113th General Assembly adjourns 2023 Legislative Session

(NASHVILLE) The 113th General Assembly wrapped up its business for the 2023 legislative session on Friday, April 21 and adjourned for the year. The session was highlighted by a record investment in school safety, major tax relief for small businesses and families, and new plans to improve transportation and infrastructure across the state. 

Quotes

Lt. Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge):

“I am tremendously proud of the excellent work we have done this session. We have made historic investments in school safety. The hardening of security in our schools is of paramount importance and I am grateful we were in the financial position to do it. In the area of education and infrastructure, we have also made down payments which will ensure success in the future. And we did all this while adding no debt and cutting taxes. Our success and our ability to take on challenges presented to us is a direct result of our fiscal responsibility and pro-growth policies. Tennessee continues to be a model of conservative governance for the rest of the nation. I am grateful to Governor Lee, Speaker Sexton, Leader Johnson, Chairman Yager and every member of the House and Senate for their work securing a safe and prosperous future for the state of Tennessee.”

Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson (R-Franklin):

“We have done great work this year to put Tennessee in a strong position for further growth, while also taking care of our citizens. I was proud to work with Governor Lee and my colleagues to pass an innovative and fiscally conservative approach to modernizing our transportation and infrastructure system. We made record investments in school safety, transportation, and tax relief for businesses and families, while maintaining the conservative fiscal management that continues to bolster our state’s economy. I was glad to work with my colleagues in the General Assembly to advance Tennessee values, and ensure that Tennessee is a great place to live, work and raise a family.”

Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Ken Yager (R-Kingston):

“It has been an honor and a privilege to work alongside my colleagues and Governor Lee to be a part of this impactful General Assembly. I am particularly pleased with the significant investments we are making this year in our rural infrastructure as well as our Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology.  These schools are vitally important in developing a strong workforce in our communities and state.  The major investments in rural roads and transportation will have a big impact on economic and community development in our rural areas. The future of Tennessee is bright because of our outstanding citizens.”

Key Highlights of the 2023 General Assembly include:

Safer Communities

  • Invested $223 million to improve school safety, including $140 million to put a School Resource Officer (SRO) in every public school
  • Improves safety standards and protocols at public and private schools in Tennessee
  • Increased requirements and accountability for good behavior sentence reduction credits
  • Protected the 2nd Amendment
  • Added over 140 positions to the Tennessee Highway Patrol

Pro-Family

  • Strengthened protections for pregnant women and the unborn
  • Provided six weeks of paid leave for state employees and teachers following the birth or adoption of a child
  • Extended TennCare coverage for mothers to 12 months postpartum

Transportation and Infrastructure

  • Invested $3 billion to the Transportation Modernization Fund to alleviate urban congestion and fund rural road projects across the state
  • Provided $300 million to expand the State Aid Program for local road projects
  • Created a new strategy to address traffic congestion and accommodate Tennessee’s record growth and meet transportation needs

Tax Cuts

  • Provided over $400 million in tax relief to boost economic competitiveness, promote entrepreneurship and small business formation, and provide targeted relief to families

TCATS

  • Fully funded Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology Masterplan to upgrade and expand to TCATs across the state

Healthcare

  • Increased pay for providers serving vulnerable citizens
  • Invested in rural and distressed hospitals

Protecting Children

  • Increased resources to the Department of Children’s Services
  • Protected children from being exposed to sexually explicit adult entertainment
  • Prevented harmful and irreversible medical procedures from being performed on minors

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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