On The Issues
When paired with the building blocks of family and opportunity, Tennessee can unleash prosperity in every part of this state. That is why I believe in and fight for policies that allow prosperity to flourish.
Bringing Back American Manufacturing:
The Coronavirus pandemic has taught us many things, but none more important than the critical need to bring back medical manufacturing to the United States. It is clear that we are a safer more economically secure country when our medical supply chains are within America’s borders. Not only will this make us safer, but will create good, high quality jobs for our workforce.
Improving our Infrastructure:
As Davidson County continues to grow, we must ensure that our infrastructure can support those who call Middle Tennessee home. I have supported legislation to improve such “old school” infrastructure as the resurfacing of I-440 but also legislation to expand access to high speed broadband.
Low Taxes and A Balanced Budget:
I support policies that fund government operations through revenue generated on sales tax and business activity. That is why I favored the constitutional amendment to preclude a state income tax.
Our tax system has the power to attract businesses and the jobs they bring – and a good job is the best treatment for many issues Tennesseans face. Our state is fortunate to have a constitutional mandate for a balanced budget. How that budget is balanced, however, is the trick. Governance is about setting priorities and deciding how to spend our state’s revenue.
I will continue to work with Governor Bill Lee to keep state taxes low and our budget balanced while providing our citizens with the essential services our citizens to which they are entitled.
Creating opportunity is the cornerstone to success for Nashville and our state and access to a high quality, affordable education is the first building block of success.
I sponsored and passed legislation to improve our Pre-K system. Early childhood education works but we cannot rely on the status quo. Smarter, data-driven early education is essential.
More Responsive Secondary Education:
I sponsored and passed the Community Schools bill that allows for a funding mechanism for schools to provide wrap-around services for students and their families.
The specifics can be tailored to the needs of the individual school but might include ESL classes, counseling and job placement services for families. By addressing the needs of the students and their families, we can open up great possibilities for success.
Keep College Tuition Affordable for All Tennessee Families:
Increases in tuition are making college unaffordable for middle-class Tennesseans. I sponsored and passed the Tuition Transparency Act that helped bring the decisions regarding tuition increases at our state colleges and universities out in the open. Enhanced public awareness of this price has and will continue to keep tuition increases to a minimum. Also, I sponsored and passed the Responsible Borrowing Initiative that provides students and their families the tools to compare the costs of an education in advance so they can be informed consumers and pick the most cost-effective education choices.
Empowering our Schools:
We need to fully fund our schools, empower school principals and support teachers.
Fighting for Tennessee's Families
Nashville’s people and families are what make it so special. As your state senator, I have fought for and passed legislation that seeks to empower that foundation of our community -- the people and families that make our city great.
Paid Family Leave:
Providing paid family leave to state employees was one of my top priorities in 2020. I worked closely with Governor Bill Lee to invest in our state employees, but the pandemic forced us to postpone this groundbreaking legislation until 2021. Expanding FMLA will make it easier for us to attract and retain the best employees, be cost-effective for the taxpayers and will create a safe and nurturing environment for the families of our state employees across Tennessee.
Increase Access for Adult Women to Contraception:
Half of all pregnancies in Tennessee are either unplanned or mistimed. I authored, sponsored and passed legislation that increases access to hormonal contraception for Tennessee women. By allowing easier access to these medications, we can decrease the number of unplanned and mistimed pregnancies.
Fighting for Medical Cannabis:
As a physician, I have seen first-hand the impact that opioids have had on our families when misused and I will continue to fight to curtail the over-prescription of these medications. One overdue alternative is to allow Tennessee’s sickest patients to have access to medical cannabis. I am leading the fight to allow the medical use of cannabis. It is time for our state to put smart medical policies in place and no longer rely on outdated perceptions.
Protecting our People and Our Rights:
There is no more important job of a legislator than to protect the safety and rights of the people they represent. That is why I am proud to have passed legislation that increases protections for the victims of domestic violence, as well as spearheaded the fight to protect free speech rights and the right to vote safely and securely throughout our state.