State Senator Ken Yager Weekly Legislative Update

The thirteenth week of the second session of the 113th General Assembly is now complete. We will be wrapping up the session in a couple weeks, so if you would like to visit to watch legislative proceedings, please reach out to me soon. 

The coming weeks will focus mainly on the budget as the Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee is the only remaining open committee. Below are bills that I am sponsoring or supporting, as well as an update on recovery efforts to help Sunbright after a tornado tragically struck the town earlier this month. 

Allowing death penalty for child rapists – The Senate advanced legislation I sponsored to increase the penalty for child rapists in Tennessee. Senate Bill 1834 would expand the death penalty to defendants convicted of child rape.

There is nothing more vicious or more heinous than the rape of a child. We are protecting children by allowing the death penalty for this horrible crime.

The legislation will strengthen existing state law by increasing the penalty for rape or aggravated rape of a child to death, life in prison without the possibility of parole, or life in prison.

Protecting Children from Social Media Act – It is vital to ensure the safety and well-being of Tennessee youth in the digital age. With the exponential growth of social media platforms, the Protecting Children from Social Media Act aims to safeguard children from harmful content found on social media platforms.

The bill, which I supported and voted in favor of, would require social media companies to verify the age of any individual creating an account on their platform. If the account holder is a minor, the company must obtain express consent from the parent or guardian for the account creation.

Additionally, the bill would require social media companies to provide parents and guardians with account restriction options for their children. These restrictions include privacy settings, daily time restrictions, and implemented breaks from the platform.

Senate Bill 2097 passed the Senate floor this week.

Pursuing Sunbright recovery initiatives – Representative Ed Butler and myself are pursuing initiatives to help with recovery efforts in Sunbright, Tennessee, after an EF-1 tornado hit the city on April 2, 2024, causing damage to numerous residential and commercial buildings.

Unfortunately, the destruction does not meet Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) standards to receive funding. Given the small population of Sunbright and its limited resources, there is growing concern regarding recovery efforts due to lack of funding, and we are doing everything we can on the state level to give Sunbright more resources to build back their community. I appreciate Representative Butler’s support in sponsoring these efforts in the House of Representatives.

It is an honor to serve as the State Senator for nine of the finest counties in the state of Tennessee. If I can ever be of assistance to you, please contact me at 615-741-1449 or

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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