The following is a legislative update from State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver.
Greetings! This past week truly was a whirlwind. The plaza and my office were buzzing with concerned citizens over the deeds done to us by passage of the ObamaCare Health Plan. I am proud to be the prime co-sponsor of the Tennessee Health Freedom Act, HB3433. This legislation aims to protect the right of an individual to purchase – and the right of the doctor to provide – lawful medical services without penalty. It would also require the state Attorney General to take necessary steps to defend these rights. This federal action will cost Tennessee more than $200 million annually! Folks, we are at 21 months of consecutive, negative, sales tax revenue downfall. How are we going to pay for this? Other states have come forward saying they will be suing the federal government over the federal bill, while others have passed legislation similar to the “Tennessee Health Freedom Act” in an attempt to slo w the implementation of the bill in their respective states. HB 3433 will be heard in committee this Wednesday. It is imperative that you be there to let your voice be heard.
The House State and Local Government Committee this week considered legislation that would have outlawed open containers of alcohol in vehicles, and ultimately killed the bill. The bill experienced resistance last year as it moved through the committee system, with members expressing concern over the ability of sober drivers to take friends home who are drinking, and also regarding sporting events, such as University of Tennessee football games.
The sponsor argued that Tennessee must reform drunk driving laws in order to save lives. He went on to say that there must be consequences for irresponsible actions that put other law-abiding citizens in danger.
Had the legislation passed, the proposal could potentially have freed up a portion of federal funds that could be used for roads. Currently, the state misses out on millions in federal funding that could be used for projects such as improvement measures, new roads, and bridges. This was a disappointment to me. Drinking and driving are lethal on our roads and I continue to sponsor legislation that will save innocent lives from drunk drivers!
HB 3627 is my bill that passed out of sub-committee last week and will be heard in full committee this Tuesday. As amended the bill encourages the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) to prioritize projects using certain objectives and urges the Commissioner to submit a list of bridges that would bring accountability, fiscal responsibility and full disclosure to Tennesseans. In these difficult times it, is imperative TDOT recognize that we, the people here in communities such as mine, have our bridges and roads completed. Safety, security of jobs, and tourism are just as vital to rural Tennessee as the major four: Knoxville, Nashville, Chattanooga and Memphis. This bill also encourages TDOT to continue the work to complete the county seat connector program.
The House is moving forward at an aggressive pace, hoping for the General Assembly to complete its business earlier than the last few years. In keeping with that timeline, House subcommittees have already begun to close. Within the next two weeks, it is expected that the House will begin debate on the “technical corrections” bill which, among other things, contains proposed tax increases to raise revenues.
House Majority Leader Jason Mumpower announced on the House floor Thursday morning that he would not seek re-election to his State House seat. In 2008, Mumpower led House Republicans to the first ever House Republican majority in the history of Tennessee. He was elected by his colleagues in December 2006 to serve as Republican Leader, and was re-elected to the position in 2008. Mumpower was first elected to the Tennessee House in 1996. Mumpower said he looks forward to the rest of this session of the 106th General Assembly, and added that he “looks forward to the challenges ahead,” after his current service comes to a close.
As always it is an honor and a privilege to serve you. Please do not hesitate to call my office if you want to voice a concern, ask for assistance, or visit. All calls are welcome.