The “Loop” 03/02/2020

Greetings Fabulous Folks of the Fortieth!
Marvelous Monday Morning here in the holler! Rain is on the roof but sunshine is in my sights.
I’m remembering last week’s events by reviewing my photos taken on my phone. This is one sure resource to journal all that took place so “The Loop” can, well, keep you in the loop!

The hallways of Cordell Hull continue to buzz with various topics and people of interest. The Fab Forty office, 554, held appointments with Hemp Day on the Hill, FFA (those infamous blue coats filled with delightful future leaders!), Chamber of Commerce, University Presidents, Pathologists, Audiologists, Alzheimer’s of Tennessee, Architects, Engineers of TN and the list goes on. Each group brings what is important to them to the legislative body as I listen and ask questions concerning their respected place of knowledge.

Also this past week Governor Lee introduced House Bill 2817. The Constitutional Carry bill is now being considered in the legislature and would make Tennessee the 17th state to embrace our Second Amendment right to bear arms without a permit to all law-abiding citizens 21 years and older, except in current restricted areas. Most importantly the bill sends a strong message to those BAD ACTORS who unlawfully possess a gun.
 
The bill does the following:

-Increases the penalty for theft of a firearm to a felony
-Provides a sentencing enhancement for theft of a firearm in a car
-Increases the minimum sentence for theft of a firearm from 30 days to 180 days
-Increases the sentences for unlawful possession of a firearm by violent felons and felony drug offenders, possession of a handgun by a felon, and unlawfully providing a handgun to a juvenile or allowing a juvenile to possess a handgun.

Majority Leader William Lamberth and I sat down to discuss the governor’s legislation in my Top Topic Two Minute Talk on Facebook. Click here to watch the video. We must stop criminalizing law-abiding citizens and crack down hard on those who commit crimes with guns.

House Bill 2517 would shrink drug-free school zones from 1,000 to 500 feet and allow judges to use discretion to waive mandatory school zone sentencing enhancements. The cost savings generated by the legislation could equate to a reinvestment of more than $18 million for public safety and rehabilitation.

Drug-free zones include public or private elementary, middle, and secondary schools, child care agencies, public libraries, recreational centers, and parks. By shrinking drug-free zones, House Bill 2517 has the potential to create additional resources to make justice more efficient in Tennessee. 
House Bill 2517 will be heard by members of the Finance, Ways, & Means Committee in the next few weeks.

I have had numerous concerns from constituents about the coronavirus. Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey released a statement on how Tennessee is preparing going forward. Staying on top in truth will prevent hysteria, which can be a bigger problem than the bug itself. Use common sense when symptoms of flue arise. Stay home if you’re sick, keep your hands off your face, wash, wash, wash, your hands, and by all means cover your sneeze or cough.  
 
Here is Commissioner Piercey’s statement along with a couple of website links for even more information for individual recommendations for business, schools, health care, individuals and communities in general:
www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov.html.
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

 Correct information is paramount!

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

1st Friday – Patty’s Restaurant in Smithville Dekalb County
2nd Friday – Hartsville Early Bird Café in Trousdale County
3rd Friday – Smith County Chamber in Carthage
4th Friday – Mabel’s Restaurant in Gallatin

Big week ahead! I so appreciate your support and your prayers. 

Blessings,
Terri Lynn Weaver
Greetings Fabulous Folks of the Fortieth! 02/24/2020
It’s a Marvelous Monday morning, and yes it is raining again, but hey, as one of my favorite bluegrass tunes sings, “There’s a dark and a troubled side of life. There’s a bright and a sunny side too. Though we meet with the darkness and strife. The sunny side we also may view.” So, I choose to keep on the sunny side.

It is my hope that many of you took advantage of the flexibility of early voting, which will end tomorrow Tuesday, February 24th! Election Day is next Tuesday, March 3rd. Oh and FYI we passed legislation last year (Public Chapter No. 250) that protects voters who entrust their voter registration application with individuals or organizations conducting voter registration drives. This law was passed to protect the voter from being ripped off by untrained and uninterested individuals whose only mission is to get all the voter registration applications collected for a paycheck! Well as you may know Tennessee is currently being sued while a court preliminary injunction prevents many of those safeguards listed in the law from being applicable for the upcoming elections. That is why we have HB2363 in the legislature this session to provide reasonable protections such as requirements that those who collect voter registration applications file those collected forms within 15 days of the voter registration drive or no later than the voter registration deadline. Click here to follow along with the legislation. And yes, there is teeth in this bill. Now more than ever we must protect the critical infrastructure of the election box!

The general paraphrase of Thomas Jefferson’s views are he believed an “educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.” I encourage you to do your part and “be” a citizen, not a spectator, nor a subject. Seek wisdom on whom and what to vote for. James 1 says, “If you need wisdom, if you want to know what God wants you to do – ask Him and He will gladly tell you.”

In Transportation Committee this past week, we had discussions on the department’s funding, about how much we have in the piggy bank to spend and where all that “dough” goes. September 30, 2020 the FAST Act (Federal Aid Surface Transportation) is set to expire. Congress must act by then to pass a new federal highway reauthorization bill, hopefully one that will bring a sustainable solution for funding highways. Tennessee is in need of $600M to enlarge the highway trust fund. Worst case scenario would be those general fund dollars may not be there thus likely no long term solution and the uncertainty of general fund infusions. UGH!

Sunny side? We are debt free which enables us to address short term continuing resolutions, which is better than most states. We are experiencing growing pains now! Traffic is a continuous parking lot. Tennessee just can’t contain all the cars. That being said, I am having “out of the box” discussions on how to expedite projects, especially rural, and have the funding to meet the safety and economic needs in my district.  It is work worth doing 🙂


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In Transportation Committee this past week, we had discussions on the department’s funding, about how much we have in the piggy bank to spend and where all that “dough” goes. September 30, 2020 the FAST Act (Federal Aid Surface Transportation) is set to expire. Congress must act by then to pass a new federal highway reauthorization bill, hopefully one that will bring a sustainable solution for funding highways. Tennessee is in need of $600M to enlarge the highway trust fund. Worst case scenario would be those general fund dollars may not be there thus likely no long term solution and the uncertainty of general fund infusions. UGH!
Sunny side? We are debt free which enables us to address short term continuing resolutions, which is better than most states. We are experiencing growing pains now! Traffic is a continuous parking lot. Tennessee just can’t contain all the cars. That being said, I am having “out of the box” discussions on how to expedite projects, especially rural, and have the funding to meet the safety and economic needs in my district.  It is work worth doing 🙂

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 Dekalb County
2nd Friday – Hartsville Early Bird Café in Trousdale County
3rd Friday – Smith County Chamber in Carthage
4th Friday – Mabel’s Restaurant in Gallatin
Another busy week ahead of me so I must fire up the Yukon and head west to the big city to be YOUR VOICE. Thanks for the honor to serve you!
 
Blessings,
Terri Lynn Weaver

The “Loop” 02/16/2020

Greetings Fabulous Folks of the Fortieth!
Just returning “Home to the Holler” from the Sumner County Republican Woman’s Breakfast where I gave my first “Stump” speech of the 2020 campaign season. What a blessing and a privilege it is to testify on Tennessee’s thriving economy! Work worth doing driven by conservatives who walk the talk of low taxes, limited government, and staying true to Tennessee values. Proof is in the Puddin’!  Tennessee’s finances are the healthiest in history and it is truly an honor to have taken part in this tremendous Tennessee story. It matters who governs.

HJR741 was supported by my Republican colleagues in subcommittee and will be heard in the Full State Committee on February 18th. This resolution is strictly about State and U.S. Constitutional principles. It is intended to support the constitutional issues that are raised by our Tenth Amendment lawsuit filed in 2017.

“Work worth doing” with the Emergency Medical Services, HB1175 seeks reimbursement funding from TennCare so that these first line of patient care (“E.R on wheels”) can remain doing what they do best, saving lives! Their services are especially vital in the rural areas where 1 in 5 hospitals are closing their doors. These Tennessee Paramedics showed up in large numbers filing our hallways and House Hearing Room I where I presented HB1175 asking the committee for passage. Stay tuned!

Coffee Conversations in Hartsville, over a concern a constituent had regarding HB1945, which “authorizes a person to perform without a license, work for which a license is normally required if the recipient of the work acknowledges the person’s lack of licensure and waives claims against the person.”  Not knowing the spirit of this bill, I intend to ask the sponsor for further insight. Mentioned as well at the Early Bird that morning was “do not support removing the Nathan Bedford Forrest Bust” outside the Chambers on the second floor of the Capitol. Folks if we go down this trajectory, there will be no stopping this ridiculous attempt to wipe out what we can’t change anyway. Truth will always prevail. Let’s learn truth and be the better for it.

Coffee Conversations are a huge help in hearing the concerns of House District 40. We are a Constitutional Republic a “Representative” voice, your voice, who works for you to make Tennessee a better place to live work and raise a family.
Coffee Conversations every Friday morning at 8 a.m.:
First Friday – Patty’s Restaurant in Smithville Dekalb County
2nd Friday – Hartsville Early Bird Café in Trousdale County
3rd Friday – Smith County Chamber in Carthage
4th Friday – Mabel’s Restaurant in Gallatin

Also note there are some 4th Fridays we have Sumner County Delegation locations while we are in session. Watch for notices via email.

Blessings,
Terri Lynn Weaver

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