By Pat Marsh, State Representative
“The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes
Session is moving very fast with the anticipation of closing by late April. The halls are crowded in the Legislative Plaza and most committee meetings are packed with visitors. Legislators are moving quickly between committee rooms trying to get their bills heard before the proper Committees and then rushing back to their own Committees to hear bills from their fellow legislators. It is very interesting to watch and I’m proud to be a part of the process.
Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Community Middle School Spring Fling in the Unionville Community. They had a large crowd and I got to eat some great BBQ. I want to thank Mr. Wright and Mrs. Caskey and the entire staff for putting on such a great community project that does so much good for the school.
Also on Saturday morning, Jim Tracy and I went to the Howell Community Center Country Ham Breakfast in Lincoln County. It is amazing to see what that community has done to remodel the old schoolhouse into a beautiful community center. I lived in the Howell community for several years while I was young and I got to see a lot of old friends at the breakfast.
I got to visit a gun training class in the Normandy area of Bedford County. Jeff Sweeney, Matt Doak, and Tim Butler are doing a lot of high level gun training for people that want to become more proficient with different kinds of guns and in different situations. They said that they are going to have an all female class in the next few weeks. Lots of exciting things going on in our counties.
On Monday evening, Scott and Alice Johnson from Shelbyville came up to visit and came to the General Assembly to watch our House Session. Scott said it looked like a County Court Session on steroids. He needs to come back in a couple of weeks when we really get in high gear.
On Wednesday morning, Governor Haslam called a meeting of the General Assembly to tell us what he had decided to do about the Medicaid Expansion Proposal for Tennessee. He told us all about his extensive research into the proposal and that he and his team had a good plan worked out for the state to provide health care coverage for about 175,000 new Tennesseans. He asked the Federal Department of Health to let us have the money and allow us to provide insurance coverage for our own people and let us run the plan our way. He said he could never get the Federal folks to agree to let us do it our way, so he decided not to go along with Medicaid expansion in Tennessee at this time.
Mike Rebuka with Christian Care Center of Bedford County came by to talk about the issues with the facility in Shelbyville and later that day I got to attend their Tennessee Health Care Association reception where I also got to visit with Wayne and Iris Schumann from Shelbyville. They let all the legislators participate in a game and if we won any money we were able to give it to the charity of our choice. I won $150.00 and gladly donated it to the Boys and Girls Club of Shelbyville.
Buster Thompson with the Shelbyville Rescue Squad came by my office and told me about the many projects that their squad does for our county and many other communities in our area. They provide great services to our community and they do it all for no pay. Thanks so much!
The Bedford and Lincoln County 4-H groups came by the office for a visit while they were in Nashville for their convention. I want to thank Dan Owen of Fayetteville and Gay Ervin of Shelbyville for bringing them by my office. These young folks are learning a lot about state government and also about many others skills such as public speaking, meeting rules of order and many other very important life skills.
On Wednesday night the House had its House Homecoming, which is a big party and dinner honoring all the past representatives. I had the pleasure of having our former reps up for a visit – Curt Cobb of Bedford County and Tom Bagley and his wife Peggy from Lincoln County.
Tom was the Lincoln County representative in 1959, and Curt left in 2009.
An interesting bill that passed this week is House Bill 222. This bill allows homeschoolers to participate in public school athletic programs as long as they meet the academic and conduct standards of the given school. Assuming that the student meets the criteria and makes the given athletic team, they will not be required to pay extra fees in order to participate. This will be great for many homeschooled students across the state.
Please feel free to stop by my office or give me a call if you have any questions or concerns. You can reach me at (615) 741-6824 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am honored to represent the people of the 62nd district!