $35 million across the state for the second year of funding. Infrastructure should be built out within two years of receiving the grant funds.

For more information about the Broadband Accessibility Grant Program, please click here.

Mark Cochran serves as Majority Treasurer for the 111th Tennessee General Assembly. Cochran is also a member of the House Consumer & Human Resources and House Education Committees, as well as the House Consumer and House Higher Education Subcommittees. Cochran lives in Englewood and represents Tennessee House District 23, which includes McMinn and a portion of Monroe Counties. He can be reached by email at: Rep.Mark.Cochran@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-1725.

 

 

 

 

Representative Cochran, Senator Bell Applaud Proposed Funding For McMinn Higher Education Center

March 5, 2019

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — State Representative Mark Cochran (R-Englewood) and State Senator Mike Bell (R-Riceville) today applauded Governor Lee for his $14.2 million funding proposal for the McMinn County Higher Education Center, which was unveiled as part of the proposed Fiscal Year 2019-2020 budget during the State of the State Address on Monday.

Both Cochran and Bell have partnered with state and local education and government officials and local industry partners to see this proposed campus move forward. Presently, Cleveland State’s classes at the Athens campus are currently held at a shopping center at a cost of $150,000 per year.

When completed, the new McMinn County Higher Education Center will house classes for the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) at Athens, Cleveland State Community College, and UT Ag Extension.

“For many years, we have heard from local plant managers about the shortage of skilled labor and the importance of refocusing our attention on career and technical education,” said Representative Cochran.  “This center is evidence of what can be accomplished when state and local governments work in conjunction to respond to the needs of the private sector. We couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities it will provide to our region and truly appreciate Governor Lee for including this item in his budget.”

“This is a great opportunity for our region,” said Senator Bell.  “This project will be a shared services campus that will not only create educational training opportunities for local citizens, but will be a catalyst for bringing new jobs to our communities. We want to thank Governor Lee for funding it in his budget.  This is a call in action of years of work of dozens of people.  This includes Mayor John Gentry, Mayor Chuck Burris, EDA Executive Director Kathy Knight, former Representative John Forgety, members of the McMinn County and Athens City Commissions, along with many other local leaders who have worked diligently to make this project a reality.  It was truly a group effort.”

The total cost of the project is $17.75 million.