Rep. Holsclaw reports on Tenn. House activities

Published 8:27 am Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Legislation officially designating the state of Tennessee as the “Volunteer State” is moving forward in the Tennessee General Assembly.
House Bill 1562 designates the “Volunteer State” as the official nickname of Tennessee. While Tennessee has held this distinction since 1812, it is not currently documented in state law.
The state of Tennessee has been referred to as the “Volunteer State” because of its tradition of answering the call of duty, especially during the War of 1812. When Tennessee was asked to send 1,500 troops to defend the lower Mississippi region during this conflict, the “Volunteer State” answered the call with 30,000 troops instead.
House Bill 1562 now heads to the House Calendar & Rules Committee, where it will be scheduled for a future vote in the House.
This week in Nashville, House Republicans elected State Rep. Johnny Garrett (R-Goodlettsville) to serve as Republican Whip for the 2020 legislative session
As Republican Whip, Garrett is the fourth ranking officer in the House Republican Caucus. He will serve as the information channel between membership and caucus leaders. Garrett is also in charge of providing communication to membership related to caucus positions on legislation. He will work with members to understand their position related to legislative initiatives and communicate all information obtained to House Republican leadership.
Garrett joins a leadership team that also includes Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville), Speaker Pro-Tempore Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville), House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R-Portland), Republican Caucus Chairman Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby), Assistant Majority Leader Ron Gant (R-Rossville), Republican Floor Leader Paul Sherrell (R-Sparta), Freshman Leader Chris Todd (R-Madison County), Republican Caucus Vice-Chairman Brandon Ogles (R-Franklin), Majority Secretary Clay Doggett (R-Pulaski), Majority Treasurer Mark Cochran (R-Englewood) and Deputy Speaker Curtis Johnson (R-Clarksville).
Republican lawmakers filed a series of initiatives to address the ongoing refugee resettlement issue in Tennessee.
House Joint Resolution 741, House Bill 1578, and House Bill 1929 are designed to better examine questions about resettlement costs and other related matters, including safety.
The initiatives were filed after Tennessee opted into an Executive Order by President Donald Trump last December, which gave states the authority to decide whether they would continue to resettle additional refugees under the program.
Tennessee in 2017 became one of the first states in the nation to sue the federal government over refugee resettlement citing a violation of the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution which reserves states’ rights.
The legal matter may require additional action in the months ahead.
Newly released data from the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development showed the vast majority of counties in the state had unemployment rates below five percent during December 2019.
Williamson County continued to have Tennessee’s lowest unemployment rates at 2.2 percent, which remained unchanged from November.
Davidson, Rutherford, and Cheatham counties each had a rate of 2.3 percent in December. Seasonally adjusted unemployment statewide held steady in December with the latest rate of 3.3 percent remaining unchanged.
Nationally, unemployment held steady at 3.5 percent for the final month of 2019. Thanks to conservative leadership, the Volunteer State remains the best place in the entire nation to live, work, raise a family, and retire.
Recently, numerous major business expansions have been announced by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and House Republicans. Over the last month, several companies have decided to expand their operations.
Some of the most prominent announced expansions include:
• Accenture — Nashville. The leading global strategy, consulting, digital technology and operations company is adding 165 technology jobs at the former Madison Mill site.
• Adient — Lexington. The automotive supplier will invest $23.5 million to expand its manufacturing facility, creating 330 new jobs.
• AllianceBernstein — Nashville. The asset management firm will invest $11.4 million to create 200 new jobs at its global headquarters.
• Amazon — Memphis. Amazon’s new $200 million Memphis fulfillment center will add 1,000 new jobs in Memphis and Shelby County.
• Gorman Woodyard LLC — McEwen. The wood chipping company is expanding to create 46 new jobs in Humphreys County over the next five years through a $1.5 million investment.
• Minth Group — Lewisburg. The automotive supplier will create 254 new jobs and invest $87 million in Marshall County over the next five years.
• Sanford — Shelbyville. The maker of mechanical pencils and parts will add 115 new jobs with an $11 million expansion in Bedford County.
(John Holsclaw serves as Chairman of the House Employee Affairs Subcommittee. He is also a member of the House Consumer and Human Resource Committee, Commerce Committee, Business Subcommittee, and Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. Holsclaw lives in Elizabethton and represents House District 4, which includes Unicoi and part of Carter counties. He can be reached by email at or by calling (615) 741-7450.)

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