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Tennessee State Representative John Tidwell: Legislative Update for February 2014

 

Tennessee State Representative - District 74Nashville, TN – President Barack Obama came to Nashville on Thursday as part of his post State of the Union tour of speeches.

The President chose to speak at McGavock High School in part because of the great work local schools have done to improve student achievement and graduation rates.

Part of the success has been the Nashville Career Academies program, instituted by MNPS with the help of then Governor Phil Bredesen, which has offered the opportunity for many Tennesseans to learn the skills needed to join the middle class.

Changes to Education Curriculum

Last week the House education Sub-committee heard from Rep. T. Hill (R-Blountville) on HB1129, a bill that weeks to require that certain “foundational Instruments” in American history be included in textbooks and taught in class.

Concerns have been raised over this bill, among others, which would put the legislature in charge of regulating textbook content, rather than state and local board officials. The Commissioner of Education and the Haslam administration have sought to curtail efforts by the legislature to exert more control over the curriculum selection process.

Wine in Grocery Stores

Supporters of selling wine in grocery stores scored a major victory this week. For the first time in history, legislation to allow for the sale of wine in grocery stores made it out of a full committee in the House, and passed the Senate.

Under the new proposal, wine can be sold in “big box” stores such as Walmart, grocery stores and convenience stores. However, Sunday sales will still be prohibited, as will the sale of high-gravity beer.

In addition, liquor stores will be able to sell beer, mixers and other non-alcoholic items in an effort to recoup lost revenue from increased wine competition. The legislation now moves on to the House Finance Sub-committee next week. If this makes it through the legislature it will appear on public ballot.

Good News

Italian gun maker Beretta announced that they would be opening a firearms manufacturing facility in Gallatin. According to the company, the new $45 million facility will create 300 new jobs when the project is completed.


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