Rep. Clark Boyd’s Newsroom

State Rep. Clark Boyd announces TennCare shared savings waiver

February 1, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – State Rep. Clark Boyd, R-Lebanon, announced Tennessee House Republicans passed HJR0018, a resolution approving the waiver for Tennessee’s shared savings proposal from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

The waiver amendment is the first of its kind in the nation. The plan rewards the Volunteer State for its efficient fiscal management and gives the state the ability to better administer TennCare within Tennessee.

The shared savings plan will allow Tennessee to keep a share of underutilized federal funds so they may be reinvested in health-related services for TennCare enrollees. These enhanced programs include prioritizing maternal health, serving additional needy populations, eliminating the wait list for intellectual and developmental disability services, and addressing other sate-specific public health crises.

This proposal gives Tennessee more control over TennCare, ensuring a higher quality of care and more efficient services for the approximate 1.4 million Tennesseans enrolled in the program. With the shared savings, TennCare will have the flexibility to add new populations and benefits without federal approval, adequately address fraud, more effectively manage the pharmacy program, and invest in health rather than simply health care.

“This shared savings plan gives us the ability to better serve our current TennCare enrollees while allowing our state to have more control over the program,” Boyd said. “It is a win for our state, and more importantly, for the many Tennesseans who are dependent on this care.”

The process to approve the proposed waiver began in 2019, when the Tennessee General Assembly passed HB1280 directing the governor to submit the waiver amendment and negotiate with CMS. The agreement will be implemented by TennCare upon approval.

Visit here to read more about HJR0018.

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State Rep. Clark Boyd hosts “Spend a Day in My Wheels” challenge at the capitol

February 12, 2020

From the left: State Rep. Clark Boyd, R-Lebanon, Nathan Johnson, and Wilson County 8th-grader Alex Johnson. Boyd and nine members of the House of Representatives accepted Alex Johnson’s “Spend the Day in My Wheels” challenge at the state capitol in Nashville on Tuesday, Feb. 11.

Ten members of the Tennessee House of Representatives participated in the Team ALeX “Spend A Day in My Wheels” Challenge on Tuesday, Feb. 11.

Organized by State Rep. Clark Boyd, R-Lebanon, the event challenged the lawmakers to go about their normal daily activities using a wheelchair. The challenge aims to create awareness about the difficulties people with mobility devices face on a daily basis with the goal of making the world more inclusive for everyone.

“I expected it to be difficult, but I had no idea how frustrating it could be to just simply get around. It’s really been an eye-opening experience,” Boyd said on Tuesday.

The challenge was the idea of 14-year-old Alex Johnson, an eighth-grader at Friendship Christian School in Lebanon who approached Boyd about hosting the event with some of his fellow legislators in the General Assembly.

“I designed “Spend a Day in My Wheels” to raise awareness for people with mobility devices,” said Johnson. “My challenge gives people a real-life perspective of the difficulties wheelchair users face on a daily basis. My hope is that through my challenge we can make the world more accessible.”

Johnson has a rare skeletal disorder which left him dependent on a walker and then later a wheelchair beginning in the first grade. He came up with the idea for his “Spend a Day in My Wheels” challenge in 5th grade as a way help his able-bodied classmates experience the world from his perspective.

“Our whole community is very supportive of Alex and proud of the effort he’s made to create greater understanding about what it’s like to live with a disability,” Boyd said.  “He’s an amazing young man who has found a way to use his disability as an ability to educate others.”

The Permobil Foundation in Lebanon partnered with Team ALeX to provide wheelchairs for the challenge.

The members participating include: State Rep. Clark Boyd, R-Lebanon, State Rep. Ryan Williams, R-Cookeville, Republican Caucus Chairman Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby, State Rep. Esther Helton, R-East Ridge, State Rep. John Mark Windle, D-Livingston, State Rep. Dwayne Thompson, R-Cordova, State Rep. Ron Travis, R-Dayton, State Rep. Johnny Garrett, R-Goodlettsville, State Rep. Sam Whitson, R-Franklin, State Rep. Terri Lynn, Weaver, R-Lancaster.

Clark Boyd represents House District 46. Representative Boyd is the chairman of the Consumer and Human resources Committee. He also serves as a member of the Calendar & Rules Committee, Select Committee on Rules, & the Commerce Committee.

State Representative Clark Boyd Introduces Legislation Protecting Law Abiding Citizens with Handgun Carry Permits

March 8, 2019

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Legislation sponsored by State Representative Clark Boyd (R-Lebanon) that streamlines current law and protects the rights of our concealed carry permit holders is moving through the committee process in the Tennessee General Assembly.

This week, members of the House Constitutional Protections & Sentencing Subcommittee voted to advance House Bill 545, which protects the rights of Tennessee’s law abiding citizens who are handgun carry permit holders. The bill seeks to give protection for concealed handgun carry permit holders who unknowingly enter a private facility or business with posted firearm policies so long as that person was unaware that the property was posted and leaves immediately upon being made aware.

Under current law it is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a $500 fine to possess a firearm on a property that is properly posted. The overall goal of House Bill 545 is to ensure that law abiding citizens are not unreasonably punished if that person unknowingly enters a posted business and is willing to leave immediately upon being made aware .

“This measure protects our concealed carry permit holders in situations where an honest mistake was made,” said Representative Boyd. “In the event that a law abiding permit holder unknowingly enters a business or property that is posted and discovers this after the fact, it only makes sense that the person be allowed to leave the premises rather than being issued a citation.”

For more information about House Bill 545, please click here.

Clark Boyd serves as Chairman of the House Consumer and Human Resources Committee, and as a member of the Calendar and Rules, Commerce, and Select Committees on Rules. Boyd is also a member of the House Employee Affairs and House Utilities Subcommittees. He lives in Lebanon and represents Tennessee House District 46, which includes Cannon, and parts of Wilson and Dekalb Counties. He can be reached by email at: Rep.Clark.Boyd@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615)-741-7086.

Representative Boyd Named Committee Chairman By Speaker Of The House

January 11, 2019

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada (R-Thompson’s Station) has named State Representative Clark Boyd (R-Lebanon) Chairman of the House Consumer & Human Resources Committee, making Representative Boyd the most junior member of the House of Representatives to chair a full committee.

The 12-person committee will be responsible for all consumer and human resource-related issues, as well as matters pertaining to Tennessee’s workforce.

“Representative Boyd has done an incredible job building strong partnerships with our local leaders throughout Tennessee, which has played a critical role in helping our General Assembly identify and create innovative solutions to better address the unique needs of our citizens,” said Speaker Casada. “I know he will be an effective leader of the House Consumer & Human Resources Committee, and I appreciate his dedication to our state and his service.”

“I am honored that Speaker Casada has appointed me to serve as Chairman of the House Consumer & Human Resources Committee,” said Representative Boyd. “My colleagues and I are committed to protecting our consumers and ensuring that our employers and workforce operate in a business-friendly environment that Tennessee has become known for.”

“I am pleased that my friend Clark Boyd has been appointed Chairman of the House Consumer & Human Resources Committee,” said House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R-Cottontown). “Representative Boyd’s knowledge and experience in these important areas will make him a successful leader of this committee and benefit our entire General Assembly.”

Additionally, Representative Boyd will serve on the House Commerce and Calendar & Rules Committees, as well as the Consumer, Employee Affairs, and Utilities Subcommittees. Boyd lives in Lebanon and represents House District 46, which includes Cannon, and parts of Wilson and Dekalb Counties.

Representative Boyd Meets With New Cannon County Leaders & State Agencies To Address Community Needs

November 8, 2018

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — State Representative Clark Boyd (R-Lebanon) recently met with Cannon County’s newly elected leaders, as well as officials from various state departments in efforts to better meet the needs of the county’s citizens.

The meeting was held at the Cordell Hull Building earlier this week and included Mayor/County Executive Brent Bush, Commissioners Kim Davenport, Jeannine Floyd, and Ronnie Mahaffey, as well as Director of Schools, Freddie Curtis.

Representative Boyd and the group met with officials from the Comptroller’s Office, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD), Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation (TDEC), the Office of Research & Education Accountability (OREA), and the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) to determine how their strategic partnerships can better improve community conditions.

“The citizens of Cannon County have some very strong needs in these specific areas that we must continue to address,” said Representative Boyd. “Together, I know our newly elected leaders, myself, and the departments who participated in this meeting will work together and identify additional resources to better address the critical and evolving needs of Cannon County.”

Clark Boyd serves as a member of the House Insurance & Banking Committee. He is also a member of the House Consumer & Human Resources Committee and Subcommittee. Boyd lives in Lebanon and represents House District 46, which includes Cannon, and part of Wilson and Dekalb Counties. He can be reached by email at: Rep.Clark.Boyd@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-7086.

Representatives Boyd & Lynn, Senator Pody Donate Flags To Wilson County Emergency Management Agency

October 17, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Recently, State Representative Clark Boyd (R-Lebanon), State Representative Susan Lynn (R-Mt. Juliet), and State Senator Mark Pody (R-Lebanon) donated 24 flags to the Wilson County Emergency Management Agency (WEMA).

Their donation included both new American flags, as well as Tennessee flags for all of WEMA’s 24 stations across the county. It was an opportunity for the Wilson County Legislative Delegation to thank area first responders for their incredible service to their communities.

Some WEMA members and first responders from the Lebanon and Mount Juliet Fire Departments recently returned home after traveling to the Carolinas to assist with relief and recovery efforts in the region following Hurricane Florence. Their duties included delivering supplies, relocating residents, assessing damage, as well as identifying immediate needs of the citizens impacted by the powerful storm.

“Our emergency personnel make incredible sacrifices to ensure our communities remain safe and the needs of our citizens are met in times of crisis,” said Representative Boyd. “Donating these flags is a small way we can thank them for the remarkable work they perform each day.”

“Our first responders are often called upon to assist with some of the most difficult situations imaginable,” said Representative Lynn. “These brave men and women deserve our admiration and respect. As a member of our General Assembly, it is an honor to fight for our emergency personnel, and this donation is a way we can support them and their families as they continue to serve our communities.”

“While most people are running from danger, our first responders run towards it,” said Senator Pody.  “We want to honor those who choose to dedicate their life to serving and protecting our communities.  This donation reaffirms our commitment to their work and their mission.”

Clark Boyd serves as a member of the House Insurance & Banking Committee. He is also a member of the House Consumer & Human Resources Committee and Subcommittee. Boyd lives in Lebanon and represents House District 46, which includes Cannon, and part of Wilson and Dekalb Counties. He can be reached by email at: Rep.Clark.Boyd@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-7086.

Susan Lynn is the Chairman of the House Consumer & Human Resources Subcommittee. Lynn is also a member of the House Consumer & Human Resources, House Finance Ways & Means and House Ethics Committee, as well as the Joint Fiscal Review Committee. She lives in Mount Juliet and represents House District 57, which includes part of Wilson County. Lynn can be reached by email at Rep.Susan.Lynn@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-7462.

Mark Pody serves as 2nd Vice-Chair of the Senate Energy, Agriculture, & Natural Resources Committee. He is also a member of the Senate Transportation & Safety, and Senate Government Operations Committees, as well as the Joint Government Operations Judiciary & Government and the Joint Government Operations Commerce, Labor, Transportation, & Agricultural Subcommittees. Pody lives in Lebanon and represents Senate District 17, which includes Cannon, Clay, DeKalb, Macon, Smith, and Wilson Counties. He can be reached by email at: Sen.Mark.Pody@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-2421.

Representatives Boyd & Lynn Update Citizens On Process To End Mandatory Vehicle Emissions Testing

September 25, 2018

(NASHVILLE) — State Representative Susan Lynn (R-Mt. Juliet) and State Representative Clark Boyd (R-Lebanon)today updated citizens of Wilson County about the ongoing process to end vehicle emissions testing here in Tennessee.

“Step one was getting the legislation passed, which we did overwhelmingly,” said Representative Boyd. “Now we have to allow TDEC and the EPA to do their part.”

“Our constituents see that this legislation makes sense and they want to see emissions testing end,” added Representative Lynn.

In 2018, the members of the Wilson County Legislative Delegation co-sponsored House Bill 1782 — which received unanimous support from General Assembly members — to begin the process of ending vehicle emissions testing with approval from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The measure was later signed into law by the governor on May 15, 2018.

Tennessee has relied on vehicle emissions testing to improve air quality and meet federal air standards in counties that still conduct testing. Although all 95 counties have reached attainment status related to ozone, the state must maintain air quality and demonstrate to the EPA that eliminating the testing program will not interfere with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

The next phase in the process is for the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation (TDEC) to begin analyzing whether the elimination of testing will interfere with NAAQS. This is expected to take anywhere from six months up to a year.

If there is interference, additional measures will be required to maintain compliance. Under this scenario, TDEC would work with the Air Pollution Control Board and local governments to determine next possible steps, slowing down the process.

If no interference is found, TDEC can begin working with the Air Pollution Control Board and local governments immediately to change the State Implementation Plan (SIP) — the plan laying out all measures the state uses to improve and maintain air quality in compliance with federal law. This and additional steps prior to EPA submission should take approximately one year to complete.

Once the state submits its final package to the EPA, review could take anywhere from eight months to a year and a half or longer. The end of the program in Wilson County would take effect 120 days after the EPA approves the SIP amendment and final package. In instances involving  a vendor contract, it would take effect as soon as the contract allows for termination.

“I am pleased to see TDEC take the next steps to finally end vehicle emissions testing here in Wilson County and across our state,” said Representative Lynn. “It was an honor to fight for our working families by successfully co-sponsoring passage of this measure eliminating costly, burdensome regulations, and I am eager to continue working with TDEC, our local leaders, and the EPA to ensure this process is completed as quickly as possible.”

“Vehicle emissions testing is an outdated and time consuming practice that has harmful, unintended consequences on our middle class families,” said Representative Boyd. “I am grateful that our measure easing cost burdens on our citizens was approved and signed into law earlier this year. I offer my full support to our Department of Environment and Conservation and our local government so that we can move quickly to obtain EPA approval and begin saving our citizens more of their hard-earned money.”

For additional information related to the process of ending Mandatory Vehicle Emissions Testing in Tennessee, please click here.

Susan Lynn serves as the Chairman of the House Consumer & Human Resources Subcommittee. Lynn is also a member of the House Consumer & Human Resources, House Finance Ways & Means and House Ethics Committee, as well as the Joint Fiscal Review Committee. She lives in Mount Juliet and represents House District 57, which includes Wilson County. Lynn can be reached by email at Rep.Susan.Lynn@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-7462.

Clark Boyd serves as a member of the House Insurance & Banking Committee. He is also a member of the House Consumer & Human Resources Committee and Subcommittee. Boyd lives in Lebanon and represents House District 46, which includes Cannon, and part of Wilson and Dekalb Counties. He can be reached by email at: Rep.Clark.Boyd@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-7086.

State Representative Clark Boyd’s Final 2018 Capitol Hill Review

April 27, 2018

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

In the final few days of this year’s legislative session, State Representative Clark Boyd (R-Lebanon) 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 Boyd 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.

Wednesday night, 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. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your voice in Nashville.

 

Clark Boyd serves as a member of the House Insurance & Banking Committee. He is also a member of the House Consumer & Human Resources Committee and Subcommittee. Boyd lives in Lebanon and represents House District 46, which includes Cannon, and part of Wilson and Dekalb Counties. He can be reached by email at: Rep.Clark.Boyd@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-7086. 

Wilson County Delegation Applauds Passage Of Bill Ending Mandatory Vehicle Emissions

April 23, 2018

HB 1782 passes by 96-0 vote tally in House Monday night.

(NASHVILLE) – An initiative co-sponsored by members of the Wilson County Legislative Delegation, State Representative Susan Lynn (R-Mt. Juliet) and State Representative Clark Boyd (R-Lebanon), requiring counties to take all necessary steps to end mandatory vehicle emissions testing in Tennessee has passed in the House chamber.

House Bill 1782 — recently approved by a 96-0 vote tally by House members — would apply to residents of Wilson County where emissions testing is still required prior to vehicle registration or renewal.

The 1990 Federal Clean Air Act required the state to develop more restrictive regulations to control air pollution from mobile sources in counties which were not meeting the Federal Standards for air quality.

Currently, testing is done on vehicles with a model year of 1975 and newer if they are powered by a gasoline or diesel engine and weigh up to 10,500 lbs.  Over 1.5 million vehicles went through emissions testing in Tennessee last year in the six counties where it is required.

The idea for House Bill 1782 came following a report from the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation (TDEC) released last August revealing that all 95 Tennessee counties met federal air quality health standards; after this report was issued, it became clear to the Wilson County Legislative Delegation that mandatory testing was no longer needed.

“Vehicle emissions testing is a process that creates avoidable stress and financial burdens for our working families,” said Representative Lynn. “House Bill 1782 moves Tennessee away from mandatory vehicle emissions testing which benefits our citizens and doesn’t create any harmful environmental side effects.”

“Vehicle testing is not only time consuming but seems to disproportionally affect people who can least afford to make repairs to their cars,” added Representative Boyd. “The people of Wilson County have been loud and clear in their support of this legislation to end emissions testing. I have heard them, and am proud to be a sponsor of this legislation.”

For more information about House Bill 1782click here.

State Representative Clark Boyd’s Capitol Hill Review: 04/20/18

April 20, 2018

Fiscally Conservative Balanced Budget Passed By House Of Representatives

In the final few days of this year’s legislative session, State Representative Clark Boyd (R-Lebanon) 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.

 

Lawmakers Approve Legislation Ending Mandatory Emissions Testing

Representative Boyd and House lawmakers this week passed legislation to end mandatory emissions testing for vehicles in Tennessee.

As passed, House Bill 1782 applies to residents of Hamilton, Davidson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson Counties where vehicle emission testing is still required prior to vehicle registration or renewal.

The 1990 Federal Clean Air Act required the state to develop more restrictive regulations to control air pollution in counties which were not meeting the federal standards for air quality.

Currently, testing is done on vehicles with a model year of 1975 and newer if they are powered by a gasoline or diesel engine and weigh up to 10,500 lbs. Over 1.5 million vehicles went through emissions testing in Tennessee last year in the six counties where it is required.

The idea for House Bill 1782 resulted from conversations with Tennesseans who have voiced concerns about the burdensome costs of testing on families across the state. Once the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation released a report last August revealing that all 95 Tennessee counties now meet federal air quality health standards, it became clear that mandatory testing was no longer needed.

Supporters agree that vehicle emissions testing is a perfect example of a well-intentioned government program with harmful, unintended consequences for Tennessee’s middle class, noting that the passage of this legislation will help relieve this burdensome regulation for Tennessee citizens.

For more information about this initiative, click here.

 

Measure Enhancing Security In Tennessee Passes In House

This week, Representative Boyd 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.

 

Clark Boyd serves as a member of the House Insurance & Banking Committee. He is also a member of the House Consumer & Human Resources Committee and Subcommittee. Boyd lives in Lebanon and represents House District 46, which includes Cannon, and part of Wilson and Dekalb Counties. He can be reached by email at Rep.Clark.Boyd@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-7086.