The Tennessee General Assembly has completed your work for the first half of the 112th General Assembly. These are just a few of the great things we accomplished on your behalf:
Investing in rural Tennessee
The General Assembly passed a debt-free, balanced $42.6 billion budget this year. We acknowledge the impact rural Tennessee has on the success of our state, which is why we included $100 million in our budget to provide underserved areas with high-speed broadband. These communities will now gain access to fast and reliable internet that will make it easier to do schoolwork, work, and day-to-day activities.
Making Tennessee communities safer
House Republicans remain committed to standing up for your Second Amendment rights. Law-abiding Tennesseans will now be able to easier defend themselves and their families by carrying a handgun without the need for a permit. Criminals who steal or illegally possess a firearm will go to jail for a long time, as we stiffened the penalties for these offenses this year.
Helping Tennessee students excel
The legislature placed a great emphasis on student success by ensuring Tennessee students have adequate tools and resources to help them learn and succeed both in and out of the classroom. This year, the General Assembly passed the following legislation to help our students excel:
- Increased dual enrollment credit hour allowance for high schoolers to 12 credit hours
- Fully funded after-school and summer learning camps to help struggling students recover from learning losses due to Covid-19
- Prohibited Critical Race Theory from being taught in Tennessee’s public schools
- Allocated $250 million to the Mental Health Trust Fund to serve our K-12 students
- Protected girls’ sports by ensuring students compete in athletic competitions that correspond with their sex at birth
Protecting our most vulnerable citizens
Legislation passed the General Assembly this year to protect our most vulnerable populations in Tennessee. I was proud to sponsor the “Silver Alert” bill, which will implement a statewide Silver Alert program to assist in the locating of missing and vulnerable Tennesseans. The “Safe Seniors Act of 2021” will also go a long way in protecting our senior citizens against elder abuse and taking dangerous individuals who abuse elderly and vulnerable populations off the streets.
Reforming criminal justice
Offenders who commit violent crimes deserve to serve their sentences in full. We passed truth in sentencing legislation this year requiring offenders who commit violent or sex offenses against women and children to serve 100 percent of their sentences. These criminals are some of the worst of the worst, and it is imperative we remain tough on those who commit such heinous crimes.