The "Loop" 02/08/2020

Greetings Fabulous Folks of the Fortieth!
My half hour drive to Dekalb County Coffee Conversations was absolutely gorgeous yesterday morning! Fresh fallen snow never disappoints me while gazing through the windshield of my Yukon, affording me one spectacular panoramic view after the next. 

An overview of this week confirms again how one week zooms by!
Selected as one of five female Representatives to notify the Governor the Joint Convention is in session and awaiting his arrival, it was an honor escorting Governor Lee to the House Chamber where he would deliver his second State of the State address. The Chamber was packed with all the department heads, members of both chambers and their families to hear the proposed budget from the Executive Branch for the 2020 Legislative session.  It is the Legislative Branch that votes on the budget every year and ordered by our Tennessee Constitution by law must be a balanced budget. It was a big night for public education plus Governor Lee made an emphasis on supporting rural Tennessee.

$600M new education dollars
$117M teacher salaries 4% increase 
New Standards for elementary literacy training. PHONICS BASED!
$25M to further increase Broadband accessibility


With a full plate for my bill package this year, Wednesday, February 5th was the filing deadline date. Now due diligence is needed to prepare each one of the bills for committee presentations, and also be knowledgeable on legislation that will come through the committee I chair in Transportation Safety and Funding Sub. A whole lotta moving parts indeed.

We hear you on the ongoing issues at Tennessee’s Driver Service Centers across Tennessee and the hours that are spent awaiting your REAL ID. There are 44 service centers and many of them are not staffed accordingly coupled with the high demand for the new identification. We have until October 1, 2020 to obtain a REAL ID. Yours truly is one of the “not yet got it” but needs to. 🙂

You are not required to have a REAL ID for everyday life; however, if I want to visit a nuclear facility, (umm probably not but you never know), or enter a Federal Building, (probably so), and most assuredly take my grandsons on an adventure on an airplane, yes I will go to the closest DMV location and join the masses.




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House Insurance Chairman Robin Smith shared some information with us this week regarding existing Patient Assistance Programs for people who need help paying for their insulin. If you are struggling to afford insulin, this can assist you in receiving the help you need. These programs are for qualifying patients that may be insured, uninsured, or on Medicare:

Insulin Patient Assistance Programs
American Diabetes Association
Website: www.insulinhelp.org

 
Novo Nordisk
Website: www.novocare.com
Phone: 1-844-NOVO4ME

 
Eli Lilly
Website: www.insulinaffordability.com
Phone: (833) 808-1234

 
Sanofi
Website: www.sanofipatientconnection.com or www.insulinsvalyou.com
Phone: 1-888-847-4877

 
Be sure to check out my Top Topic 2 Minute Talk on Facebook every Thursday after session, Coffee Conversations every Friday in the District, and stay engaged on our very friendly Tennessee General Assembly Website. You can find the bills being proposed this session, committee hearings being video streamed and the discussions and debates at hand. Here are the links to my Facebook page and our Capitol website:
https://www.facebook.com/RepresentativeTerriLynnWeaver/
 http://capitol.tn.gov/

Truly an honor to serve and work for you!  Blessings

Blessings,
Terri Lynn Weaver

The "Loop' 02/01/2020

Greetings Fabulous Folks of the Fortieth!
Wow the last day, of the first month, into the new decade, of 2020! Time is clipping along and waits on no one.

On Monday, February 3rd when we convene it will be our 46th day of the 111th General Assembly, and the filing deadline for legislation is Wednesday, February 5th. Currently I have reached the bill limit of 15 pieces of legislation with HJR741 being my first bill to be filed and assigned to the Department and Agencies Subcommittee chaired by Representative Bob Ramsey. 

As you recall, Tennessee is paving the way by asking the Highest Court in the land to answer this question: “Does Tennessee have Tenth Amendment Standing?” We have come a long journey through the courts system since I carried SJR467 in 2016. Holding to the belief this case will be heard by the Supreme Court, HJR741 reaffirms our Constitutional Status as a Sovereign State and the importance of the balance of powers. Moreover the Tennessee Lawsuit is paramount in preserving the Tenth Amendment written in our Constitution, thus the ever-watching eyeballs of other states seeing how this case plays out. Am I against Refugees? Absolutely not. I am the daughter and first generation of a Refugee. It is my constitutional duty to which I swore to protect and uphold the Constitution of these United States and the State of Tennessee. Limited Government is the fountainhead of our Founding Fathers and we as a state must act like a sovereign state. 

I have also co-signed on to HB1929 which prohibits the governor from making a decision or obligating the state of Tennessee in any way with regard to Refugee Resettlement unless authorized by a joint resolution of the General Assembly. It is the General Assembly’s job to appropriate public moneys and balance the state budget, not the Executive Branch’s job. Read it for yourself. I did not make this up.

Legislation is beginning to move through subcommittees once bills are filed and then the tempo will pick up rather quickly! On Monday, Governor Bill Lee will give his second State of the State address. The legislature always looks forward to this night where the governor will lay out his plan for the upcoming year. 

It is a pleasure to serve and work for you.

Blessings,
Terri Lynn Weaver

The "LOOP" 01/24/2020

Greetings Fabulous Folks of the Fortieth!


We are off and running and back in the saddle again in Nashville! Session is rockin’ n rollin’. Here is what’s happening this week at the Capitol. Blessings!
Republican Leaders Honor Fallen Officer Spencer Bristol


This week in Nashville, House Republican leaders honored the life and legacy of Hendersonville Master Patrol Officer Spencer Bristol by introducing the Spencer Bristol Act. Officer Bristol was killed in the line of duty on Dec. 30, 2019 pursuing a fleeing suspect following a crash and high-speed car chase that began in Hendersonville and ended on Interstate 65 in Goodlettsville.


The Spencer Bristol Act holds criminals accountable by significantly increasing penalties for evading arrest when a law enforcement officer is injured or dies during a pursuit involving a fleeing suspect.
Currently, evading arrest is a Class D felony punishable by not less than two years and not more than 12 years in prison. This initiative enhances that penalty to a Class A offense, punishable by 15-60 years in prison.


Additionally, the Spencer Bristol Act increases penalties for causing serious bodily injury to a law enforcement officer during a pursuit from a Class D felony to a Class C felony. I proudly stand with the brave men and women who protect and serve our communities, and we will continue to fight for them throughout the 2020 legislative session.


Lawmakers Join Governor for Pro-Life Announcement


Members of the House Republican Caucus joined Governor Bill Lee on Thursday for a significant pro-life announcement designed to enhance Tennessee’s status as a national leader on this important issue. During the announcement, the governor unveiled components of a comprehensive proposal that includes a prohibition of an abortion when a fetal heartbeat exists.


Lee’s proposal would also build upon successes in other states while incorporating innovative approaches to enhance existing law, and I am eager to learn more about what is included in the governor’s initiative.


Tennessee is a strong pro-life state, and our leaders remain committed to protecting our most innocent and serving as a powerful voice for our unborn. I proudly stand for life!


House Republicans Pursue Tax Cut Legislation This Year


House Republicans this year will prioritize legislation that provides additional tax cuts for hardworking Tennesseans. These cuts include legislation designed to create a Food Tax Holiday for 2020 across the state through House Bill 1697. This initiative would exempt the retail sale of food and food ingredients from a 4 percent sales tax for the months of June and July. However, local taxes – up to 2.75 percent – would still be collected by cities and counties.


Because most Tennessee students are out of school in June and July, this will help families better provide food for their children during summer months, especially those who rely on free and reduced lunches throughout the school year.


Republicans are also considering reductions in the corporate tax, which currently sits at 6.5 percent — one of the highest rates in the entire southeast region. This burdensome tax penalizes businesses by taxing their net earnings. By reducing it, additional revenue should allow our businesses to reinvest and potentially expand operations, which could create new jobs.


I mentioned the Food Tax Holiday bill on my Top Topic Two Minute Talk video on Facebook last week. I am very excited to support this!


It is always a pleasure to serve and work for you!
Blessings,
Terri Lynn Weaver

11/10/2019

Greetings Fabulous Folks of the Fortieth!

I had every intention of sending the Loop for the Tenth month of the year, however, it just flew by!  October weather was unseasonably warm filling the fortieth with many local community events, Main Street fairs, chili cook offs, I had two fund raisers for my re- election 2020 campaign, a caucus retreat, traveling out of state to my Aunt Loni’s 90th Birthday Party and going to Gatlinburg for the Tennessee Mining Association Event where I was honored to receive Legislator of the Year.  Yep what a whirlwind. Today my Yukon is parked in the driveway, Mike will get a home cooked meal, the laundry will get finished, the large stacks of stuff on my desk will diminish and this Loop will be complete before the clock on the mantel chimes Ten P.M.

Now let me share all the great things happening in the Fortieth District.

Tennessee Governor Lee and the Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe recently approved more than $26.7M in Community Development Block Grants which assist communities with funding for water and sewer improvements, new extensions, housing rehabilitation plus health and safety projects. Hartsville in Trousdale County is one of the 66 municipalities across this state awarded for their vision to improve the living environment for their citizens and receiving $525,000 for water systems improvements.

Vocational Education Investments of $25M, approved by the General Assembly, to expand our career and technical education for Tennessee Students was announced today. TCAT Hartsville was awarded $994,995.00! These funds will greatly improve the Manufacturing WBL Program getting students skilled in a trade that will provide great paying jobs. Also Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin received $1M for their Technology Programs and Motlow State Community College which serves many folks in the fortieth received $949,410 for their Teaching innovative learning technologies (TILT). These 28 funded projects certainly will rock our rural communities! Thank you Governor Lee for believing in rural Tennessee and keeping your promise!!!

And Congrats to Dekalb County High School and Gallatin High School in Sumner County for the huge progress you contribute by leading the way in the state to become the first to receive a pathway certification from the Tennessee Department of Education. Providing the tools needed to succeed beyond high school, a Health Science Pathway (DCHS) and a Criminal Justice Pathway (GHS) 74 schools across the state are building strong bridges through this pathway program that lead to in demand careers. For more info about the TN Pathways contact Tennessee.Pathways@tbr.edu

More than 500,000 Tennesseans have registered to vote online since the opportunity became available in September 2017. Update or make new registrations online or download the paper form at GoVoteTN.com or visit your local election commission.

Did you know that there is a State Park located within an hour of every Tennessean. So get to it and enjoy the beauty of our parks!!!!

Yesterday while visiting Vena Stuart Elementary, the kids were practicing for a music presentation for Veterans Day. After I sang “God Bless America” to these very attentive fourth graders, I began to share about our trip to Washington D.C. and the long walk up to the Unknown Soldier Graveside inside Arlington Cemetery. Continuing my story, I asked our grandsons to stop walking and take a good long look across the vast expanding acres of white headstones spread as far as you could see.  And for that one quiet and serene summer moment, in Arlington Cemetery, freedom was defined to us though not a word was spoken. Freedom comes with a price.  Thank a Veteran and be sure to salute their courage and their willingness each veteran gives in serving our country. Thank you, Veterans!

Blessings,

Terri Lynn Weaver

10/03/2019

Greetings Fabulous Folks of the Fortieth!
The American Academy for Parks and Recreation has awarded Tennessee as one of four finalists for best parks in the nation this past week. Tennessee is home to 56 state parks, one of which is about ten minutes from our home in Lancaster.  After church tomorrow, my eldest grandson will be joining me for a hike on Merritt Ridge, one of Edgar Evins’s more challenging trails surrounded by Center Hill Lake. I cannot think of a better way to spend some quality time with the ones you love than to head to the great outdoors. In Tennessee there is a whole lot of beauty to behold. Hopefully my most favorite season of the year will show up soon, sending these 90 degrees and higher temps far behind us!

Except for Trousdale County, I have just finished my 2019 School Tour. September 17th has been recognized as Constitution Day in our schools across this state. Delivering Constitutions to 8th graders and seniors, reading to elementary students a story of Lady Freedom, sharing my story about visiting my aunt and her family who lived in East Germany (behind the Berlin Wall) and how communism and socialism is death to Freedom, and hearing from teachers and principals alike, gave me a good pulse of the schools I serve in House District 40.  Our schools are busting at the seams and the need for teachers for this growth is hard to fill.  One in three Tennessee teachers said they would choose another career if given the chance according to the recent TN Educators Survey. Three-fourths of our teachers are positive about the way their school is run and 90% say they would recommend their school to parents.  I most certainly commend these caring souls for the work they do in every classroom.

Next week the House Education Committee will be convening for summer study as the Department of Education brings us updates on assessment and early grade literacy. Higher education bills that were assigned to summer study will be reviewed as well.

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it along to our children in our bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it what like in the United States where men were free.” – Ronald Reagan

More than just drivers, EMS Services are essential to patient care. What I call “Mobile Medical ER on Wheels,” these people are vital to our rural communities. Having brought all stakeholders to a meeting with the Governor, I am in hopes for a solution for House Bill 1175 going forward.  When session resumes in January, HB1175 will have another go of it. Its companion bill passed in the Senate.

As Transportation Chairwoman, I met with Commissioner Bright and TDOT concerning road projects in my district, and I have continued working on funding for expanding exits such as Exit 258 in Smith County. Trains are also vital to rural areas. Transporting items such as sand and crushed rock closer to construction areas where large trucks can then transport materials makes for fewer trucks on the road. And I am good with that!

I leave you with this fact. According to a poll of 1.5 million folks, it is said that Tennessee is the second friendliest state in the nation. Minnesota being the first? Hmmm. They went on to say Tennessee charm, hospitality, and the lively music scene were why we got such a high ranking. The land of sweet tea and grits ought to count for something, right?

Please remember to join me at any four of my Coffee Conversations in the Fabulous Fortieth on Friday Mornings at 8 A.M.

First Friday Patty’s Restaurant in Smithville
Second Friday at Early Bird Café in Hartsville
Third Friday at Smith County Chamber Building 
Fourth Friday at Mable’s in Gallatin

It is a pleasure to serve and work for you.

Blessings,
Terri Lynn Weaver

8/27/2019

Greetings Fabulous Folks of the Fortieth!
I am in hopes that you and yours have had a grand summer and, like myself, perhaps you are welcoming more of a “routine” in your day. With Labor Day approaching us next weekend, my favorite time of the year, autumn, is just around the corner!

Now that Extraordinary Session is behind us, and Representative Cameron Sexton is our House Speaker, we have turned the page to a new chapter of leadership and are ready to get to the people’s business. The second half of the 111th General Assembly will be here before we know it.

Many of you know, since I was sent to Nashville as your Representative in 2009, every other year in September I tour the schools in the 40th district visiting classrooms, handing out Pocket Constitutions to students, reading to elementary students, and in some cases taking my guitar to Pre-K and kindergarten classes. Education is one of our state’s top five expenses. Second only to TennCare, it is important to know the heartbeat of the schools in District 40. This listening tour enables me to be a better voice for the twenty-eight schools I represent. When we resume session this January, information learned will help me make informed decisions while serving on the Full House Education Committee. My office is currently confirming the final details, and I am looking forward to visiting the fabulous teachers and students throughout Dekalb, Smith, Trousdale, and Sumner Counties.

I want to remind you that, beginning in September, Coffee Conversations resume on Friday mornings beginning at 8 a.m.

The schedule is as follows:
First Friday-Angie’s Diner Smithville, TN, 
Second Friday-Early Bird Café Hartsville, TN
Third Friday-Smith County Chamber Carthage, TN
Fourth Friday-Mabel’s Diner Gallatin, TN

This is an informal time for us to visit and discuss issues at hand over coffee. Currently, I am working on a legislative package for 2020.

I also want to mention if you need to contact me my office number is 615-741-2192. Ask for Grace, my assistant, or you may email me at rep.terri.lynn.weaver@capitol.tn.gov
Many of you have my cell phone number as well.
Please do not use Messenger on Facebook as I no longer use that app.
Have a blessed and safe Labor Day Weekend!

Blessings,
Terri Lynn Weaver

05.14.2019

Greetings Fabulous Folks of the Fortieth!
After a wonderful weekend with my family celebrating Mother’s Day, the sun is shining bright on this Monday morning. I trust your weekend was spent with the ones you love as well. As promised, I will speak to three bills each week that were passed in the first half of the 111th General Assembly.

House Bill 77, known as the Heartbeat Bill, is legislation that protects the sanctity of life. Detection of a heartbeat would prohibit abortions unless the mother’s life is in jeopardy. Think about it. What is the vital sign all medical professionals look for when treating a patient? Is it not a heartbeat? Is life and death not determined by the rhythm of the human heart? Then why would it be any different INSIDE THE WOMB? HB77 passed in the House Chamber but unfortunately succumbed to a train wreck on the Senate side. As your representative, I will continue to fight for our unborn children.   House Bill 945 enures that our students are better prepared for successful careers in the agriculture industry. The goal of the 11- person task force is to encourage and promote agriculture education opportunities. With emerging fields in agriculture and the training knowledge needed for advancement in those fields, Tennessee will now have a pathway initiative for those students! The Great Seal of the State of Tennessee, the official insignia of the U.S. State of Tennessee, encompasses agriculture and commerce. It seems only fitting to have more of our students follow in the field of agriculture and commerce.

House Bill 937 Benefits our heroic police officers and firefighters by increasing the training supplement for those who protect and serve our communities and those who are called upon to respond during fires and other emergencies after they complete 40 hours of in-service training.

House Bill 839 creates a statewide payment plan for individuals who submit proof of their inability to pay fines, taxes, or court costs on citations and have their licenses suspended. This legislation will allow them to obtain restricted driver’s licenses so they can go to work, school or attend church. It is important to note, HB839 does not dismiss individual accountability but ensures people who make mistakes have a pathway to paying their fines.   Please remember Coffee Conversations continue through the end of May resuming in September.   Do not hesitate to call on me at my office 615-741-2192. See you at the next community event!

Did you know that the average American spends 97 hours a year stuck in traffic OR 12+ vacation days.

Go to http://infrastructureweek.org/
#BuildForTomorrow   Blessings, Terri Lynn Weaver