Rep. Glen Casada’s Newsroom

Glen Casada’s update from Capitol Hill

February 18, 2020

The second session of the 111th General Assembly is officially underway and it’s been a busy first month back.

I’m so proud to serve as your voice in Nashville. Tennessee is experiencing tremendous success and prosperity under Republican leadership.  I’ll be working hard in 2020 to further build on these accomplishments.

Please take a moment to provide feedback in my Legislative Survey for 2020.  These questions reflect some of the issues legislators will make decisions about during the coming session. Some of those issues include criminal justice reform, the opioid crisis, gun rights, preserving life and transportation. Your views are extremely important to me; it’s your voice that helps me to be a more effective representative for Williamson County.  To take the survey, visit here.

 

 

Tennessee is officially the “Volunteer State”

Republican leaders on Feb. 10 approved a measure officially designating Tennessee the “Volunteer State.”

House Bill 1562 designates the “Volunteer State” as the official nickname of Tennessee. While Tennessee has held this distinction since 1812, it is not currently documented in state law.

Tennessee has been referred to as the “Volunteer State” because of its tradition of answering the call of duty, most notably during the War of 1812. When Tennessee was asked to send 1,500 troops to defend the lower Mississippi region during this conflict, the “Volunteer State” instead answered the call with 30,000 troops. House Bill 1562 now heads to the governor’s desk for his signature.

 

Metropolitan Service Area Caucus focuses on aiding fast-growing communities

I was proud to host the first meeting of the Metro Service Area Caucus with my colleagues in the House and Senate on Feb. 12.  The caucus provides a forum for members of the General Assembly to work beyond geographical boundaries, political ideologies and local interests to solve common problems facing our high-growth cities and counties in Tennessee.  Discussions will focus on issues like transportation, infrastructure, school growth, attracting new jobs and workforce development. The caucus will provide an opportunity for members to collaborate and work toward our shared goal of improving the quality of life for those who call these high-growth areas home.

 

What’s coming up in Education in 2020

Providing our children with a high-quality educational experience is our most important obligation.

That is why my Republican colleagues and I have already made an $11.3 billion total investment in education as part of our current state budget.  This includes $6.6 billion in K-12 funding.

Gov. Lee in his State of the State address on Feb. 3 announced many forward-thinking education initiatives for the coming year.

These include:

  • Investing an additional $117 million in teacher salaries
  • Recommending moving the minimum teacher salary schedule from $36,000 to $40,000 over the next two years
  • Creating the K-12 Mental Health Trust Fund through $250 million in one-time funds to support the growth and placement of mental health services for students through a systemwide, evidence-based, whole child approach
  • Growing school-based behavioral health liaison program from 36 counties to all 95 counties
  • Setting new standards for public elementary literacy training and instruction and providing improved literacy supports and interventions for K-2 students
  • Launching the Governor’s Teaching Fellowship to support the education of more than 1,000 future teachers per year
  • Supporting district-led “Grow Your Own” programs with new curriculum and grants
  • Investing $4 million into professional development and career advancement opportunities Applying for a new AP education teaching course
  • Establishing the Tennessee Teacher and Leader Institute

Additional highlights from the governor’s speech include:

  • Reinvesting more than $100 million in cities and counties.
  • Focusing on job creation in distressed and at-risk counties through incentive packages in efforts to attract new businesses to these communities.
  • $25 million to further increase broadband accessibility.
  •  A $20 million investment in the Rural Opportunity Fund to support community development and address critical infrastructure needs.
  • Increasing the criminal penalties associated with theft of a firearm and those associated with reckless endangerment of law enforcement and first responders.
  • Revising the occupational licensing process to encourage employment for those who desire to re-enter society and become productive citizens.
  • Expanding recovery courts and community supervision programs.
  • Investing $6.5 million additional recurring funds in the Health Care Safety Network.
  • Creating a Children’s Behavioral Health Safety Network through a $7.5 million investment.
  • Financing year three of the Rural Hospital Transformation Program.

 

The full text of the Governor’s address along with video from the speech can be found by clicking here.

House Republicans Pursue Tax Cut Legislation This Year

House Republicans will continue to prioritize legislation that provides additional tax cuts for hardworking Tennesseans.

These cuts include legislation designed to create a Food Tax Holiday for 2020 across the state through House Bill 1697. This initiative would exempt the retail sale of food and food ingredients from a 4 percent sales tax for the months of June and July.  However, local taxes – up to 2.75 percent – would still be collected by cities and counties.

Because most Tennessee students are out of school in June and July, this will help families better provide food for their children during summer months, especially those who rely on free and reduced lunches throughout the school year.

Republicans are also considering reductions in the corporate tax, which currently sits at 6.5 percent — one of the highest rates in the entire southeast region. This burdensome tax penalizes businesses by taxing their net earnings. By reducing it, additional revenue should allow our businesses to reinvest and potentially expand operations, which could create new jobs.

Legislation to advance recent progress made eliminating the professional privilege tax is also being considered for the 2020 legislative session. Republican leaders last year slashed $22 million worth of this unnecessary tax on accountants, architects, athletic agents, audiologists, chiropractors, dentists, engineers, landscape architects, optometrists, pharmacists, podiatrists, psychologists, real estate brokers, speech pathologists, and veterinarians.

Tennessee is the lowest tax and lowest debt state in the entire country. By continuing to eliminate burdensome regulations, cutting red-tape, and slashing taxes, Tennessee will remain a national economic leader.

 

Republican Lawmakers Join Governor for Pro-Life Announcement

Members of the House Republican Caucus joined Gov. Bill Lee on Jan. 23 for a significant pro-life announcement designed to enhance Tennessee’s status as a national leader on this important issue. During the announcement, the governor unveiled components of a comprehensive proposal that includes a prohibition of an abortion when a fetal heartbeat exists. Additionally, this plan would prohibit an abortion when a physician is aware that the decision to seek a procedure is motivated by the race, sex, health, or disability diagnoses of the unborn child.

Tennessee is a strong pro-life state, and conservative leaders remain committed to protecting our most innocent and serving as a powerful voice for our unborn.

Republican Lawmakers Introduce Legislation on Refugee Resettlement

Republican lawmakers have filed a series of initiatives to address the ongoing refugee resettlement issue in Tennessee.

House Joint Resolution 741, House Bill 1578, and House Bill 1929 are designed to better examine questions about resettlement costs, and other related matters including safety.

The initiatives were filed after Tennessee opted into an executive order by President Donald Trump in December, which gave states the authority to decide whether they would continue to resettle additional refugees under the program.

Tennessee in 2017 became one of the first states in the nation to sue the federal government over refugee resettlement citing a violation of the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which reserves states’ rights.

The legal matter may require additional action in the months ahead.

Be Heard

I look forward to meeting and speaking with you about your thoughts on legislation that addresses important issues facing House District 63 and our state. Our work together will lead to another successful year in our General Assembly, and Tennessee will continue to lead the nation. Please contact my office if you would like to discuss ideas or concerns by calling 615-741-4389 or by emailing: rep.glen.casada@capitol.tn.gov

 

State Rep. Glen Casada announces creation of bipartisan caucus

January 30, 2020

New Metropolitan Service Area Caucus will focus on aiding fast-growing communities

 State Rep. Glen Casada, R-Franklin, and State Rep. Jason Hodges, D-Clarksville, announced the formation of the new, bipartisan Metropolitan Service Area (MSA) Caucus.

The caucus will provide a forum for members to work beyond geographical boundaries, political ideologies and local interests to solve common problems facing Tennessee’s high-growth cities and counties.

“Tennessee’s high-growth metropolitan areas and surrounding counties are experiencing new challenges every day,” Casada said. “The caucus will provide an opportunity for members to collaborate and work toward our shared goal of improving the quality of life for those who call these high-growth areas home.”

Discussions will focus on issues like transportation, infrastructure, school growth, attracting new jobs and workforce development.

“This is a great opportunity for growing communities that face many of the same issues to caucus together in a bipartisan way to share proven strategies and discuss best practices.  There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when we can share solutions and advice on common problems,” Hodges said.

The caucus will begin meeting in February.

 

Speaker Casada Names Representative Rudder Vice-Chairman Of House Government Operations Committee

January 22, 2019

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada (R-Thompson’s Station) has named State Representative Iris Rudder (R-Winchester) Vice-Chairman of the House Government Operations Committee. This is an honor rarely bestowed upon first-year lawmakers.

The 15-person committee is responsible for legislation concerning the creation of new departments, commissions, boards, agencies or councils of state government. It also manages the reauthorization of existing departments, commissions, boards, agencies, or councils of government. The committee oversees licensing and/or certification of occupational and/or professional licensing groups. Additionally, it reviews regulations enacted by Tennessee departments, commissions, boards or agencies.

“We are fortunate to have an extremely gifted freshman class, and Representative Rudder has already emerged as one of its leaders,” said Speaker Casada. “I am excited about the new energy and ideas she will bring to this important committee, and our General Assembly, and I have no doubt that Representative Rudder will be successful.”

“It is an incredible honor to be named one of the leaders of the House Government Operations Committee by Speaker Casada,” said Representative Rudder. “My colleagues and I are committed to ensuring government efficiency and accountability, and I am eager to get to work and address the challenges facing our community and state.”

Representative Rudder was officially sworn in to office on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019.  She is also a member of the House Education and House Judiciary Committees, as well as the House Children & Families, and the House K-12 Subcommittees. Rudder lives in Winchester and represents Tennessee House District 39, which includes Moore, and portions of Franklin and Marion Counties.

Speaker Casada Names Representative Helton Vice-Chairman Of House Health Committee

January 18, 2019

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada (R-Thompson’s Station) has named State Representative Esther Helton (R-East Ridge) Vice-Chairman of the House Health Committee. This is an honor rarely bestowed upon first-year lawmakers.

The 19-person committee will be responsible for all healthcare matters and legislation pertaining to the health and well-being of Tennessee’s citizens.

“We have an extremely gifted freshman class, and Representative Helton has already emerged as one of its leaders,” said Speaker Casada. “I am excited about the new energy and ideas she will bring to this important committee, and our General Assembly, and I have no doubt that Representative Helton will be successful.”

“It is an extraordinary honor to be named one of the leaders of the House Health Committee,” said Representative Helton. “I believe we must work to address the unique health needs in cities and towns across our state, and I am excited to get to work and to lead with House members on this important issue.”

Representative Helton was officially sworn in to office on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019.  Helton is also a member of the House Local Committee, as well as the House Facilities, Licensure, & Regulations, and the House Property & Planning Subcommittees. Helton lives in East Ridge and represents Tennessee House District 30, which includes a portion of Hamilton County.

Speaker Casada Names Representative Rudd Chairman of House Elections & Campaign Finance Subcommittee

January 18, 2019

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada (R-Thompson’s Station) has named State Representative Tim Rudd (R-Murfreesboro) Chairman of the newly created House Elections & Campaign Finance Subcommittee.

The 5-member subcommittee will be responsible for all matters and legislation related to election and campaign finance.

“Representative Rudd’s knowledge and experience on these important issues make him the ideal person to lead this committee,” said Speaker Casada. “I appreciate his willingness to serve in this distinguished leadership role and as a member of our General Assembly, and I know he and his colleagues will do an incredible job.”

“I am excited to lead the new House Elections & Campaign Finance Subcommittee,” said Representative Rudd. “It is imperative that we streamline election and campaign finance laws in order to provide more clarity for both our candidates, as well as the citizens of Tennessee. I know my colleagues and I will accomplish this important goal in the years ahead.”

“I am pleased that my friend Tim Rudd has been appointed Chairman of the House Elections & Campaign Finance Subcommittee,” said House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R-Cottontown). “His knowledge and experience in these important areas will make him a successful leader of this committee and benefit our entire General Assembly.”

“Tim Rudd is a passionate and dedicated member of our Tennessee General Assembly,” said House Republican Caucus Chairman Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville). “I know he will be an effective leader of the House Elections & Campaign Finance Subcommittee, and I look forward to working with him in this leadership role.”

Representative Rudd was officially sworn in to office on Jan. 8, 2019. He will also serve as a member of the House Insurance, and House Local Committees, as well as the House Property & Casualty Subcommittee. Rudd lives in Murfreesboro and represents Tennessee House District 34, which includes a portion of Rutherford County.

Speaker Casada Names Representative Farmer Chairman of House Criminal Justice Subcommittee

January 18, 2019

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada (R-Thompson’s Station) has named State Representative Andrew Farmer (R-Sevierville) Chairman of the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee.

The 7-member subcommittee will be responsible for all matters and legislation related to criminal law.

“Chairman Farmer has a remarkable record of legislative excellence during his time serving his community as a member of our General Assembly,” said Speaker Casada. “His knowledge and expertise on all matters pertaining to criminal justice will benefit the entire House, as well as our great state. I know he will be an effective leader of this important committee.”

“I am grateful to Speaker Casada for naming me Chairman of the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee,” said Chairman Farmer. “In recent years, my colleagues and I have made considerable progress improving safety in cities and towns across Tennessee. We have more work ahead, and I am eager to continue our upward trajectory in this important area.”

Representative Farmer was officially sworn in to office on Jan. 8, 2019. He will also serve as a member of the House Judiciary, House State Government, and House Criminal Justice and Corrections Subcommittees. Farmer lives in Sevierville and represents Tennessee House District 17, which includes portions of Jefferson & Sevier Counties.

Speaker Casada Names Representative Bricken Vice-Chairman Of House Consumer & Human Resources Committee

January 18, 2019

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada (R-Thompson’s Station) has named State Representative Rush Bricken (R-Tullahoma) Vice-Chairman of the House Consumer & Human Resources Committee. This is an honor rarely bestowed upon first-year lawmakers.

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

“We are fortunate to have an extremely gifted freshman class, and Representative Bricken has already emerged as one of its leaders,” said Speaker Casada. “I am excited about the new energy and ideas he will bring to this important committee, and our General Assembly, and I have no doubt that he will be successful.”

“I am humbled that Speaker Casada has chosen me to serve as a leader of the House Consumer & Human Resources Committee,” said Representative Bricken. “I know we are committed to protecting Tennessee’s consumers and supporting initiatives that create jobs. Our efforts will ensure our state remains open for business.”

Representative Bricken was officially sworn in to office on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019.  He is also a member of the House State Government Committee, as well as the House Employee Affairs and the House Public Service & Employees Subcommittees. Bricken lives in Tullahoma and represents Tennessee House District 47, which includes Coffee and part of Warren Counties.

Speaker Casada Names Representative Eldridge Vice-Chairman Of House State Government Committee

January 18, 2019

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada (R-Thompson’s Station) has named State Representative Rick Eldridge (R-Morristown) Vice-Chairman of the House State Government Committee. This is an honor rarely bestowed upon first-year lawmakers.

The 19-member committee will be responsible for all legislation and matters related to state government.

“We are fortunate to have an extremely gifted freshman class, and Representative Eldridge has already emerged as one of its leaders,” said Speaker Casada. “I am excited about the new energy and ideas he will bring to this important committee, and our General Assembly, and I have no doubt that he will be successful.”

“I am humbled that Speaker Casada has chosen me to serve as one of the leaders of the House State Government Committee,” said Representative Eldridge. “Tennessee is thriving under conservative leadership, but unique needs remain. I am eager to get to work and to fight for our citizens in the days, weeks, and months ahead so we can meet the challenges of our community and state.”

Representative Eldridge was officially sworn in to office on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019.  He is also a member of the House Judiciary Committee, as well as the House Constitutional Protections & Sentencing and the House Corrections Subcommittees. Eldridge lives in Morristown and represents Tennessee House District 10, which includes Hamblen County.

Speaker Casada Names State Representative Hazlewood Vice-Chairman Of The House Finance Committee

January 17, 2019

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada (R-Thompson’s Station) has named State Representative Patsy Hazlewood (R-Signal Mountain) Vice-Chairman of the House Finance Committee.

She joins State Representative Susan Lynn (R-Mt. Juliet) — the first woman ever to Chair the House Finance Committee — as a leader of the 19-person committee.

Committee members are tasked with all measures dealing with the appropriation of state funds; the general appropriations bill; the deposit of public monies; all measures relating to taxes and the raising of revenue, bonds and bonding revenue, the issuance, payment or retirement of bonds, the evidences of indebtedness; Congressional relations; and assessment and collection of property taxes.

“Representative Hazlewood has a remarkable record of legislative excellence during her time serving her community as a member of our General Assembly,” said Speaker Casada. “Her knowledge and expertise in these areas will benefit the entire House, as well as our great state. I know she will play an important role in leading this committee.”

“I am incredibly honored that Speaker Casada has appointed me to serve as Vice-Chairman of the distinguished House Finance Committee,” said Representative Hazlewood. “Because of our strategic investments and fiscal responsibility, Tennessee is experiencing economic growth and prosperity unlike any time we have ever seen before in our history. We have an obligation to ensure these incredible trends continue.”

Representative Hazlewood will also serve as a member of the House Commerce Committee, as well as the House Finance and Banking & Investments Subcommittees. Hazlewood represents Tennessee House District 27, which includes a portion of Hamilton County.

Speaker Casada Appoints State Representative Rick Tillis To Serve On Five House Committees

January 17, 2019

Tillis is also House Majority Whip for the 111th Tennessee General Assembly

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada (R-Thompson’s Station) has appointed House Majority Whip Rick Tillis (R-Lewisburg) to serve as a member of five House committees during the 111th Tennessee General Assembly.

Tillis received appointments to the House Finance Committee, the House Local Committee, and the House State Government Committee. He will also serve on the House Departments & Agencies, and House Elections & Campaign Finance Subcommittees.

The House Finance Committee is tasked with all measures dealing with the appropriation of state funds; the general appropriations bill; the deposit of public monies; all measures relating to taxes and the raising of revenue, bonds and bonding revenue, the issuance, payment or retirement of bonds, the evidences of indebtedness; Congressional relations; and assessment and collection of property taxes.

House Local Committee members will oversee all forms of local government; matters dealing with local government employees and expenditures; ordinance issues, boundary lines, veterans affairs, public lands, and the preservation of historical landmarks. The House State Government Committee is responsible for reviewing all legislation and matters pertaining to state government.

“Representative Tillis is a dedicated and passionate advocate for his community and Tennessee, and we are fortunate to have him as a member of our General Assembly,” said Speaker Casada. “I appreciate his willingness to share his knowledge and experience with members of these important committees, and I know he will help them achieve successful outcomes.”

“I appreciate Speaker Casada for entrusting me with these distinguished committee appointments, and I know they will allow me to work in partnership to better address the unique challenges facing our community and our state,” said Representative Tillis. “It is an honor to continue serving our citizens, and I am eager to get to work and to fight for them in the days, weeks, and months ahead.”

Representative Tillis is the House Majority Whip for the 111th General Assembly, making him the fourth ranking officer in the House Republican Caucus. He was officially sworn in to office for his second term representing Tennessee House District 92 on Jan. 8, 2019.