MURFREESBORO, Tenn., Dec. 8, 2015– This fall has been packed with many interesting issues and news for District 48. From Governor Haslam’s Transportation Listening Tour to the District 48 art contest, there has been a voluminous amount of information that our district should know. While this update is by no means a complete narrative of all the issues and events, I hope that it provides some insight into what has transpired over the past few months.
- Transportation: Nothing insofar as a gas tax increase has been proposed. TDOT has not yet supplied me with a long term projection of their budget. Been working with others to restore funding to TDOT from the general fund, as well as require TDOT to prioritize their projects before any vote on any funding changes takes place. I stand by my previous statement in that I don’t see a simple gas tax increase being successful in 2016.
- Education: There have been a lot of concerns about 7th grade standards involving Islamo-centric materials. A bill has been proposed by Rep. Butt that may address part of the issue. I’ve been working with Rep. Butt and other Reps on a solution to this issue and it may require amending Rep. Butt’s bill or filing another bill. Education standards review is underway. Please, participate. My team and others have reviewed the standards committee members set forth from HB1035 and are still gathering information for confirmation in 2016. Testing has been a big issue with teachers and students. I have spoken with teachers, parents, students, and other representatives and am looking for answers and solutions. Transparency is a huge issue.
- Planned Parenthood: Worked with Chairman Sexton and sent a formal letter of inquiry to Planned Parenthood. They confirmed receiving state money through TennCare, but not for abortions. They denied selling aborted parts for profit nor claimed to be violating any laws. I’m working with others and have been in frequent contact with the Governor’s office on this issue.
- Refugee Resettlement: This is a big issue right now that will require state and federal input. The Attorney General, at the behest of three Democrat legislators, offered an opinion that Tennessee cannot halt the influx of refugees. Governor Haslam has asked for notification from the Federal program and more involvement from the state level. He has asked for a pause in the Federal program. The Feds should halt the influx of any potential risky refugees to our country and states should have control of who gets relocated within their borders. This is a 10th Amendment issue. However, as an open state border society, it is difficult to stop anyone from coming to Tennessee through another state. A process should be in place where Tennessee can keep track of refugees assigned to our state.
- In-state tuition for children of illegal immigrants: This bill came up last session and I voted against it. I don’t see that bill passing especially with the Federal Courts essentially proclaiming DACA(Obama amnesty) unconstitutional.
- Budget: We continue to see a surplus well above and beyond budget projections. We need to look at our underfunded Rainy Day fund, cutting taxes, or using the funds when looking at our Transportation funding mechanism. Know that Education and Health budgets(as well as others) must be reviewed. The prudent thing is to place the funds in our Rainy day fund while we continue to evaluate budgetary needs versus mandated growth.
- Bilateral Session: We are putting in a session where federal and state level officials meet to discuss the needs of Tennesseans. This is BIG NEWS if we can accomplish this endeavor.
- Insure Tennessee: Governor Haslam stated that he doesn’t see Insure Tennessee passing in 2016. Neither do I.
- Bills: I have a slate of bills that I have been working on. I am meeting with other Reps and discussing the bills before I look to file them.
- District 48 High School Art Contest on January 9 will be held at Patterson Park. Guest jurors include local artist Norris Hall and reporter Scott Broden amongst others.
- Governor Haslam was a guest at an event for Portico and their Mobile Ultrasound Unit.
- Spoke with MTSU Republicans at a legislative forum on MTSU’s campus.
- Spoke to Central Magnet School students and am partnering with them on an issue.
- First ever Providers and Politics Event to bring awareness of legislation to health care providers in Rutherford County was held at Reeves-Sain Pharmacy.
- Held the first ever Pigs and Politics at Slick Pig to help provide information to the community.
- TEAM TERRY has been reassembled and added to for the upcoming campaign. If you would like to join, please, contact us at BryanTerry4TN@gmail.com
I believe in keeping constituents informed. This update is just a brief description of various issues or events that have occurred and not an in depth analysis of all the issues and my opinions. Please, contact me or my office for more information.