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The Tennessee Education Savings Account Act passed the Tennessee General Assembly and will be sent to Governor Bill Lee for his signature. Lee, a first-term governor, championed a more robust proposal on the campaign trail. Tennessee will become the only state to operate two ESA programs in …

Recently, there has been much discussion related to House Bill 939, a proposal creating an Education Savings Account (ESA) pilot program in Tennessee. Because this initiative has generated concerns from our teachers, superintendents, school board members and parents, we knew we needed to hav…

Every 98 seconds, another American is sexually assaulted. One out of every six American women have been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime; of those, 14.8 percent are completed and 2.8 percent are attempted.

Legislation, sponsored by State Sen. Shane Reeves (R-Murfreesboro), raising the amount of supplemental pay received by professional fire fighters and police officers, advanced in the Tennessee Senate last week. Senate Bill 793 raises the annual supplement for the successful completion of at …

As a state, we find ourselves in a very strong position, with a very nice view. We can choose to sit here and enjoy it, or we can choose to step across the ledge and move to higher, better ground. But, if we decide to go higher and farther, we must resolve to not look back, and not look down…

For nearly 200 years, Tennessee’s General Assembly has recognized the need for quality public schools. Over 5,500 students from pre-K through 12th grades are enrolled in our two local public school systems, and we recognize that providing a quality education and ensuring each child is ready …

I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man. ~ George Washington

In 1835, a new Tennessee constitution established a “common school fund,” a perpetual fund intended to ensure quality public education statewide. Today, after nearly 200 years of revision and reform, Tennessee’s public schools continue to serve as the foundation of economic development in ou…

I am incredibly honored to serve young people and their families throughout our community as a member of the Fayetteville City School Board! In addition to my service locally, for the past six years, I’ve had the honor of serving on the board of directors for the Tennessee School Boards Asso…

A year ago, funding nearly ran out for the over 190 community health center sites in Tennessee. So this week, I held a hearing in the Senate health committee on legislation I’ve introduced to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

I have been fascinated by a piece of legislation being suggested by Tennessee Representative Antonio Parkinson on a parental dress code. We should welcome the discussion. The legislation is probably not necessary. It offers nothing that law enforcement could not already do.

When the first Congress met in New York City in 1789, it required that all bills, orders, resolutions and votes be published in newspapers so citizens could know what was happening in their new republic.

If you are the mother or father of a high school athlete here in Tennessee, this message is primarily for you.

As a summer intern at the U.S. Department of Justice in 1963, I stood at the back of a huge crowd on the Washington Mall and listened as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of his dream that one day, his children would be judged “not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

Rocky Fork State Park is in one of the most beautiful parts, not just of our state, but of our country. It is Upper East Tennessee’s gateway to the Appalachian Trail, and I consider the area a national treasure.

A new year is a time for reflection and more importantly a time for hope. We will see a momentous change in state and federal government. If anything is certain, it is that leadership matters, now more than ever. When we lose ourselves in the service of others, we discover our own lives.

With a new calendar year ahead and TVA CEO Bill Johnson’s recent retirement announcement concluding his six-year term of leadership, now is an appropriate time to reflect on his leadership and TVA’s next steps. Bill Johnson’s tenure is marked by a number of achievements, some of which bear m…

The White House recently finalized the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, a major trade deal that will replace NAFTA.

I am excited about the future of public education in Tennessee. Many critics like to point out some of the shortcomings of our system, and rightly so. A one size fits all system does not work for everyone. It never has and never will. The system will continue to evolve, albeit slowly, and ad…

United States Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) last week paid tribute on the Senate floor to Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) saying he “is always a man on a mission with little regard of the obstacles in the way.”

As Governor Haslam’s administration comes to an end, I’m extremely pleased with the great work and devoted efforts that have come from our state government. During my time with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, one focus I’m particularly proud of is our work to assist and promote Tenn…

It’s time to sign up for health insurance. Between November 1 and December 15, millions of Americans will head to Healthcare.gov or the online exchange in their state to shop for coverage for 2019.

Serving as an education commissioner is an honor of a lifetime. But, serving for the state of Tennessee under Governor Bill Haslam has been remarkable. Simply put, this is because Tennessee is the best state in the country and Bill Haslam has been the best governor in the country – and he’s …

The Friday after Thanksgiving is Black Friday, the frenzied, unofficial start of the holiday shopping season. The next day, though, is Small Business Saturday, a day when we’re encouraged to support the locally owned shops and restaurants that support our communities throughout the year.

This date is Nov. 2, 2018. A few nights ago I was awakened in the early morning hour and remembered this story. This happened in my life, and I would like to share it with you. I am pretty old and I may know you, but can’t remember your name, but I remember this story very clearly.

Sitting in Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe three years ago, I heard Jessi Alexander (unfortunately, no relation), sing her new song, “I Drive Your Truck,” about how a father grieved for his son killed defending our country in Afghanistan.

I joined President Donald Trump this week at the White House as he signed the most important health care law this year – a bill I sponsored to help Tennessee fight back against the opioid crisis.

Imagine you are a National Guard service member at home with your family when the phone rings. It’s your unit commander who tells you that you are ordered to state duty for disaster response and have 24 hours to arrive at your unit and deploy to the disaster area. You turn on the television …

The race for governor is on. Both Karl Dean and Bill Lee are crisscrossing the state talking about the many challenges facing Tennessee and the opportunities to make the state a better place to live.

From the Greatest Generation to Baby Boomers, Generation X to Millennials, teenagers in every era have had challenges growing up.

With only seven weeks remaining, tnAchieves, the partnering organization that administers Gov. Haslam’s Tennessee Promise in 84 counties, needs 4,500 more mentors to meet its goal of providing every Tennessee Promise applicant from the class of 2019 with a local support system. 

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), if you have a reported home fire today, you are more likely to die than you were in 1980.

What does recovery mean to you? Does it mean sore muscles after an intense workout? Does it mean a moment’s peace after you put the kids to bed? Does it mean finding something of value that you lost long ago? For Tennesseans living with mental health and substance abuse issues, recovery mean…

Domestic violence looks like a private problem, but nothing could be further from the truth. Any time a member of our community suffers at the hands of another, everyone suffers.

A new legislative committee - the Joint Open Records Ad Hoc Committee — held its first meeting last week in an ambitious effort to come to terms with the growing number of exemptions to the public records act.