Greetings Fortieth District!
We are now in my favorite season of all, but it is certainly a busy time of the year. Last weekend there were four fall festivals in my district alone and these wonderful community events keep me in touch with those who I represent.
Hopefully, you and your loved ones have been able to enjoy the great outdoors, a sandy beach, or even your own backyard while we have been on Fall Break from school.
When my tenure began in 2009, I began doing an annual school tour so that I can take time and personally speak to principals, teachers, and students. This helps me to better understand what works and what needs improving which is vital for me to do my best on The Full Education Committee when we resume session in January of 2018.
Constitution Awareness Day was September 17 and since then we have been taking new flags and pocket constitutions to the classrooms. Our public schools have gone through some major changes in the past 8 to 10 years. Some of these changes have been for the betterment of our education system, and others, I am not so sure of.
Many schools are grateful for the decrease in the amount of testing our children have been tasked to do in the past. Time for creativity and P.E. has actually brought some much-needed fun back into learning.
A big concern that has been brought to my attention is attendance. When will parents start being held accountable for their children’s attendance, behavior, and academics? In addition to trying to do their jobs and teach, teachers are the ones who are being held responsible when students don’t show up or do their homework and when they misbehave. Teachers are having to take the responsibility for it all, and truthfully that is why so many of the good ones are leaving.
I know we don’t live in a “Leave it to Beaver” kind of world, but until parents are taking the initiative, then we are all being set up for failure. We can’t just allow families to settle. Our children deserve better.
We must provide stable and safe homes for our children so that they can thrive and reach their full potential. Strong loving families are becoming the minority and everyone is paying the price.
I applaud the strong men and women who love and teach our children. They certainly do not do it for the pay check.
Speaking of teacher’s paychecks, until Congress will repeal and pass a real affordable health plan that actually deals with the COST of healthcare, premiums will continue to increase.
Here in Tennessee, school districts will see an average hike of 7% with some individual market consumers will be facing hikes as high as 40 percent! Higher premiums are being passed down to teachers and most school systems are not absorbing the cost. One teacher informed me that her family plan will increase 79% causing her salary to be less this year than when she first began teaching many years ago.
Until Tennessee can cross state lines for competitive quotes and cheaper insurance rates, we will be held hostage to these insane costs. Obamacare must be repealed because it is NOT affordable!
The opioid abuse epidemic continues to ravage our state bringing record high deaths in Tennessee. Our state ranks number 2 in the opioid prescription madness and the 11th with the highest rate of deaths in the country.
We must hold the prescribers accountable first, followed by the manufacturers of these highly addictive drugs.
There has been much discussion from the municipal, county, and state camps considering legal action against pharmaceutical companies. And the discussions must turn into action. Constituents, I will continue to fight this.
Every Fall the various departments or agencies produce a budget for the upcoming year that is presented to the Governor. Then, Governor Haslam will review the budget given and his staff uses that information to recommend a budget to the legislature. This is accomplished by February each year.
Ultimately it is the job of the legislature to finalize the budget but with a 37.1 billion budget for the 2017-2018, much time and discussion will be required to get it passed.
I value the opportunity to attend district events and discussion on possible legislation for 2018. All this and fundraising in the district certainly keep me hopping!
Thank you for the honor to work for you. Never hesitate to contact me.
You can always catch me at one of my Coffee Conversations each Friday, call, or email me.
Terri Lynn Weaver
Greetings Fortieth District!
We are officially at the end of Summer and at the beginning of a new Fall season.
This was quite an eventful Summer personally, but I am thankful to say that I am back in the saddle once again after some broken bones and some much-needed rest.
With cooler temperatures in the forecast, I am looking forward to Friday night football games in District 40. I am praying for a safe, fun and winning season for our Tigers, Owls, Yellow Jackets and Green Wave teams. Mike and I try to attend every home game that we can to show our support for our schools.
Every season, I provide a team roster the size of a bookmark to help navigate who is on the field. As an added bonus, they fit perfectly in your wallet.
Looking forward to seeing you all in the coming months of Fall.
The 2017 School Tour has kicked off and I am so excited to visit our local schools in order to listen to our principals, administrators, teachers and students so that your voice and concerns are heard at the state level.
As a firm believer in letting our teachers do what they do best, which is to TEACH, we need less state and federal intrusion in the classroom interfering with the learning process. It is a topic to which I am passionate on and plan to continue discussion in our upcoming session.
“The Comptroller Audio Summaries” is a great resource on education policy issues and BEP funding. Check it out here www.comptroller.tn.gov/OREA/
At my request, TDOT came to our district and we went to the HWY 25 road closure to assess why there is yet another delay in the opening of this vital vein out of Carthage. Though we do have a detour in place, there is still a massive amount rock that must be removed. We can all agree that the safety of our construction crew and a safe road is the main focus for all involved.
TDOT has assured me that this project is on schedule and they are doing all that they can to get this road opened as soon as possible.
We have begun discussions to improve Exit 258. TDOT plans to widen SR-53 to five lanes with shoulders. The plan is similar to the Bell Road Exit under I-24 in Nashville. This plan is a doable, cost-effective fix for the increasingly dangerous congestion on the North and South side of I-40 at the Carthage/Gordonsville exit.
Hwy 109 chapter one to be complete by 2019
Currently, south of Airport Road in Gallatin toward the Cumberland Bridge, the first chapter is now under construction. With the remainder chapter to I-70 to be let in December. With a traffic count upward of 25,000 per day. Hwy 109 is a strategic corridor and a primary north/south connector between I-65 and I-40.
Remember, “patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”
District 40 is a beautiful rolling landscape of bluffs and rivers. On my watch, I am grateful that major bridges have either been repaired or replaced.
There is still work ahead but our system of pay as you go without debt is a principle I hold and hope remains a Tennessee tradition.
Lawmakers across 16 states have considered legislation to establish medical marijuana programs. Twenty-three states have considered legislation to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana.
This month I was asked to attend a hearing where testimonies on both sides of the issue will be presented.
Numerous folks in our district have emailed me on the medicinal benefits marijuana has had on seizures, glaucoma and Alzheimer’s.
The elephant in the room is that with the Federal government considering strict drug enforcement laws, the state of Tennessee would not be in compliance should we move to legalize medical marijuana.
However I am looking forward to paying attention to what will be said at this hearing and will be listening with an open mind.
One thing Is for sure , big pharma and providers are destroying lives with an opiate epidemic that is effecting ALL Tennesseans. Perhaps something as simple and natural as a green plant could be the answer?
Currently, there is a great amount of focus and attention on the upcoming Governor’s race in August of 2018. It seems these campaigns get earlier and earlier every go around.
Since house races are every two years, I want those of you who receive “The Loop” to know just how grateful I am that YOU have afforded me the privilege to represent your voice in Nashville. As one who works for you, I have made it my mission to be transparent, honest, accessible, teachable, and open minded in order to be your voice on issues that matter to you.
You are a principled people that stand on conservative values coupled with Faith, Family and Freedom. My voting record has remained consistent with conservative values and so it is my prayer that you are pleased with your representation. I do not believe my mission in the legislature is yet finished and so I am running for re-election in 2018. I ask for your prayers and your support.
Do not ever hesitate to contact me with your concerns. I am here for you!
Faithful to our values,
Calendar of Events
Coffee Conversations: 8 am - 9 a.m.
First Friday: Angi’s Diner Smithville
Second Friday; Early Bird Cafe Hartsville
Third Friday: Smith County Chamber Carthage
Fourth Friday: Mable’s Gallatin
Fund Raiser in Nashville
October 5, 2017
Back Alley Diner 3:30 - 4:30
217 Arcade Alley
Nashville, TN 37219
Friends of Terri Lynn Weaver Fund Raiser
Timberloft Restaurant, Gordonsville TN
October 23, 2017 5-7 p.m.
I hope to see you there!
Greetings Fortieth District!
Now that the first half of the 110th is adjourned, “The Loop” going forward will contain various bills covered this legislative session, topics of interests and perhaps updates not only here in the 40th, but the great state of Tennessee and Our Nation.
This Memorial Day weekend marks the start of the summer season at area state parks, lakes, swimming pools and all things outdoors. As we make plans for this weekend with family and friends, make it a point to reflect and be grateful for the many souls who were ready to guard, ready to defend and who ultimately gave their lives for the liberties we experience today. Memorial Day is remembering and honoring all Americans who died while in Military Service. Have a wonderful and safe holiday weekend wherever it may take you.
Every year Senator Mae Beavers and I take the valedictorians and salutatorians out to dinner. Thank you to all the seniors that put the hard work in and graduated this year. I look forward to seeing you all around the 40th.
Tennessee’s Lawsuit Challenging the Refugee Resettlement Program Filed
In light of the oral arguments taking place dealing with President Trump's blocked executive order from countries that pose a high terror risk, an update on Tennessee’s Lawsuit Challenging the Refugee Resettlement Program is a discussion of merit indeed.
With activist judges in the state of Washington, Hawaii, and Maryland using politics instead of law to stop President Trump’s Executive Order regarding the refugee resettlement program, Tennessee’s constitutional challenge to the program could not come at a better time.
Just to recap SJR467, the joint resolution that I sponsored in the House and Sen. Mark Norris sponsored in the Senate, it was the first step in securing legal representation to address an issue, which I believe exemplifies the extent to which Tennessee’s sovereignty has been eroded by federal intrusion. While our state’s Attorney General Slatery declined to file a lawsuit on behalf of the citizens of this great state, he did agree to delegate his constitutional and statutory authority to the legislature to sue on behalf of Tennessee.
I was part of the team that interviewed and selected the Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest firm, chosen to represent our state without cost. Our lawsuit was filed on March 13, 2017. Like many of you, I had plenty of questions about the status of our lawsuit after reading that the Department of Justice will try to have the suit dismissed.
Attorney Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, forewarned us that the federal government would try to dismiss the suit, a move which I now understand is almost like standard operating procedure for the federal government. I checked in with Mr. Thompson recently about the process of our suit and here is what he told me:
“The lengthy legal process has started. As predicted, the Federal Government is following its standard operating procedure in cases like ours. Its motion to dismiss our case must be filed by June 1, 2017. We will then have 28 days to respond. After that, the Government has 7 days to reply to our response and we have 10 days to file what is called a sur-reply. Once all these initial pleadings are filed, the court will most likely schedule oral arguments on the motion to dismiss.”
I have full confidence that Thomas More brings the same commitment and passion as I do for asserting our state’s sovereign rights pursuant to the Tenth Amendment. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court said that, “states are separate and independent sovereigns - sometimes they have to act like it.”
And that is exactly what we are working to do.
To stay the course, should this case come before The Supreme Court, is work worth doing and one we must not grow weary in doing. I will continue to keep you in the Loop on this very important case.
Bill Highlight of the Week
House Bill 287, among other things requires schools to teach principles of freedom from our nation’s founding documents. HB287 designates September 17, Constitution Day, as “Celebrate Freedom Week” in our public schools. Hopefully students will learn more about the original intent of our Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence, plus the lives, fortunes and sacred honor forfeited for the cause of freedom. Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. And that’s the truth!
Lancaster Independence Day Parade - Parade line-up time is 5:00pm; start time is 6:00pm.
Coffee Conversations will resume in September.
I will see you out and about in the Fabulous Fortieth District!
Greetings Folks of the Fortieth!
Wednesday around 1:30 pm we adjourned after completing the first half of the 110th General Assembly. The House and the Senate will recess until noon, January 9th, in the year of our Lord, 2018. Today after completing “The Loop”, my yard and my home will have my attention for the remainder of this week and Sunday. I am looking forward to serving my family as we all gather at the Weaver Farm in Smith County. Though this mom will be preparing, it will be therapy well-welcomed for this homebody as the perfect mother’s day gift for me. Staying in the Holler!!
First, allow me to mention how grateful I am that you entrust me to be your representation on the Hill in Nashville. I make it imperative to know your heartbeat on the issues that affect us in Tennessee and D.C., as well. Though this session was a turbulent one, I believe it made me even stronger to stand on the principles you elected me to uphold. So “I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,” Philippians, Chapter Three.
A true Conservative believes and takes action on keeping taxes low and defining what the role of government is. LESS IS MORE. LESS GOVERNMENT MORE FREEDOM. Both Transportation and Education were hot topics that wore me out serving as chair in transportation sub and as a member of the education committee. Though I fought the good fight, we won some and we lost some. HB863 that exempts certain students from paying out-of-state tuition (undocumented students, meaning not citizens) at state institutions of higher education, and its partner bill HB660 that would allow public institutions’ governing bodies to determine who and how many students attend their schools, got my big fat heck no vote. Tennessee cannot afford to pay for illegal immigrants to go to college! And the cost of higher education is over the top!! Wonder if they thought that could be the reason the classrooms are lacking students? Just saying. The eyes of the education committee must remain the decisive oversight, not an unelected board at some institution. Those bills will raise their ugly head again next year, as well as seat belts on school buses and school vouchers, to which I remain another Heck NO on all!
Though the so called “Improve Act” passed, it is unfortunate the tax increase will be felt by those living on fixed incomes, as well as working families. For those who have done pretty well, as usual, they feel it less than anyone.
What I am most proud of, are the 37 of us in the House that proved you can redirect funds already in the piggy bank for our roads--without a tax increase. We stood our ground and would not vote for the budget in order to prove a point. By standing and not backing down, we won. Our request of how $55 million will come back to the people was granted for infrastructure needs in our districts. This is extra dollars for counties and cities. It is the General Assembly who was given the authority over the checkbook. We are working to get that back!
Oh, by the way, did you just get your “assessment change notice” in the mail, as well? No surprise, another tax increase. Again, as I mentioned in my last Loop about the addiction problem in our state, and not just opiates, but government never seeming to have enough of our pocketbook. Ugh!
Legislation such as HB1149, which prohibits abortion of a viable fetus except in a medical emergency, passed and made Tennessee the 21st state to protect life inside the womb. That was a huge victory and one that made heard the cries of children inside the womb.
HB529, known as The Tennessee Broadband Accountability Act, mentioned by some as “the simplistic approach to a complicated issue,” was created by a report revealing the dire need to provide internet services to rural Tennesseans. Fact of the matter is, 34% of rural residents are without the basics compared to the 2% urban citizens who are underserved. Open up the competition, and I assure you underserved communities will have affordable internet service, which is one as vital as water, electricity and roads. . .HB529 will blaze the trails for work going forward.
I’ve just skimmed the top of the bills passed this session. I intend to “Loop” you when I have had the opportunity to recap and digest all that was accomplished on the Hill.
In a scene of Lord of the Rings where Frodo makes a comment saying, “I wish the ring had never come to me,” Gandalf, his friend, replies, “So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for you to decide. All you have to decide is what to do with the time given to you.”
The time given to me to represent you honestly is taxing and tiring; however, that being said, I believe strongly in my heart I am called to this task for such a time as this. Though our course of travel to our destination may differ, one thing we all can agree upon is making District 40 a better place to live, raise our families, do our jobs, and enjoy our great state of Tennessee.
Now that the gavel remains silent until 2018, I intend to see you in the district in order to be ready when session resumes. But for now, enjoy your family this Mother’s Day weekend and be glad!
Much respect and Blessings to you, Fabulous Folks of the Fortieth,
THE FOLLOWING FILES ARE IN PDF FORMAT.
Past Loop Reports