“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” -Benjamin Franklin
The Legislature has a potential bill moving that would enact the Main Street Historic Tourism and Revitalization Act. This piece of legislation would offer grant money to facilitate the restoration and preservation of the state’s historic buildings and structures. If enacted and if a grant was received, it could foster civic beauty, revitalize and renew communities, expand the economy, create new employment opportunities, and promote tourism, public education and general welfare. If we do this right, the state and our community could help preserve old buildings while adding to our local economy. Great idea!
The Governor announced last week this year’s broadband accessibility grants. The grants were for $14.8 million that will expand broadband service to more than 8,300 households and businesses in 17 counties over Tennessee. According to the most recent FCC report, nearly one in four rural Tennesseans lack access to reliable broadband service. These grants are helping Tennessee to keep broadband expansion going in the right direction. Slow but sure!
I got to attend the Fabulous Fifties Show in Fayetteville this past weekend. It was a wonderful production with so much local-Lincoln County-talent. This is the 33rd annual show and it extends over 2 weeks with 9 performances. The cast is all local and from all walks of life. The show will raise over $100,000, which will be given to the Multi-County Cancer Support Network. The show was fantastic!
I had two Bedford County teachers stop by my office on Tuesday for a short informational visit. Kathy Reed and Kristie Caldwell were walking the halls of the Cordell Hull Building promoting public education in Tennessee. I really appreciate all the hard work and the passion that our teachers have for our students. You are producing the next leaders of our community and of our state.
I also had Deborah Scott-Harding, from Lincoln County, come by and tell me the many great things that the March of Dimes is accomplishing in Tennessee. Their main goal in Tennessee and the US is to maintain vital maternal child health programs and services. They support policies to help ensure woman stay healthy while pregnant and after childbirth, while also being allowed to maintain their employment.
I would like to invite all of our citizens to come to Nashville and visit the new TN State Museum. This is the $160 million beautiful museum built on the north side of the Capitol near the Bicentennial Mall and the Nashville Farmers’ Market. The building is a 137,000 square foot complex with over 2,200 artifacts on display. The museum has had 45,875 visitors in the first 3 months. It is well worth the journey and is very interesting. The museum is open every day except for Mondays and a few major holidays. Best of all, admission and parking are free!
Several key pieces of the Governor’s agenda continued to move through the committee process in the House this week. I may have mentioned a few of them previously. They include:
- House Bill 939: Creates new education opportunities through investment in Education Savings Accounts that will provide opportunities for thousands of students who reside within the worst performing school districts (Knoxville, Chattanooga, Memphis, Nashville, Jackson) a new educational pathway to success.
- House Bill 940: Establishes an independent charter commission to ensure that underperforming charter schools are replaced with successful charter models so they can better serve Tennessee’s student population that relies on these academic institutions.
- House Bill 942: Builds upon Tennessee’s efforts to address the opioid crisis by cracking down on synthetic drug trafficking in our state. The legislation increases penalties against fentanyl dealers and those who traffic any derivative or analogue of this deadly synthetic drug
- House Bill 947: Proposes a $30 million investment for the school safety grant fund and additional changes to existing law to prioritize the distribution of these grants to help secure school resource officers and additional safety measures. Total funding for school resources officers and additional safety measures as part of the Governor’s proposed FY 2019-2020 budget is $40 million ($10 million was allocated last year.)
Please feel free to stop by my office in the Cordell Hull Building, Suite 676 or give me a call if you have any questions or concerns. You can reach me at (615) 741-6824 or by email at [email protected].