“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those whose spirits are crushed.” – Psalm 34:18
The big event this week was Lincoln County Hamburger Day on the Hill. This was the 35th anniversary of Hamburger Day on the Hill and it was as popular as ever. The Lincoln County Livestock association cooked over 1200 hamburgers and the whole building enjoyed the Lincoln County-raised beef. Lincoln County Mayor Bill Newman, Fayetteville Mayor Danna Hartman, and City Manager Kevin Owen had a very fun program to make the day special. Hamburger Day highlights Lincoln County’s great people and all the great events that happen there. It also highlights to my legislative partners what rural life is like and the importance of agriculture in Tennessee. Thank you to everyone involved for putting together one of the biggest events of every Session.
Fredia Lusk and Lisa Carden from the Community Clinic of Shelbyville and Bedford County, and Dr. Julie Gray from Meharry School of Dentistry stopped by my office in Nashville on Tuesday. We had a great talk on the importance of the dental clinic partnership in Shelbyville. They do great work for the citizens of Bedford County who can’t afford to visit a local dentist.
Thomas Hasting brought his class from Lincoln County Highschool up for a visit on Thursday. The class got to watch Session, hear from our Legislative Librarian Eddie Weeks, and tour the state museum.
I got to meet with James Woods of Flat Creek, who was shadowing one of my co-legislators. James is a homeschooler who was up here to learn about the legislative process.
Teri and Billy Parks, from the Bedford County School System, stopped by to discuss some of their concerns about school procedures in Bedford County and in the state of Tennessee.
I had the opportunity to get to go to the Grand Opening of the Humble Baron Restaurant at Uncle Nearest Green Distillery in Shelbyville. The bar at the Humble Baron is 525 feet long and holds the Guinness Book record for the longest bar in the world. This place is fabulous and the food and entertainment are first-class.
The Tennessee Legislature and Governor Lee are working on one of the most extensive tax reforms and tax cuts in the history of Tennessee. House Bill 323 lowers the tax burden on businesses, boosts Tennessee’s economic competitiveness, promotes entrepreneurship and small business formation, as well as providing targeted relief to families. The cuts provide significant tax relief to small businesses by lowering the burden of the franchise and excise tax as well as the business tax rate. Additionally, the bill creates a three-month sales tax holiday on food from August 1st to October 1st for 2023. Tennessee remains committed to keeping taxes low. Tennessee is the second-lowest taxed state in the nation and collects zero income tax.
House Bill 163 streamlines adoptions for young foster children. The bill clarifies that if a parent or guardian fails to visit or support a child younger than four years old for three consecutive months then it would qualify as abandonment and the child will be eligible for adoption. If the child resides in a foster parent’s home for at least three months, a judge may waive the six-month waiting period for the order of adoption.
The House chamber unanimously passed House Bill 68, which indefinitely extends summer and after-school learning camps implemented on a temporary basis during the COVID-19 pandemic. These programs have been a success in the summer of 2021 with more than 121,000 students participating with an attendance rate of 96 percent. In the summer of 2022, more than 90,000 students participated in the camps. This bill would continue the successful track record of these camps by making them permanent. This bill heads to the governor’s desk for his signature.
House Bill 345 would allow private, non-commercial vehicle owners and lessees to renew their vehicle registration for a 24-month period instead of a 12-month period beginning on January 1st, 2024.
House Bill 1430 removes an existing requirement that members of the board of directors for an industrial development corporation reside in the country in which the corporation was established. Allowing industrial development boards to choose to allow membership outside the county will help them recruit the best minds for the job.
I’m honored to serve as your state representative and please call or email if I can ever help. 615-741-6824, [email protected]. You are also welcome to come up to the Capitol and stop by my office at 610 in the Cordell Hull building.