My Last Legislative Loop

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * Greetings Fabulous Folks of the Fortieth, *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
I can never stop thanking you, the folks of the fortieth for affording me the wonderful honor in representing you these past fourteen years.  Serving in the State House of Representatives was never the path I had planned, or for that matter even considered. But I believe wholeheartedly it was a journey that began and ended by the direct guidance of the Hand of God. Being a member of the Tennessee General Assembly over the years taught me how important it is to listen well and daily put into perspective this prayer, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to the know the difference.”
We are less than 3 three weeks out till Election Day. Numerous folks have asked me about my opinion concerning the 4 Constitutional Amendments on the Ballot this November.  Regretfully, I voted in the affirmative for each amendment. However, during this past month, I took the time to revisit each amendment, carefully comparing current language to that of the proposed language on the ballot, questioning what would be the unintended consequences to amend the Tennessee Constitution and whether it be prudent to just leave it as is.  One very important point to remember is once a change is made on a constitutional matter all previous opinions and court cases are removed making a clean slate for new interpretations and thus opening the pandora’s box for future cases to build on that new amendment.I cannot go back to the House Floor to redeem my votes, but perhaps the information I share with you will give you time to think it through and decide for yourself before you go to the Ballot Box.

I have considered and concluded I will be voting NO on all four amendments. I am in hopes you will do the same. If it ain’t broke, why fix it! “An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people… They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.”  Thomas Jefferson., Family Action Council of Tennessee offers thoughtful information concerning the 4 Constitutional Amendments on the November 8th Ballot. David Fowler’s commentaries are a good resource as well. He was also a very helpful resource to me among other  Constitutional Conservatives in the halls of making laws.
Mike and I have decided to wait till election day to cast our vote. Whether you vote early or on the day, I encourage you to be informed and vote. Voting is about today!!! Our voice, your voice matters. The great sacrifice many have given so that we may have freedom did not come cheaply. Voting is stewardship that God entrusts to citizens of this Republic, and the least we can do to preserve it is vote.  We all can agree we live in a culture that has a tremendous need for moral guidance. Without Christian influence, governments have no clear moral compass. “The condition to which God has given liberty to man is eternal vigilance.” Always a pleasure for me to gift, The U.S and Tennessee State Flag to various flag poles across the 40th District. I believe it is important to keep Ol’ Glory flying at her best.
September was my final school tour in the 40th to which I handed out Constitutions, flags for the schools, and a framed document of our annual Star-Spangled Banner Day, legislation I sponsored in the 112th General Assembly. I sincerely thank all the Public Schools in the 40th who over the years welcomed my tours to read and play music to the kids and speak to Government classes on the importance of knowing the true rich heritage we have as a Country and the importance of knowing and being a good American Citizen. 
I would say, those are some of my fondest memories. Always a supporter of public schools and the teachers who go above and beyond their calling for the students they care deeply about, I pray you continue to do good, for the good you sow in the lives of our children will come back to you.

    I conclude with an FYI. You can find “On Christmas Night” by yours truly on Spotify and all other streaming resources and have it ready for your Holiday Playlist which is fast approaching us all! 
Terri Lynn Weaver

The Loop 03/30/2022

Greetings, Fabulous Folks of the Fortieth!
Outside my study window, in the back corner of our home, I hear the continuous melodic chimes orchestrated by Saturday afternoon’s strong blasts of howling wind. Inside, the fireplace is on as I begin to recap the week on my mac and report to you, The Loopers.
I had a wonderful Friday morning Coffee Conversation in Jackson County with School Director Christy Brown. 

Click HERE for last week’s House of Representatives Weekly Wrap.
Last week, I had the privilege of meeting with the Smith County 4H Gang!                      
HB2451 as amended was a Parental Rights Bill that failed in sub-committee for lack of a second motion.  Brought to me by parents, and not lobbyists, or Department Agency, the voice of parents across this state were simply silenced. However, the voice of the Departments and medical lobbyists was heard loud and clear in the committee!  The concern I bring is not about an up or down vote. But that it never even got a chance to be heard! The very reason we have the committee process is to hear the legislation, debate, discuss, and then vote up or down on the merit of the bill. Parental rights HERE IN TENNESSEE are being threatened and silenced by government agencies, and bureaucrats alike who continue to intercept a parent’s constitutional right to raise their children. This issue will only get more egregious as more and more state and federal money floods our schools with programs geared to drive a wedge between you and your children.

State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver Says She Was ‘Cancelled’ by Republicans on the Important Issue of Parental Rights – Tennessee Star

HB2452 would have prevented discrimination on vaccine status BOOM! Another issue that has so affected the workplace across our state. Many employees have been discriminated against some of which came to testify on the house side but were not able to testify due to a “procedure.” When the Senate committee took up the bill finally the testimonies were heard but it was voted down.  At least it was heard and next year, I will bring it forward again. Montana passed this same bill in August of 2021. Lord willing, constitutional rights will be brought back!

HB2454 will be heard this week in Education Administration. This legislation will hold student databases accountable for obscenity and Pornography found in our electronic libraries that our children use for homework and research papers. HB1944 is another bill that protects our children from obscene library books found in our schools. Both bills will dovetail nicely in the efforts to shield and protect horrendous screenshots and pages in children’s books you just cannot unsee! 
For Such a Time as This!!!!

Where are the Papa Bears? Read below. 

Always a Coffee Conversation 8 a.m. every Friday Morning at a diner near you. First Friday Smithville- Son-Rise Grill
Second Friday Woodbury- Hardee’s
Third Friday Carthage- Walton Hotel
Fourth Friday Gainesboro- To Be AnnouncedHope to see you there! 
Blessings, Terri Lynn Weaver

The Loop 03/04/2022

Greetings, Fabulous Folks of the Fortieth!
After an early morning visit and update on WJLE, the hub for all things Dekalb County, my first  2022 Friday Coffee Conversation in Smithville was not cancelled due to snow and ice! Welcome springtime in Tennessee! Thanks to all who joined me at Patty’s Restaurant. These are very engaged patriots and I am so blessed to work for you. Also note our regular meeting place at Sonrise was CLOSED due to lack of employees. Patty’s  Restaurant was packed today. Pray for our friends at Sonrise and for The Good Lord to send some needed employees! 
Stopped by Director of School’s office to get their input of the Governor’s new funding and spending formula. (TISA) In our discussion I mentioned that we have no idea where all these numbers and dollars come from and how accurate they are, or what they will look like in the next 5 or 10 years. The TISA is a thirty-year funding plan and we had better get it right. We break it and we will own it forever. I am not in a rush to pass anything only to work with my colleagues to get the funding right for parents, taxpayers, educators, and students.
Drove on over to Forks River Elementary and read “There’s No Place Like Space.” The darndest dialogue comes from the mouth of babes. If ever you want to make it your best day ever, go read a good book to these little ones. Thanks for inviting me into your spaceship! There are Fabulous Teachers in the Fortieth!
HouseI have a trio of Historical Preservation Bills this session HB2872HB2873HB2874 all to be heard in Public Service Subcommittee next Wednesday. Regardless of your take on Nathan Bedford Forrest that was removed from the Capitol last summer, it belongs to those who gifted it to the state back in 1973. HB2874 seeks to do just that. Transfer the custody and care of the bust held in the Tennessee State Museum to the Sons of Confederate Veterans Museum in Columbia, Tennessee, home and burial site of Nathan and his wife Mary Ann Montgomery Bedford. HB2874 was rolled one week, in order to work out the differences. I am passionate about these bills because history is just that. We cannot change the good, bad and the ugly in our great Nation. However, we must learn from it, so as not to repeat it. The Founders of our nation studied the Roman Republic and learned from the lives of Cicero, Caesar, Publius, and Cato. Stories on how choices led to triumph or disaster. We would do well to study our history contextually. Click HERE to read about the Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic. 

Click HERE to read the House of Representatives Weekly Wrap.
It was an honor to serve as Chaplain of the Day Thursday morning. God is our Refuge and Strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. Psalm 46:1

Always a Coffee Conversation 8 a.m. every Friday Morning at a diner near you.This coming week I will be in Hartsville at the Early Bird Cafe at 8 a.m. 
First Friday Smithville- Son-Rise Grill
Second Friday Hartsville- Early Bird
Third Friday Carthage- Walton Hotel
Fourth Friday- GallatinHope to see you there! 
Blessings,Terri Lynn Weaver

The Loop 02/28/2022

Greetings, Fabulous Folks of the Fortieth!
Beginning my Friday morning with faithful supporters in Gallatin, I am reminded of the honor it has been to serve and represent the fabulous folks of Sumner County. Coffee and Conversations at Mable’s gave me the needed time to hear what concerns constituents have and how I can represent them rightly. Serving in the House of Representatives in the State of Tennessee IS closest to the people. I will remain accessible and faithful in protecting the people’s rights which are eloquently described in the Founders Documents, such as Our Constitution. There are numerous issues on all fronts, Federal, State, and local that should concern us all. Here is a must-read and another confirmation to my NO vote regarding The Blue Oval City in Memphis. Though “What is the Great Reset” reads like the plot of a thrilling novel, this information is real. Unless “We the People” put a stop to this trajectory my grandchildren and yours will live in a world unrecognizable to the land of the free and the home of the brave. Click HERE for an important read.
HB2143 TISA (Tennessee Investment Student Achievement Act) is a new way forward to fund education. Wow! I just finished diving into this gem. It is a 34-page piece of legislation that if passed will become law. The BEP took years to implement and has been in place for 30 years. It seems very unwise to rush this behemoth when currently all members of the General Assembly are going full speed ahead! After taking notes, researching, and thinking this whole gobley goop through, I have come to this conclusion. The amount of local control HB2143 takes away and puts in the hands of The Tennessee State Department of Education, namely the COMMISSIONER without any mention of the State Board of Education promulgating rules and oversight, plus ALL the paperwork LEA’s will be required to do to KEEP LEA’S in line and do what you are told in order to get all this money taxpayers will be on the hook for…..? Folks you better pay attention because HB2143 makes Race to the Top look like a walk in the park. As a constitutional conservative who believes less government is more liberty, vote for HB2143. Ironically it was assigned to the k-12 subcommittee then referred to Education Administration.
Many of you know and have heard me say the most regretful vote I have made since you elected me to serve you was that RACE TO THE TOP bill that changed the way we educate our children in Tennessee.  I am sure you have heard the saying that goes something like this, if you do not learn from history, you will be doomed to repeat it. I will not repeat that mistake I made as a freshman in the State House. No siree! HB2143 is ripe with overreach and government bureaucracy being where it has NO BUSINESS being. When the public schools cannot continue to pay for this madness, guess who will? Yep! You, the taxpayer. Can we please just get back to reading, writing, and math! 
One of my favorite visits while in session is seeing the Hallways of the Cordell Hull Building filled with Blue and Gold Jackets! These FFA kids are the cream of the crop from various schools across our great state. Thank You Hendersonville and Smith County for stopping by 554. You truly give me hope for the next generation!
Last week was Capitol Jam number VIII in the Historic War Memorial Auditorium.  It was a hectic week but a necessity to make time for some tunes with some colleagues.
Regardless of what social media is saying and for that matter the news, HB1989HB1900, and HB1901 seek to HELP the teaching profession and give our local school districts flexibility to meet the need of the crucial teacher shortage by placing those who want to be in the classroom a path forward into becoming a licensed and certified teacher. We all know from lessons learned these last two years children do better in a classroom setting. I believe in the teachers in District 40 and do all I can including voting for and supporting teacher pay increases. Thank You teachers for investing in our future.   

Always a Coffee Conversation 8 a.m. every Friday Morning at a diner near you.First Friday Smithville- Son-Rise Grill
Second Friday Hartsville- Early Bird
Third Friday Carthage- Walton Hotel
Fourth Friday- Gallatin

The Smith County Republican Party gathers and welcomes all to get engaged.  

Every Third Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the historic Walton Hotel on the Carthage Square at 308 Main Street. Hope to see you there!
 Conservative Gathering of Wilson County meets every fourth Saturday at 9 a.m. at Music City Baptist Church. The address is 7104 Lebanon Road, Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. 
Terri Lynn Weaver

The Loop 02/20/21

Greetings, Fabulous Folks of the Fortieth!

Good Conversations this morning in Carthage thanks to the host and owner of Walton Hotel on the Square, John Leftwich Jr. Prepared with a pen and tablet, I took notes of what is on the minds of these engaged citizens while discussing how the state can better serve the small businesses by removing onerous barriers such as license fees, regulations and most egregious, the payroll tax. Entrepreneurs risk their own capital. In most cases, it is five years before a profit is accomplished. Thus, the reason my conservative colleagues and I are diving into this NOT CONSERVATIVE budget to see where we can return unspent revenues to the people back home in our districts. We have a growing budget and no money going back to the taxpayer. Facts are a stubborn thing, said by Founding Father John Adams, and the fact is this Budget proposed to the General Assembly has grown 10 billion dollars in one fiscal year with a 26% increase in federal monies!!!! The recommended budget was $41.8B for 2021. The recommended budget for fiscal 2022 is $52.5B.  

So in these next two months, I am in hopes to propose a solution that if we have such record surpluses, it needs to go back to the people in form of tax cuts!!!

One of my favorite resources for Tennessee budget info is The Sycamore Institute. Click HERE for more.

Click HERE for this week’s TN House of Representatives Weekly Wrap.

On Monday we passed legislation further protecting Tennessean’s First Amendment right to hold religious services during a state of emergency, major disaster, or natural disaster. The bill passed the House Chamber with 73 Republicans voting yes and 19 Democrats voting against it.

HB1694 ensures the government will not infringe on the right to practice their religion and peacefully assemble at their chosen place of worship. Other states have imposed on those rights. The passage of HB1694 prevents it from happening in our beloved state. Also, Violent Criminals must serve the entire sentence and not just some of it! HB2656 and HB2657 will help accomplish that goal. 

“I’ll Leave my Heart in Tennessee” written by Karen Staley will go to the Governors desk for his signature. Dailey and Vincent brought us a fine performance on the House floor Thursday. The acoustics on the House Chamber are just amazing. Music breaks barriers and sets the atmosphere for good. Also on another note, here is an added FYI. Synchronicities abound! On my “Only Life for Me” record project back in 1994, Karen Staley wrote a beautiful song called “Face to Face.” Though it will not be a Tennessee State song, who knows what will come of our reunion after all these years.

Don’t Forget Coffee Conversations each Friday at 8 a.m. See you at Mabel’s in Gallatin on February 25 at the round table. So honored to sing the National Anthem, and so blessed to get my copy of the Aitken Bible. Click HERE for more information on the mission of The American Bible Project. 
“The Bible is the Cornerstone of Liberty.” -Thomas Jefferson
State offices will be closed this Monday, February 21, for the President’s Day holiday. In light of Presidents’ Day, I wanted to share an interesting story about the 6th President of the United States. Click HERE
Blessings, Terri Lynn Weaver

02/08/2022 The Loop

Greetings, Fabulous Folks of the Fortieth!
We are well into three weeks of the second session of the 112th General Assembly along with bill filing deadline (2-2-2022) and The Governors State of the State proposed budget (52.6B) this past week, tempo is full speed ahead as legislation is assigned to their proper committees. To track policies of interest, The Tennessee General Assembly website is an excellent tool to watch live stream debate in both the Senate and the House. (insert link here Please or say click here) plus you can also take a look at legislation your Representative has filed for the second half of this session.

Highlights for the week of January 31, 2022

Click HERE for the TN House of Representatives Weekly Wrap

Winter Weather in Tennessee has played havoc on our roads throughout the state. Those of us who travel east and west daily on I- 40 have experienced chipped windshields due to flying gravel and asphalt pieces. Holding firmly to the “10 and 2” position on the wheel praying to hold the line in order to navigate the mass amounts of peeling asphalt and potholes. After meeting with TDOT on numerous road projects in the 40th district this past week, I am grateful for the quick response.  It appears the temperatures for next week will be above freezing so emergency resurfacing will remove those nasty potholes!    

 I-40 Paving In Smith County

Emergency milling and paving is expected to begin Monday to repair multiple locations of deteriorating asphalt on Interstate 40 in Smith County. Click HERE for more information.

Governor’s Volunteer Stars Award

Created to recognize outstanding volunteers from every county in Tennessee, Eden Daniel, a Smith County High School Junior has donated over 2 thousand hours of service to her school and community. Congratulations and thank you Eden for your dedication in making your world a better place by serving others. Every year 1.6 million Tennessee volunteers give over 137 million hours of service. Folks like Eden are the backbone of our communities and by their spirit of giving fulfill needs that would otherwise go unmet. These are true rock stars!   

Coffee Conversations on Friday Mornings at 8 a.m.

These are informal gatherings where we discuss issues and policies. Your voice matters to me. I hope to see you at the table.

Schedules for February

First Friday Son Rise Grill – Smithville

Second Friday Early Bird Café – Hartsville

Third Friday Walton Hotel – Carthage

Fourth Friday Good Morning- Gallatin

American Minute – J. Federer

Terri Lynn Weaver

What Can Parents Do To Ensure Their Children’s Futures In TN? [Exclusive Interview With Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver]

Published August 10, 2021

In this exclusive interview with Representative Terri Lynn Weaver, we discuss what parents need to do about Learning Loss and Critical Race Theory curriculum in Tennessee. 

We also discuss School Choice and Weaver gives an interesting history of the failings of ‘Progressive’ education in Tennessee. 

Weaver represents Tennessee’s 40th district in the TN House of Representatives, which is composed of Smith, Trousdale, most of DeKalb, and part of Sumner counties.   

Weaver will be a guest speaker at the Safeguarding Our Schools event on Saturday, August 14th along with Congressional Candidate Robby Starbuck and Sumner County Commissioner Jeremy Mansfield.  

Robin Steeman of WIlliamson County Moms for Liberty, Elizabeth Meyers Ed.D (Independent Research Consultant on Education and Public Policy) and Aaron & Amanda Crabb of Restoring Hope Church are also scheduled to speak. 

The event is free, but the coordinators ask that interested parties register at

The Loop 03/19/2021

House Republicans propose to protect consumer privacy

Republican leaders this week announced a proposal that protects Tennesseans’ right to privacy and returns control of personal information back to consumers.

The Tennessee Information Protection Act requires large technology companies to fully disclose to consumers what information is being collected about them through their online activities.

When consumers interact on websites, social media, or apps they leave behind personal information that is sold for profit to groups that use it to market their products, ideas or beliefs with targeted ads without our knowledge.

The legislation requires online platforms to disclose up-front exactly what personal information will be collected and how they intend to use it. Tennesseans will have the ability to “opt-out” of the selling of their personal information to third parties without discrimination.

The proposal includes protections for biometric data that measures physical characteristics like voice recordings, fingerprints, retinal scans or face recognition.

Companies will be held accountable when they misuse a consumer’s information.  The bill gives the state attorney general authority to impose civil penalties when big tech companies fail to safeguard private data or violate consumer protections.

The proposal applies to companies with a global gross annual revenue of more than $25 million. It includes companies that buy, receive or sell information of more than 50,000 customers, households, devices or anyone that collects more than 50 percent of their global annual revenue from selling customers’ personal information.

General Assembly passes bill creating lifetime orders of protection for victims of violent crimes

Legislation creating lifetime orders of protection for victims of violent crimes passed both chambers unanimously and now heads to Gov. Bill Lee’s desk for his signature. House Bill 434 creates a lifetime order of protection to strictly prohibit communication between an offender and their victim.

Republican Leaders partnered with Nikki Goeser, a victim of stalking, to create this legislation. She was present in the House chamber for the unanimous vote on Monday.  Goeser’s stalker shot and killed her husband, Ben, in front of her in a crowded restaurant in 2009. Her stalker has been behind bars serving time for second-degree murder, but has continued to try to contact Goeser, sending her letters from prison.

Offenders that violate the order could receive up to a Class A misdemeanor, ensuring that these penalties will tack significant time onto ongoing sentences. The legislation is retroactive, so persons who have previously been victimized can receive lifelong orders of protection. This bill also permits service of ex parte orders of protection for up to one year from issuance.

Republican leaders continue to advance Constitutional Carry

Constitutional Carry legislation is continuing to move through the House, passing the Finance, Ways, and Means Subcommittee on Wednesday.

House Bill 786 allows Tennesseans to exercise their constitutional right to defend themselves and their families while cracking down on criminals who steal guns or possess them illegally. The bill also includes sentencing enhancements and increases minimum sentences for gun-related crimes, and increases sentences on felons illegally carrying firearms or unlawfully providing a minor with a firearm.

House Bill 786 now moves to the full Finance, Ways, and Means Committee for consideration on Tuesday, March 23.

House Bill 141 creates more opportunities for animation and film in Tennessee

Both chambers of the General Assembly this week passed legislation that will allow more incentives for qualified animation or film productions to do business in Tennessee. This legislation creates an additional resource to attract multimedia productions and projects that are in the best interest of the state. Specifically, this bill creates a point of purchase sales and use tax exemption on the purchase of tangible personal property and taxable services used in qualified productions, and a franchise and excise tax credit based on labor and talent spend. It will add more opportunities for high-profile productions to be made in Tennessee and will help to create and retain future jobs for students earning degrees in film and animation in Tennessee.

The bill will further help and create future jobs for students earning degrees in film and animation in Tennessee.  The Tennessee Film, Entertainment and Music Commission has incentivized 68 productions, recruiting 7,300 new full-time jobs totaling $655 million in economic output in the Volunteer State since 2007.   House Bill 141 now heads to Gov. Bill Lee’s desk for his signature. Go here for more about House Bill 141.

Defense Doctrine allows sexual assault victims to use deadly force

Legislation authorizing the use of deadly force for sexual assault victims was approved unanimously in the House chamber this week.

House Bill 50, known as the 2021 Defense Doctrine, allows victims that have a reasonable belief they are imminent danger of serious sexual abuse, sexual assault or rape to utilize deadly force as a method of self-defense to avoid serious bodily injury and escape dangerous threats to their personal safety.

Recent data from the Tennessee Department of Health reveals that sexual violence is a major public health crisis resulting in long-term societal and economic costs. Approximately 6,177 people were assaulted in Tennessee in 2017, according to the department. House Bill 50 now awaits final passage from the Senate Chamber.

2021 Precious Cargo Act passes both chambers

The 2021 Precious Cargo Act passed unanimously in the House on Monday. House Bill 40 updates the Tennessee Vehicle Title and Registration System (VTRS) to account for individuals who may need assistance expressing themselves or exiting the vehicle when approached by law enforcement or first responders. This registration will assist officers and responders when interacting with persons with physical, verbal, or cognitive impairments. The bill passed in the Senate chamber earlier this month and now heads to the governor’s desk for his signature.

The SAFE Act passes in the House

The House this week unanimously approved legislation designed to improve the quality of care for Tennesseans battling addiction.

House Bill 215 continues ongoing efforts by House Republicans to fight Tennessee’s opioid and drug crisis by creating additional safeguards for patients of sober-living homes.

The bill expands on the Stopping Addiction & Fostering Excellence (SAFE) Act of 2018 by promoting best practices and making sure patients who utilize recovery homes receive the highest quality of care to succeed in their sobriety.

House Bill 215 encourages sober-living homes to be nationally accredited to ensure the home’s management abides by a strict code of ethics and provides a safe and healthy living environment for patients in recovery. Recovery facilities not adhering to national accreditation standards would risk losing licensure and could face penalties.  This legislation balances creating the best possible environment for recovery while making sure our communities are safe from the dangers of poorly managed facilities with no accountability.   The Senate companion bill will be considered in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee on March 24.

STRONG Act increases opportunities for Tennessee Guardsmen

House Republican leaders continued to advance important legislation this week including a proposal to expand eligibility for tuition reimbursement for Tennessee National Guardsmen under the state’s Support, Training, and Renewing Opportunity for National Guardsmen (STRONG) Act.  The STRONG Act provides eligible service members in the Tennessee National Guard with tuition reimbursement for coursework completed as a full-time student in pursuit of their bachelor’s degree.

Republican leaders are sponsoring House Bill 83 which expands eligibility to service members for a master’s degree and certificate-producing programs. It provides tuition reimbursement for up to 120 hours for a bachelor’s degree, 40 hours for a master’s degree and 24 hours for a vocational or technical program.  The legislation also provides reimbursement for up to 30 additional hours for any service member enrolled in ROTC or other officer-producing programs while pursuing a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree.  Students enrolled in officer-producing programs are required to take certain courses which can be outside the requirements of their chosen degree. This could lead to ROTC students hitting the credit hour cap before obtaining their degree and losing their eligibility for additional reimbursement.  Finally, the bill extends the program for four more years until June 30, 2025.

The STRONG Act has boosted recruitment of service members in the National Guard since its enactment in 2017.  This legislation aims to retain and renew more service members by offering additional education benefits. House Bill 83 will be considered by the House Finance, Ways and Means Committee on March 23.

Republicans advance Right to Work resolution in the House

House Joint Resolution 72, the “Right to Work” resolution, passed the House Commerce Committee this week. The resolution will add the state’s Right to Work law to the Tennessee Constitution.

Tennessee’s Right to Work statute has been state law since 1947. It protects all workers from discrimination based on their membership in or affiliation with any labor union or employee organization, giving workers the right to choose not to join a union.

The resolution overwhelmingly passed in the 111th General Assembly, which is the first step in enshrining the law to the state’s constitution. The measure is also required to be passed in the 112th General Assembly before it can be sent to voters on the ballot.

Twenty-seven other states have Right to Work laws, and nine of those have passed constitutional amendments. As neighboring states and the Biden administration are considering repealing Right to Work statutes, a constitutional amendment would offer greater protection for Tennessee workers against such repeal efforts.

HJR 72 is set to be heard in the Finance, Ways, and Means Subcommittee on Wednesday, March 24.

David Crockett to be honored with statue on Capitol grounds

Legislation honoring Tennessee legend David Crockett with a statue on the Capitol grounds passed the House on Monday.

The General Assembly created the David Crockett Commission in 2012, tasking them with the responsibility of finding a home for a statue of David Crockett on the grounds of the Capitol. House Bill 220 designates the desired location for the statue, requiring it to be placed on a pedestal above the entrance to the Motlow Tunnel on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.

The Tennessee native is revered across America as a folk hero. Crockett served in the Tennessee House of Representatives, where he represented Lawrence, Hickman and Carroll Counties, and served in Congress as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He is known for his service to the state in the Tennessee militia during the War of 1812 and the Battle of the Alamo.  House Bill 220 now awaits consideration in the Senate.

The “LOOP” 06/23/2020

Greetings Fabulous Folks of the Fortieth!
With the completion of the 111th General Assembly in the wee hours of Friday morning on June 19th, summer officially beginning on Saturday, Father’s Day on the 21st and our 41st wedding anniversary today, Monday morning began another work week as I calendar the remainder of June. We are experiencing a tumultuous time indeed. Beginning with spring tornadoes and then COVID, a virus what has caused church and school closures, thousands of Tennesseans unemployed and now with the current disturbing civil unrest all across our nation and our great state plus a running list of property and statues vandalized, I am reminded of a verse in scripture and a quote I read earlier today from Viktor Frankl:

“It does not really matter what we expect from life, but rather what life expects from us.”
“For the Lord has already told you what to do. To do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”  – Micah 6:8
The destroying of statues will not accomplish anything. It only proves these rabble rousers are deprived of our American history and heritage. Moreover, these mobs of destruction are the products of a Marxist, communist, curriculum placed in our classrooms from the young ages of kindergarten through the graduating years of college. Certainly nothing good results in these actions. 

In Dr. King’s infamous “I Have a Dream” speech, he is noted for saying to “be judged not by the color of our skin but by the content of our character.” What we have seen on the news and social media is void of good character to say the least. All should be rounded up and made to replace, restore, and serve a punishment for destroying property, period. This mob mentality of mayhem and chaos if morally wrong and must be stopped in its track. Sadly cities are choosing to defund our police? Unbelievable!

We are faced with many challenges, but hopefully we will give ourselves to good deeds. Remembering God’s way often include obvious setbacks that can result in great advances, if we listen to the full story of our past and learn to appreciate the strides we have made collectively, then our way forward is bright. I pray for a spiritual awakening to heal our land. 

Tennessee Leads
Returning back to session the last week of May, we needed to conclude the 111th General Assembly’s business at hand. First up to bat was guarding Tennessee’s financial future. 

Tennessee is fairing far better than other states because of our longstanding sound financial foundation that is crucial for such a time as this. 

We passed a conservatively planned $39.45B budget that addresses the unexpected revenue shortfalls caused by COVID. The budget cuts the size of government by $1.5B over the next two years. Fully funding the Basic Education Program (BEP), extending the sales tax holiday weekends in July and August, saving Tennesseans money, and hopefully jumpstarting businesses hit by COVID-19, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Our local cities and counties are allocated $210M in grant funding to assist in any way the local leaders decide. The Tennessee Business Relief Fund will direct $200M in federal relief to businesses that were unable to obtain financial relief through the Paycheck Protection Program. Approximately 28,000 Tennessee businesses will benefit from this grant. The elimination of the Hall Income Tax was finalized in this budget, and we did not raise taxes on Tennesseans while maintaining a strong reserve fund. After much debate we decided against giving raises this time simply because it is unwise to pay for raises with non-recurring dollars. The budget is balanced for this year and next year. We must also keep in mind we are not out of the woods with COVID. If my office can assist you with unemployment issues, please do not hesitate to contact us here

Other issues at hand:
I voted in opposition to this amendment thus choosing to protect the constitution to which I gave an oath to do precisely that. PROTECT! Lord willing should I return in 2021, I will bring legislation to rescind all previous actions for a Convention of the States that Tennessee sent to Congress. Watch the comments I made about this resolution the House Floor here (beginning at 58:00). 

HB2623, “Tennessee Recovery and Safe Harbor Act”
I was one of the original co-sponsors when urged to support it by businessmen in my district. However, the bill morphed into something that gave me much concern. When public health guidelines became mandates that have far more weight than law, coupled with constitutional suspect plus added religious liberty concerns and questions of what threshold is used in lawsuits involving airborne pathogens? Let’s just say the law as written was not good! I could not vote for this bill and it was well into the 1 a.m. hours of debate without a resolve. In conclusion, as a member of the NFIB, my voting record proves I am a strong advocate for small businesses; however, I cannot in good conscience knowingly support sloppy policy, nor could 35 of my colleagues. Without the retroactive piece that protects previous law suites was the what do they say, “the straw that broke the camel’s back?

All Life Matters
Tennessee is a strong pro-life state. HB2263 is legislation that includes provisions that enacts bans at various intervals of the baby’s growth in the womb up to 24 weeks. It also requires doctors to conduct an ultrasound, show the images to an expectant mother, and inform her about her baby’s development. An amendment was added to the bill requiring abortion facilities of over 50 or more procedures to provide signage informing patients their chemical abortion is reversible. Prior to and after the first does of a two-dose abortion inducing drug treatment has been administered further demonstrates with this historic measure we remain strong in the commitment to fight for our unborn!

Right to Work
Twenty-seven states have right to work laws, nine of which have passed constitutional amendments. We approved a resolution adding Tennessee’s Right to Work to our state constitution this week as well. By offering a constitutional amendment it would protect the rights of those who choose not to join a union. House Republicans remain committed to supporting Tennessee’s workers and businesses. This resolution must pass by a two-thirds majority in the 2021 and 2022 legislative sessions in order to appear on the ballot for a statewide referendum in November 2022. If adopted by a majority vote, the Right to Work amendment would become part of our Tennessee Constitution.

When touring all the schools in my House District every other year, I learn from the principals and teachers just how egregious the certification process can be for qualified teachers who move across state lines. HB2881 is a reciprocity bill that removes those unwelcoming bumps in the road when attempting to bring a proven qualified teacher from another state to making the transition smooth and less cumbersome when moving to Tennessee. With a 1,200 teacher shortage in our state, we are in need of incentives to attract teachers to teach the 20,000 students who do not have a licensed teacher in the classroom. Next year I intend to remove the unnecessary Praxis test that could cost the teacher between $350-400. If a teacher is good enough to teach in one state, they should be good to go in ours!

244 years ago on July 2, these United States of America were established, and today are the last bastion of freedom on the plant. In the coming days we will be celebrating our nation’s birthday. First, I want to wish you a safe holiday with your family and friends. It is my hope that while with your children or grandchildren, you will tell of the Hand of Providence that guided then leaders, Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, and many others who gave their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to forge a nation such as America. 

We the people have a rich heritage. A history filled with American heroes that are unfortunately being villainized by placing today’s ideals into history, resulting in nothing short of fallacy. Destroying the credibility and character of our Constitutional Framers is an attack on our Constitution. I have heard it said there are only two races: decent and indecent. If America fails, freedom fails. Let us reflect on what makes us a light to the world and do what is necessary to preserve her ideology and values. Pray and seek the face of the One who says, “If my people who are called by my name will seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, THEN I will hear their prayer and heal their land.” God help us!

Terri Lynn Weaver

“The Loop” 5/04/2020

Greetings Fabulous Folks of the Fortieth!

Economic Reboot Officially Begins

Gov. Bill Lee’s Safer at Home Executive Order expired this week as Tennessee’s phased economic reboot officially began. Plans to safely and swiftly reopen sectors of our economy are currently moving forward.

The Safer at Home Order was originally issued to further mitigate the spread of Covid-19, flatten the virus curve and preserve hospital capacity. The order aimed to reduce an anticipated surge of patients so workers on the frontlines battling this virus would not be overwhelmed.

Restaurants in 89 of our 95 counties began reopening at 50 percent capacity and in accordance with guidance offered through the Economic Recovery Group and the Tennessee Pledge on April 27. Retail shops followed on April 29 at 50 percent capacity and under similar safety measures. On May 1, gyms followed suit, while elective medical procedures also resumed.

These procedures had been postponed since March 23 in order to increase Tennessee’s supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and preserve hospital bed and equipment capacity. Through federal, state, and private sector partnerships, Tennessee has substantially increased its supply of these items, and our health care system is well-positioned to address a possible second wave of Covid patients. Procedures like routine screenings and joint replacements will be included as some of the first elective procedures resuming.

Additional Tennessee Businesses to Reopen Week of May 4

The Economic Recovery Group has also issued guidance for close contact businesses as they prepare to reopen the week of May 4. These businesses include barber shops, hair salons, waxing and nail spas, body-art facilities, as well as tanning and massage therapy establishments.

These entities must operate at half capacity, by appointment only and utilize social distancing practices. All workstations at these facilities must be placed six feet apart, and waiting areas are to remain closed at this time. All industry employees and their customers must also wear face coverings and take other precautions to ensure safe environments.

Dental facilities are also scheduled to resume operations on May 6 with non-emergency procedures including hygiene visits, cosmetic and other elective procedures. Dentists, oral surgeons, and other service providers are still allowed to perform emergency procedures, including pain treatment, swelling, or addressing abscesses.

These re-openings will occur in 89 of our 95 counties, with Shelby, Madison, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, and Sullivan Counties establishing their own dates and criteria, based upon input from their local health departments.

Tennessee Continues to Increase Testing 

As more businesses continue to reopen, the state is further coordinating efforts to test more Tennesseans for the Covid-19 virus. 

This week, it was announced the state had already met testing levels recommended by the Trump Administration, and that testing efforts would only become more robust in the weeks ahead. For the month of April, Tennessee performed 177,626 tests, meeting the federal two percent recommendation set forth by the president.
Pop up testing will continue this weekend at sites across Tennessee.  Citizens can also get tested Monday-Friday at any rural county health department, free of charge and regardless of traditional Covid-19 symptoms. For locations by county, visit here.

Antibody testing is expected to come online soon, as plans move forward to test 10,000 Tennessee health care workers with this testing. The Food & Drug Administration continues to approve this form of testing, which utilizes blood samples to determine whether a person has previously been exposed to and has fought off a virus.

These antibody tests will help medical experts potentially better understand the behavioral patterns of the Covid-19 virus, whether individuals may develop immunity, and they could also play a role in determining future health strategies.
Widespread Covid testing of the more than 700 long-term care facilities across our state has also begun. Our nursing home and assisted living facilities are home to more than 70,000 of our most vulnerable citizens.

As of Friday morning, there were 10,735 cases of Covid-19 in Tennessee, of which 5,338 have recovered. The virus has led to the hospitalization of 1,045 citizens, and the deaths of 199 Tennesseans. Additional data and information from the Tennessee Department of Health can be found by clicking here.

Stay SAFE and HEALTHY! We’ll get through this COVID pandemic together!
Terri Lynn Weaver