|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.
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