Healthcare and Expanded Medicaid
We can make healthcare accessible and affordable for Tennesseans. Too many of us are suffering from rising healthcare and prescription costs, and 300,000 of us can’t get insurance at all. On. Feb. 2014, the TN legislature, including my opponent Rep. Bob Ramsey, voted to prohibit the governor from expanding Medicaid, resulting in TN losing $4 billion dollars, 8 rural hospitals, and numerous healthcare jobs. The TN General Assembly can do something about it but refuses to even have the conversation. Instead of knee-jerk partisan reactions, we need to work together to craft thoughtful solutions.
When I get to the General Assembly, I won’t be working to enhance a party image or keep big lobbyists happy: I’m working for real people.
Economic Disparity and Leadership
Rural areas and smaller cities in Tennessee are disproportionally impacted by things like telecommunications monopolies, state regulations, and a lack of support for lower earners, low-income families, children, and the elderly. Too often, laws passed in Nashville are sized for Nashville without regard for the impact to smaller communities. When the TN legislature passed a law preventing cities from developing their own affordable housing regulations, they made it harder for places like Blount County to attract good employers who see nowhere close by for their employees to live. Something’s wrong when legislators take money from companies like Comcast and do nothing when people in rural areas pay more for their basic Internet packages. And so-called “work requirements” placed on already over-burdened single mothers add insult to injury and emphasize how out of touch our politicians in Nashville are.
I’ll be a leader for Blount County and make sure Nashville listens to us.
School Funding and Teacher Pay
This past session, the TN legislature wasted their time and our tax dollars doing things like legislating trivia, passing work requirements that will cost more to track than we’ll actually save and punishing cities for trying to find creative solutions to their issues. But when it comes to our public schools, they increased pay by a mere 1.7% and went home. That’s not even the cost of living. TN teachers are some of the lowest paid in the country, and school funding often depends on zip code and private benefactors. Teachers shouldn’t have to get second jobs to make ends meet or buy classroom supplies from their already-thin paychecks; they already go above and beyond with their time, energy, and compassion. Our children and their futures are worth investing in.
When I get to Nashville, I’ll get our priorities straight and fund what matters.