Greetings Folks of the Fortieth!
What is it about “snow” that every time it happens it is simply magical? My only regret is that we just did not get enough of that “winter white” this season. So while a big pot of vegetable stew is simmering, and the music of snap-crackle-pop of the glowing fireside warms me, perhaps I just may get that “winter white” wish yet, even in the face of springing forward to daylight savings time!
“Advice is like snow—the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon and the deeper it sinks into the mind.”
Committees are full-speed ahead. I must admit, legislation I filed thus far has been neglected, due to the enormous task at hand, funding transportation with or without a permanent gas tax. I heard it said that a former legislator, before my watch, made it his policy that for every bill he passed, he repealed or removed one! Now that is one way to downsize and shrink the scope of government that has far overreached its original purposes.
As Chairlady of Transportation Sub, sending clean, concise policy forward to the Full Standing Committee is paramount to me. Subcommittee is the gateway where the vetting, discussions, life or death of legislation takes place. What was passed out of my committee last week were numerous amendments all under the Improve Act!!! Unfortunately, that is how the sausage is made and it is not a pleasant process! New amendments will be timely filed in Transportation Full this week. Those of us on a mission to provide funding without a permanent gas tax, are working to do just that. Please see the letter and sign on, and pass it on!!!!!
As your representative, it is my duty to do the hard thing first--find a solution without a tax. Taxing Tennesseans is the broad and easy way to go. I am confident there is a simple way to fund our roads and bridges, remain debt-free, and use the revenue you and I have already put in the kitty!
Education Administration and Planning is the other committee on which I serve. Vouchers are a big topic for which there are three main bills I am aware of: HB0126, HB0460, HB0336. One is a pilot program for Shelby County only, and the other two would open vouchers state-wide. Vouchers have always been suspect to me. And let me be clear, I am all about what is best for the child. We homeschooled our son. My concern has always been how to protect the private Christian schools who currently have their religious freedom to operate as they choose. Using tax dollars that follow the child could be the Trojan horse to bring Christian schools under the footprint of the Department of Education. Parents still have choice. You may work extra jobs to provide for private school, but to me, it seems if we eliminated the Federal DOE first, then we could have real level playing fields and competition where children would then be the drivers of their education and travel to all and every option to meet their needs.
I close with this thought, even in our darkest moment we can find something to laugh about if we try hard enough.
“A good laugh is sunshine in the HOUSE!!!!!!!!”
Terri Lynn Weaver
Greetings, Amazing Folks of the Fortieth!
The deadline for members to have filed bills was Thursday, February 9th. As you know, the limit of 15 bills for each member can prime-sponsor has been the rule for quite some time, and I can tell you Amen to that! Truly we need to focus on enforcing the laws already in the books. While in the quietness of my study tonight, I am reaching out to you who read this Loop, and asking you for your prayers, and for Wisdom from above.
.....Already at the genesis of the legislative session there is such an intensity of antagonism. Not so much in our members, but as the elevator arises from the tunnel on Monday nights, I can hear the angry shouts of protesters in the capitol rotunda. When the doors open, all one can see is a mob of protestors shouting, shoulder to shoulder, as every member is escorted to the House Chamber to do the people's work. Our Tennessee Highway Patrol is to be commended for giving me, one of 99 members, assurance that all is OK.
Now for the big issue at hand. Governor Haslam came to my home county of Smith Friday to present his plan on transportation funding.
There was a good turnout for a Friday lunch crowd. It is no secret to my district that because of the majority of those for whom I work asking me to oppose a tax on fuel, I believe wholeheartedly that we can achieve the objective of meeting the needs for roads and bridges BUT WITHOUT A TAX!! The HAWK PLAN is one many of us are leaning on. So with that being said, I invite you to the discussion presenting both sides of this heated issue.
The IMPROVE Act, presented by the Administration, and my special guest, Art Laffer (Rich State Poor State), will speak to the Transportation Sub on Wednesday at noon, February 15th. Folks, if you cannot watch live on the the General Assembly website, watch us at your convenience later; but watch and hear the conversation, for it is important that you know why low taxes and broad base bring record revenues. Tennessee is experiencing that now--why fix what ain't broke?! As long as taxes remain low and government is reined in, we will always have more than enough to meet the need for our roads and bridges. Transportation must be a priority!!!! Establishing needs from wants is a basic discipline in every budget, whether home or government. Living within your means must apply in every checkbook. So stay tuned as we vet and discuss these next few weeks, then take action on March 1st.
As always, it is such a joy to have folks from my district join me for the day. Really, it is the responsibility of a REPUBLIC to be engaged in the preserving of how the machine works on the hill in Nashville.
Call my office, 615-741-2192, and Grace will get you scheduled.
Fuel tax has been my world here of late, but there are some other hefty issues as well. Again, use the Tennessee General Assembly website to navigate bills of interest to you. During my tenure in office, the Division of Unclaimed Property within the Treasury Department has returned $9,966,321.18 to the rightful owners in district 40. Yet, still the work is not complete, for there is currently $13,263,724.55 in unclaimed property that needs to find its rightful owner. I encourage you to go to http://www.claimittn.gov/, to check and
see, at no extra charge, if you are the owner or a legal heir to claims.
In closing, the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever. Isaiah 32:17
02/11/2017 BULLETIN Response to intent of HB1406
A couple of months ago, the state's Attorney General filed a brief in a lawsuit related to this statute in which he said that the law, as written and enacted, was unconstitutional. It is not unusual for the legislature to repeal a law that is unconstitutional.
Thankfully, there is another statute still on the books that makes it clear that when a child is born to a married woman, the child is presumed to be that of her husband. So, the repeal of the law does not de-legitimize a child conceived by insemination and, to be honest, the law that will remain on the books is less intrusive into the relationship of a husband and wife than the statute being repealed. Unlike the law being repealed, the remaining law that will now govern the situation does not have the government inquiring into the means by which the couple¹s child came into existence or whose sperm, the husband's or a donor¹s, was used.
I hope that helps explain the overall situation.
Terri Lynn Weaver
Greetings, Fabulous Folks of the Fortieth,
With the holidays, my annual vacation to Florida, the 110th General Assembly organizational week (which consisted of being sworn in, plus our committee assignments), and the 45th Presidential inaugural festivities all behind us, this last month certainly has not been lacking in “activity” in any shape, form, or fashion. Oh, and I forgot to mention the highly-attended Tennessee Call to Prayer, to which my dear friend Ricky Skaggs came to participate while we positioned our hearts to seek Wisdom from above as we begin this new chapter called the 110th General Assembly.
Currently, we are on our last week of a two-week pause--in other words, no comnmittees or House Session. However, beginning January 30, it is full steam ahead.
May I, again, express my sincere gratitude that you have entrusted me to serve and work for you in Nashville. Taking my oath to protect and preserve the U.S. and the Tennessee Constitution against any overreach by the feds or the state, I aim to be your voice, and your watchman on the wall to keep government at bay and out of our way. It is a solemn duty.
Keeping my Transportation Subcommittee chair, I must admit it was quite a surprise that leadership placed me on full Education Administration and Planning. Perhaps a silver lining in there somewhere? We shall see, indeed.
Define Infrastructure. According to Webster’s, infrastructure is the fundamental facilities and systems serving a country, city, or area such as transportation and communication systems. Bringing Broadband to the rural areas which I serve has been a long endeavor. The need for high-speed, wireless internet in this 21st century is as basic as water and electricity was in the 20th century. My Constituency, including me, have small businesses operating out of our homes. We want to take online college courses, do homework, download files, video-stream lectures and movies; but BIG corporations, and various internet co-ops have and continue to prevent service. The only ones that suffer—the unserved residents who are not “in the zone”--and that is inexcusable for this day and age. One of the tech schools in Hartsville cannot operate courses properly because of poor internet service. There have been numerous meetings, calls to awareness, and attempts to resolve the issue. This year, I have some hope that we will indeed begin to connect rural Tennessee and light her up! Stay tuned, and continue to send your kind requests to the Governor’s office and your state representatives. They are hearing you!
Roads and Bridges are a fundamental necessity, as well. Numerous tours and discussions all across this state--from the Governor’s office, to my Friday Coffee Conversations--all agree that Transportation funding is paramount! However, the funding mechanics that will pan out—well, that is where the real work is currently being done. The Governor rolled out his plan, over which he has labored hard. But I also believe it is the duty of the legislators to bring their comprehensive plan to the table, as well; and, I would submit, a plan that does not bring a tax. Watch for bills being filed that have a consistent funding mechanism in place that will bring money to the counties. We all need to go forward together if it is going to work--and this is work worth doing!!!!
As a matter of update, the lawsuit concerning the Refugee Resettlement issue is moving forward. Meeting with our selected law firm, Thomas More Law Center, last week, the process of getting their ducks in a row to file that lawsuit here in Tennessee is looking good! We believe we have a strong 10th Amendment standing. It is time the bureaucrats who run the resettlement program listen to the voice of the people. We are a nation under law. We, the people, are the true sovereign—we are not ruled by a distant palace! Tennessee wants our 10th Amendment back! I will keep you posted on the progress of our lawsuit.
I close with this quote from President Trump: “Today we’re transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving back to you, the people.” Let us continue to pray for our leaders!!!
Greetings, Fabulous Folks of the Fortieth,
Holding up TLW signs at various County Seats in District 40 since Wednesday, I see early voters are turning out in record numbers! As I recognize numerous friendly smiles, those that wave or give a thumbs up, I cannot help but wonder, what kind of government will “We the People” get on November 8th? Because really, there is a battle for America’s soul!
Thinking long and hard about this presidential election, it occurred to me that I am not voting for the candidate, but voting for the cause with hopes that swing the pendulum back to the laws of nature and of nature’s God, to the side of appointing judges who recognize the Constitution’s original intent, including the limited role of the judicial system. Whomever “We the People” elect most certainly will affect this America for decades to come.
As the final touches were completed last week on the retainer agreement with Thomas More Law Firm, SJR467 is now set to sail toward the Constitutional Challenge against the federal government on the issue of Tennessee’s State Sovereignty. Overwhelmingly, the folks of Tennessee are very concerned that our nation’s borders are wide open, resulting in illegal immigration grossly unchecked. Clinton and Kaine have publicly embraced bringing 65,000 Syrian refugees annually, and have not rejected calls by the Refugee Council USA--the lobbying arm of the profitable moneymaking refugee resettlement business—to resettle 200,000 refugees annually in the United States! That will affect us in Tennessee, because guess who pays for the foodstamps, housing, health, and education? “We the People” of this great state! According to the Refugee Resettlement Act of 1980, that is the federal government’s responsibility. But federal government has passed the costs to the states. “We the People” have no say, just pay the tab! Our Tenth Amendment has been violated. This lawsuit will reveal where the states stand concerning the relationship with the federal government. It will be a long, hard fight, but we either have Tenth Amendment standing, or we do not.
When my father and his family entered Ellis Island in 1952 as refugees from Yugoslavia, there was a process to follow called the rule of law. It works when it is obeyed! To embrace the American ideology and our Constitution as the Founders intended it to be is why others such as my family longed to come to America and be productive citizens. The United States remains the greatest constitutional republic the world has ever known, and I, for one, want to keep it that way! We must reverse the course in our classrooms and our courtrooms, and return to the foundations that created this nation. There are many battles raging to destroy our way of life, but as the saying goes, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” I’m in! How about you?
Today I had the pleasure to join some seniors for lunch at the Hartsville Senior Center. Some members had moved here from other states such as Florida, New York, and California. It always intrigues me what their reasons are for coming to Tennessee, and their answers are consistently the same: “Joining our families,” “Love the beautiful, lush green hills,” “The people are just so friendly and the cost of living is affordable,”—those, indeed, are reasons enough to relocate. Of course, I just had to add, “Yep, we repealed the gift tax, phased out completely the Death tax, reduced the Hall tax to eventually go away entirely, reduced taxes on businesses, reduced tax on food, and saved taxpayers more than $510 million!” But the cool thing is that I had the honor to vote for every one of those reductions during my legislative tenure, and we ain’t done yet! These tax cuts help retirees who rely on their savings to make ends meet. Taxing citizens on their hard work and savings is NOT the Tennessee way! We have some of the lowest taxes in the country and that brings new folks, businesses, jobs, and revenue—keeping the Volunteer State rockin’-n-rollin’!
Remember my Coffee Conversations every Friday; I really love hearing from you!
It is truly an honor to work for you. I ask that you will give me the privilege to serve you for the next two years. Go cast your vote and make your voice be heard—because your vote matters!
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