Under the Tennessee Constitution, legislative authority of the State is vested in the General Assembly, which consists of a Senate and a House of Representatives, both dependent on the people (that is, popularly elected). The name of the legislative authority may vary from state to state, but usually it is called the Legislature or the General Assembly. The official title in our state is the "General Assembly of the State of Tennessee," but may also be properly referred to as the Legislature. The House of Representatives is composed of 99 members who are elected to two-year terms of office. They are elected by the voters of their House legislative district. A representative must be a citizen of the United States, at least 21 years old, a citizen of Tennessee for at least three years and a resident of the county he represents for at least one year before the election.
I will support responsible budgeting that prioritizes education. We need to invest in our education system to help recruit and retain quality teachers who put our students first.
Our economy needs to be supported. We need to keep a low tax environment that encourages job creation and brings more high paying jobs to Tennessee. We need to invest in our roads to make sure present and future demands are met.
Due to government overreach and regulations the cost of healthcare is too high. I will fight to make healthcare pricing transparent so Tennessee can enact meaningful reform that will help the market drive down the costs of healthcare. Access to affordable care including telemedicine and direct primary care needs to be expanded.
At the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak we saw unnecessary disruptions that excessive regulation in healthcare has caused. Governments suspended these harmful regulations to allow patients to get the supplies and care they needed. I will support these efforts to make sure the government is not interfering with access to health care. I also want to make sure our first responders are given the support they deserve during this extraordinary time.
Currently the 13th district is essentially unrepresented because the current office holder has gone to Nashville with an agenda that is not in the best interest for residents and businesses of Knoxville. Instead of going there to pass legislation and support changes to improve our community, she has unnecessarily attacked her colleagues with extreme disrespect and in response not one of her bills have made it out of subcommittee. This is despite legislators from across Tennessee, in both parties, helping to enact laws to improve Tennessee. During a time when millions of Americans are losing their jobs, when businesses are struggling, when our community depends on the success of the University of Tennessee, we need to elect an effective voice in the 13th.
1. Lack of affordable healthcare for all Tennesseans, we must expand Medicaid, especially during a pandemic. We are losing rural hospitals desperately needed in a pandemic and refusing to bring Tennessee tax dollars back to our state to keep our hard working families healthy and our rural hospitals open.
2. Adequately funding public education and not sending public tax dollars to private schools through vouchers. When we take in to account the States in our region and average what they are spending per child in education, TN is spending $1.5 billion dollars less than like states in our region.
3. We need good jobs with good wages. That means raising the wage in TN and starting programs like my Paid Family Leave Act that would pose no cost to the state or to businesses in TN and allows small businesses to offer this benefit that typically only big corporations can offer. It also means equal pay for equal work.
Tennessee wasted the time on a stay-at-home order, we should've used that time to develop a comprehensive strategy for reopening. We should have set and followed specific metrics for opening businesses and schools and put a mask mandate in place. We can do that now. We need a strategy for rapid testing and contact tracing, the first job ad for contract tracers wasn't posted on the state site until mid July, we have over 200,000 out of work, why were we not hiring tracers in March and April? We need to provide real PPE for our schools if they insist on opening while transmission is high (we should not open when transmission is this high, by the way.) Teachers need N-95 masks and shields and should not have to pay for them out of their own funds. We have billions in CARES Act funds that could have greatly increased free daycare for parents who need it, rather than not having a choice about returning their kids to school. We won't get the economy back on track until we contain the virus.
I'm running because I believe everyone deserves affordable healthcare, because I believe every child in every zip code deserves a great neighborhood public school, I believe every Tennessean who works a hard 40 hour week deserves to live in dignity, I believe women are equal to men and should have the same pay for the same work and be able to make their own health choices without the legislature and the Governor making health decisions for them. I believe peaceful protesters should not be charged with felonies for protesting beyond 11:00 PM, our Constitutional rights don't end at dark and start at sunrise, they are all day, every day. I am running because I believe in equality for all, I believe Black Lives Matter, I believe a diverse society is a rich society, and I believe there is more that unites us than divides us.