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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.

In one fell swoop, incumbent members of Congress could save consumers money, drive down healthcare costs, and burnish their bipartisan credentials before the midterm elections.

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. National Suicide Prevention Week is Sept. 9-15, with World Suicide Prevention Day on the 10th. During this month and week, organizations and individuals across the country will be conducting activities to draw attention to the terribl…

Veterans make up just seven percent of the U.S. population. So it’s safe to say that for large swaths of our country, the realities of military service are somewhat removed from our daily lives and sphere of understanding.

Earlier this year, I was fortunate enough to be elected Tennessee’s state senator for District 14. While I’m learning something new every day about the challenges and opportunities before us, the issue that keeps bubbling to the surface is healthcare.

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, a good time to become better informed and empowered to combat the tenth leading — and still rising — cause of death in the United States.

Public expressions of gratitude for our nation’s veterans and active military members are rightfully common across our country. We hold in our hearts the exceptional nature of their bravery and service. Their sense of duty, honor and commitment – essential and, moreover, crucial to the freed…

When I travel across Tennessee, some people say, “I sure am glad I don’t have your job.” My answer is always, “I’m also glad you don’t have my job because I like my job, and I thank you for it.”

Violent crime rates in our country tripled from 1964 to 1980. Robbery tripled, murder doubled, and aggravated assault nearly tripled. This was an alarming time for communities across our nation.

This week, I was with President Trump at the White House as he signed into law legislation that will help Tennesseans learn the skills they need to find a good job.

Large, hand-painted signs lean against a tent, the buzz of friendly conversation cuts through the humid air, and the smell of fresh produce drifts in the breeze – you’ve found yourself at a farmers market.

Editor’s note: The USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee reached out to Sen. Bob Corker for an open, nonpartisan letter to his successor, whomever that will be come November. Think of it as a letter a governor or president might place on his or her desk when leaving office.

We have wrapped up another successful year in the Tennessee General Assembly, and we tackled the issues that are important to Tennesseans. Serving as Speaker of the House of Representatives these last eight years has been the greatest honor of my professional life, and we have accomplished s…

Many Americans gaze at the sky and see only a vast uncharted frontier for exploration. But President Donald Trump reminds Americans that there’s another potential reality in space: It could become a military battlefield, a place where this nation’s independence is protected or lost.

As I go about my work of helping communities revitalize and reinvent themselves, I often get to see the best of America and I’m reminded that the foundations that built this country are still just as important today.

 “Deaths of despair” sound like something that would be found in miserable, wretched places — refugee camps, war-torn cities, famine-wracked villages in poverty-stricken countries. In fact, the term has emerged to describe a crisis in one of the most advanced societies on the planet — ours.

The 2018 Legislative Session adjourned almost two months ago and I have been busy with my trucking duties, getting hay baled for the winter, playing some golf, playing with the grandkids, and traveling with my family.

Why do people teach? The major reason someone says they teach is the ability to make a real difference in the lives of children. There are other reasons, including the fact that someone believes they are “called” to teach. Almost all teachers are linked together by a passion for educating ch…

Editor’s note: U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander addressed Tennessee Boys and Girls State last week. Boys and Girls State brings over 1,000 high school juniors from across Tennessee together to spend a week learning about local, county and state government by electing officials, including a governor…