“If you want to go fast – go alone. If you want to go far – go together.” – Paul Degges who is retiring after 35 years as chief engineer at TDOT
We are working hard to close our House Committees and are optimistic that we can close this year’s Legislative Session soon. I have presented and passed most of my 15 bills, but I still need to get the rest over the finish line.
Tuesday was Lineman Appreciation Day in Tennessee and there were several electric and broadband linemen here from across the state. Britt Dye and Kim Posey from Fayetteville Public Utilities were up at the Capitol for a picture with the Governor and they attended the House Floor Session.
Pastor Jim Moran, my preacher from the First Presbyterian Church of Shelbyville, was the Chaplain of the Day for the Wednesday Senate Floor Session. After the Senate Session, he got a tour of the Capitol and stopped by my office for a quick visit.
That same morning, a group of students from UT Southern in Pulaski came up for a tour and some meetings with several legislators. They were from several counties in Southern Middle Tennessee and they were very interested in everything we do at the Capitol. After I spoke with them, UT President Randy Boyd stopped by the office to discuss their financial needs at many of their campuses. I learned that the UT System has over 1,500 buildings to manage and maintain. President Boyd said that they are always in need of financial help to maintain all of their facilities.
I am excited and proud to see that the Governor has proposed funding Camp Blount, the Fayetteville park, with an additional $500,000 for additions to this historic site. This should help with the move and set up of the Greer house from Petersburg to Camp Blount.
This past Thursday, we passed the School Safety Act of 2023. This bill includes enhanced legislation and funding to place an armed security guard at every public school, boost physical school security at public and private schools, and provide additional mental health resources for Tennesseans. The bill adds $140 million to establish a school resource officer (SRO) grant fund to place a trained, armed security guard at every public school.
We passed a bill last Monday to strengthen protections for children and families from illegal adoption facilitators. This legislation is essential to protecting unsuspecting birth parents, prospective adoptive parents, & defenseless children from fraud. The bill sponsor stated they are typically out-of-state bad actors who prey online on both expecting parents and prospective adoptive parents. They charge exorbitant fees for adoptive parents with no actual real services.
We passed a bill that ensures certain defendants’ criminal histories are more readily available to law enforcement and judges. House Bill 1022 by Rep. Clay Doggett would require an individual who fails to appear in court on any felony, Class A misdemeanor or Class B misdemeanor to be put into all available law enforcement databases no later than 10 days after missing court. This legislation would allow us to track individuals trying to run from their court appearances.
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.