Greetings Folks of the Fortieth
It has always been said the older you get the faster time flies. This week flew by! However Thursday, after a long week on the hill, brought me to the Carthage Square to celebrate The National Day of Prayer. And what a fabulous event it was under that blue sunny sky, in front of the courthouse steps, while many of us worshiped the Lord, we also prayed for others and asked God “to heal our land.”
“If we ever forget we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.” Ronald Reagan.
HB2146 moved out of k-12 to full committee and will be presented next week in full committee. Charter Schools are public schools that are given flexibility to operate without the restraints of some of the rules and regulations normally imposed on traditional schools. In exchange for this flexibility, they are held accountable for performance through charter, which is an agreement between the local education agency (LEA) and the charter school. It requires a strenuous approval process by the LEA and a equally tough renewal process of the charter every five years. Tennessee has 15 public charter schools, with six more opening in the fall. Of those 22 schools Nashville has five, Chattanooga will have two and Memphis City School System also is converting four schools to charter this fall.
HB431 was passed by a 61-27 vote in session. Debate over the bill raged on the House floor for over an hour, and then a motion was made that the Calendar and Rules Committee would set a time to limit debate. This bill requires that diplomas issued by homeschoolers be recognized has having the same rights and privileges of diplomas issued by the public school system.
Finance Ways and Means Committee:
SJR127 continues its historic journey through the House having never made it beyond Public Health Subcommittee until this year! Having passed out of two and Calendar and Rules Committee on Thursday it is scheduled for a floor vote in the House on Monday Evening.
Legislation to protect lawful gun owners approved by the House
HB959 will exempt the handgun carry permit list form the Open Records Act but will carry no penalty for entities that do publish the list due to concerns about First Amendment Rights.
HB962 will now allow a law abiding person with a handgun carry permit to carry in restaurants that serve alcoholic beverages as long as such a person is not consuming alcoholic beverages and the restaurant is not an age-restricted venue. It was a pleasure to be one of many co-prime sponsors and again stand for our second amendment rights. The House votes; 66 yes and 27 no.
HB 2357 legislation to save money passed the house and is now on its way to the Governor’s desk. A weekly printed book that contains the summary of every billed filed is available already on the internet. Savings of 90,000 dollars is a big chunk of money!
Also this week…
I wanted to mention to you, there has been much discussion on the mysterious budget of which we as lawmakers have not been able to look at. Perhaps in the coming week specific appropriations will be disclosed concerning this years budget. The shortfall numbers are very bleak my friend even more then at first anticipated. However do we bond these projects by placing even more debt on our state in a time when we are trying to eliminate debt? I continue to work with the State Treasurer, Comptroller and fellow lawmakers to find the best ways possible to fund the projects we desperately need in the fortieth district. I welcome your emails, phone calls and most importantly your prayers. Blessings to you and yours!