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2017 Tennessee Legislative First Session Final Report – Part 4

 

Written by Curtis Johnson
Tennessee State Representative

Tennessee State Representative - District 68Nashville, TN – The first session of the 110th Tennessee General Assembly adjourned on May 10th, 2017, after passing major legislation that will benefit Tennesseans for generations to come. This is Part 4 of a 12 Part report.

This includes a measure making Tennessee the first state in the nation to offer all adults without a degree tuition-free access to community college; a new law rebuilding a safe and reliable transportation network, while reallocating revenues to maximize taxpayers’ return on that investment; and a bill which provides a responsible path to improve access to broadband through investment, deregulation, and education. 

Action in the General Assembly also included passage of a balanced budget which takes on no new debt, as well as legislation protecting the elderly, enhancing the state’s robust job growth, cracking down on crime, and boosting efforts as the fastest improving state in the nation in K-12 student achievement.  Following is a report on key legislation passed this year.

Tennessee State Representative Curtis Johnson

Tennessee State Representative Curtis Johnson

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Food program provides millions of meals to children and older adults

 

Tennessee Department of Human ServicesNashville, TN – The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and eligible agencies across the state provide meals to children and adults through the Child and Adult Care Food Program, or CACFP.

The CACFP is a federally funded program that provides reimbursement for eligible meals that are served to participants who meet age and income requirements.

Food program provides millions of meals to children and older adults

Food program provides millions of meals to children and older adults

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New USDA Flexibility on School Meals is Really a Rollback says American Heart Association

 

American Heart AssociationWashington, D.C. American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following comments regarding the USDA’s announcement on “regulatory flexibility” for the school meals program:

“The USDA’s less rigid stance on school nutrition standards is a rollback masquerading as ‘flexibility.’ 

In the last five years, nearly 100 percent of the nation’s schools have complied with updated school meal standards. Kids across the country have clearly benefited from these changes.

Nancy Brown; Chief Executive Officer, American Heart Association

Nancy Brown; Chief Executive Officer, American Heart Association

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Clarksville’s Garden of Hope Community Garden Now Accepting Applications

 

Clarksville Garden of Hope Community GardenClarksville, TN – Garden of Hope in Clarksville, TN is now accepting applications for plots at both sites. Vegetables aren’t the only things that grow in the Garden of Hope in Clarksville. Hope grows there too.

The mission of the program is to grow and distribute fresh produce to local food banks and help feed hungry people in our community. Giving gardens like the Garden of Hope provides local residents opportunities to make a difference and connect to the environment.
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Tennessee State Veterinarian Issues Poultry Health Advisory

 

Tennessee Department of AgricultureNashville, TN – The state veterinarian for Tennessee is urging all poultry owners to take extra precautions to protect their flocks from illness.

“We are working to protect the poultry population from exposure to avian influenza,” State Veterinarian Dr. Charles Hatcher said. “The best way to protect your birds is to increase your biosecurity measures and particularly, to keep your birds at home for now.”

H7N9 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) detected at a commercial poultry farm in Lincoln County, Tennessee on March 4th.

H7N9 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) detected at a commercial poultry farm in Lincoln County, Tennessee on March 4th.

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Tennessee Department of Human Services Kicks Off 2017 Summer Food Service Program Application Cycle

 

Tennessee Department of Human ServicesNashville, TN – The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) 2017 application will be available beginning Wednesday, February 1st, 2017. SFSP is a federally funded program intended to ensure that children who benefit from free and reduced price meals during the school year, have access to nutritious meals during the summer months.

The Department encourages Tennesseans with a desire to alleviate child hunger and strengthen communities to learn more about the program.

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American Heart Association Praises USDA for Moving Sodium Standards Forward

 

American Heart AssociationWashington, D.C. – American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following comments today on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) memo to state agencies responsible for school meal programs.

The memo outlines the next phase of lowering sodium and sets target two for school year 2017-2018:

CARDIAC ARREST occurs when the heart malfunctions and stops beating unexpectedly. Cardiac arrest is an "ELECTRICAL" problem. A HEART ATTACK occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked. A heart attack is a “CIRCULATION” problem. A blocked artery prevents oxygen-rich blood from reaching a section of the heart. If the blocked artery is not reopened quickly, the part of the heart normally nourished by that artery begins to die. (American Heart Association)

CARDIAC ARREST occurs when the heart malfunctions and stops beating unexpectedly. Cardiac arrest is an “ELECTRICAL” problem. A HEART ATTACK occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked. A heart attack is a “CIRCULATION” problem. A blocked artery prevents oxygen-rich blood from reaching a section of the heart. If the blocked artery is not reopened quickly, the part of the heart normally nourished by that artery begins to die. (American Heart Association)

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Make Delicious and Safe Thanksgiving Turkey for Your Guests

 

Food safety steps hosts can incorporate into their favorite recipes this Thanksgiving, reducing the risk of food poisoning from Salmonella and other pathogens provided by USDA

USDA - U.S. Department of AgricultureWashington, D.C. – Celebrity chefs and cooking magazines are advocating the newest trends in cooking a turkey once again. Whether you use a tried-and-true recipe or a creative new method, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) wants to help you cook it safely.

Once you choose a recipe, pair these steps with your cooking instructions to prepare a turkey that is both delicious and safe for your family.

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Easy Way to Brine the Turkey for Thanksgiving

 

ThanksgivingClarksville, TN – For the past eleven years, I’ve been brining the turkey for Thanksgiving. It makes a delicious, tender, juicy bird. And its really not difficult to do! Here are instructions and some brine recipes for you to use this year.

To brine a turkey you will need a large pot that will hold the whole bird in the brine and a space in the frig large enough to store it for a day.

Brine your Turkey this year before roasting.

Brine your Turkey this year before roasting.

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Alternate Turkey Cooking Methods for Thanksgiving

 

USDA - U.S. Department of AgricultureWashington, D.C. – Circumstances can alter the chosen cooking method for a turkey just as a detour causes driver to find an alternate route. A power outage may occur, an oven may fail at an inopportune time, and more than one large food item may need cooking.

The conventional oven—the appliance most often used to cook a whole turkey—is not the only way to get the big bird cooked safely. The following methods suggested by the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline are alternate routes for cooking a turkey safely.

Thanksgiving Day Dinner.

Thanksgiving Day Dinner.

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