“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!
 
Blessings,
Terri Lynn Weaver

The Loop, 04/25/2020

A Heartfelt Note for the Fabulous Folks of the Fortieth!

Like many of you, Mike and I continue to “Shelter at Home” while we navigate through a journey none of us have ever forged before. Coronavirus. Where now the new norm is Do Your Part, Stay Apart, practice social distancing, don’t leave home without your masks, complete with gloves, and wash, wash, wash those hands for the duration of The Happy Birthday Song, and “Purell” to your heart’s content, coupled with please follow the arrows in the aisles of your favorite grocery store while shopping, and “remember, we are all in this together.” Yes, a new lingo in this new era called COVID that is as definitive as the timeline of B.C (before Christ) and A.D. (After Christ), or The Great Depression, and 9-11.

A disruption that caused church doors to be closed worldwide while millions of Christians from all denominations viewed Easter services via online streaming and pastors preached the resurrection message to empty church buildings. COVID-19 will be described in the pages of history as a sudden disruption. Where all things prior to COVID will never be the same and a cultural reset is now the new norm. I wonder, must I hesitate to hug now that COVID has arrived or for that matter will shaking hands be something of the past? Could how we greet one another now be changed because of COVID?

Yet through these last six weeks of staying on Seabo, I also believe something good will come of COVID. Somehow, we will be better, being forced to see things we were blind to before COVID. COVID is a strong reminder that we must latch on like never before to the One who has the whole world in His hands as He equips us with a fearless faith we need in order to forge forward in the new norm of COVID. It is my prayer that you are drawing closer to the Lover of Your Soul, putting the IPHONE down, going at a slower pace, and spending quality time with those whom He has placed near and dear to your heart. Now more than ever we have to trust and believe He who is able to call creation into existence is also able to provide for our needs.

So, use this divine pause and do that jigsaw puzzle, start that book you never had time to begin, take this time to know the season we are in. Who knows, this disruption could be an answer to prayer.  Let us be still and know while the world is on lockdown, God is moving and causing us all to “reset” for what He has purposed and planned, post COVID-19.

COVID-19 Resources

State Parks
For a complete list of reopened state parks and tips to make your visits safe and healthy, click here

COVID-19 Information Line
An Information Line for family members of incarcerated individuals has been created to ensure family can receive accurate and up-to-date information from TDOC. The line can be reached at 1-866-858-0380. Family and friends can also find answers to frequently asked questions about TDOC’s response to COVID-19 on our website at www.tn.gov/correction or email: TDOC.Communications@tn.gov.

ReadyRosie
Over 6,450 Tennessee families have registered for ReadyRosie already, an online education tool providing at-home instructional videos you can do with your children. Through a partnership between the department and the Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation, Tennessee families have access to resources for free through September. For more information, visit the ReadyRosie website here.

Department of Labor & Workforce Development
The Department of Labor & Workforce Development has put together a website to best answer all your unemployment questions. You can find the website here

Praying for you,
Blessings,
Terri Lynn Weaver

The Loop, 04/02/2016

Good Day Fabulous Forty Folk!
First and foremost, I pray you and yours are safe, healthy, and staying in your homes as we all do our part to stay apart in order to starve this pandemic called COVID-19. Your representative has not pulled out of her holler since a week ago Tuesday, and that was only to make a run to the grocery store.

Refraining from driving anywhere, I am grateful for internet that keeps me connected via conference calls, Facetime (especially with my grandsons), and I am learning the Zoom thing. With many working from home, students learning from home, and peak periods of streaming, cable broadband networks are working hard to ensure internet continues during the skyrocketed demand COVID-19 has caused. Be a good steward of how you use broadband to help our nation and our state adapt during our nation’s pandemic response.

Our Governor has invested another $23M for reliable broadband expansion, especially for rural Tennessee in the preliminary budget we passed before recessing on March 20th. Good news came to me yesterday of a grant issuing Trousdale County $500K that would connect 274 new homes. This will complete the infrastructure needed for these residences to do work and school from home. When we come through this public health crisis, the vital need for strong dependable internet in all Tennessee homes and small businesses will prove its worth.  

While facetiming our grandson yesterday he said, “GeGe I am over this quarantine thing.” I am sure he misses hanging out with his friends. But perhaps our children will put their devices down and appreciate real face time when COVID-19 is behind us. There is always a silver lining available if you choose to seek it. I for one am enjoying reading those selected books from my home library, researching on a book I am writing about my family displaced during WWII, plus the time I have to prepare homecooked meals and sit at the table with family and candlelight conversations. Yet in the midst of this crisis, please take this virus seriously. Practice washing hands, disinfecting, distancing, and always cover your coughs and sneezes.

Today Mike and I watched a video by Dr.Vuong that does a great job explaining what we are fighting against (I apologize for some of the language). This next month is critical folks. We need to bust the virus and get back to business ASAP!

Working with Governor Lee
 
This morning my colleagues and I joined our Governor and his task force via conference call for a briefing on what Tennessee will look like 2 to 4 weeks out. Let me say this, Tennessee is facing tremendous challenges ahead, as if the beginning of March hasn’t brought enough trouble with the devastating Tornado through middle Tennessee and now Corona. However, I am confident and I believe we will get through this. It’s what we as Tennesseans do when challenges are before us, we do what is asked of us, buckle up, and we forge forward.

“The most important action that you can take is to stay at home – that saves lives – we need Tennesseans to do that in every corner and throughout all of Tennessee” – Governor Bill Lee

Tomorrow we travel to our local grocery store for provisions to last another two weeks. Remember our truck drivers who are currently keeping our food supply strong! There is no need to hoard, grocery stores are well stocked. I am sure a friendly smile and “thank you” will go a long way to those employees working day and night to stock those shelves.

Below are some resources that have been helpful to me that I thought would be helpful to you as well. 

 
Governor’s Press Conferences
Governor Lee is briefing the public each weekday at 3 p.m. CDT. You can watch the livestream by clicking here

Jobs and Essential Businesses
The state websites http://www.Jobs4TN.gov and https://www.tn.gov/workforce/covid-19/jobs.html are fabulous resources if you are looking for information about unemployment benefits, current job openings, or business solutions. Visit this link for a complete list of essential businesses and services and to read Governor Lee’s Executive Order 22.

Waived Deadlines
The state has extended certain deadlines and expirations in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for to view the full list. 

Local Testing Sites
To find a coronavirus testing site near you, click here

Updated Coronavirus Numbers
Check out worldometers.info/coronavirus for updated data on coronavirus cases. 


#THANKATRUCKER
#FlattenTheCurve
#TNStayApart
#SaferAtHome



Do your part, stay apart. For the sake of our doctors, nurses, and first responders who are soldiers on the front line treating our loved ones, our behavior these next two weeks are critical. Pray without ceasing asking God to heal our land. 
 
Psalm 91,
Terri Lynn Weaver

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