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HomePoliticsBig Week for Austin Peay State University

Big Week for Austin Peay State University

Written by Curtis Johnson
Tennessee State Representative

Tennessee State Representative - District 68Nashville, TN – House Joint Resolution 158 passed last week to honor Austin Peay State University’s upcoming 90th anniversary. Founded April 26th, 1927, the namesake of Governor Austin Peay has continuously grown over the decades, and been particularly friendly towards veterans and active duty personnel stationed at Fort Campbell.

The university has undergone a major shift this week as its newfound independent board met for the first time with Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam present. Under Governor Haslam, Austin Peay and most other four year institutions in Tennessee have been released from the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Austin Peay State University Campus. (APSU)
Austin Peay State University Campus. (APSU)

An independent board should be able to run the universities more intimately than the TBR was able to.

As the independent board takes over the university near its 90th anniversary, the school hopes to continue to grow while approaching its centenary celebration.

“Tom Cronan Physical Education Act” Continues To Move Through The House

The Tom Cronan Physical Education Act requires each student in elementary school to participate in a physical education class at least twice a week. The total PE class time for the week must be at least 60 minutes and must be taught by a licensed teacher with a physical education endorsement or a specialist in physical education. The PE class must meet the needs of students of all physical abilities, including students with disabilities.

The intent is for any physical activity that takes place in a PE class to be counted towards the physical activity requirement. Evidence shows that children who are physically active and fit tend to perform better in the classroom; physical activity improves students’ concentration, cognitive functioning, and self-esteem.

Time in the school day dedicated to recess, physical education class, and physical activity may also facilitate academic performance. Math and reading are the topics most influenced. The idea that healthy children learn better is empirically supported and well accepted.

House Republicans Pass Legislation Strengthening Tennessee Campaign Finance Laws

The full House passed legislation this week to strengthen Tennessee campaign finance laws, with House Republicans leading the charge to require funds donated to a campaign be deposited and maintained in a traditional bank or credit union account insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Current statute allows campaign funds to be invested in a private or publicly traded company, causing ethics concerns and a gap in transparency in the state’s campaign finance laws.

The legislation places Tennessee in line with other states that limit lawmakers to maintain funds in federally-backed accounts. Under House Bill 704, any investment not authorized would be prohibited and the candidate, or in the case of a multicandidate political campaign committee, the treasurer, would be subject to a civil penalty by the Registry of Election Finance of not more than $10,000 or 115 percent of the amount invested.

The legislation also strengthen the state’s campaign finance laws by requiring that any interest, dividends, or income earned on campaign funds by an investment made legally be reported on the candidate’s financial disclosure. The bill now travels to the desk of Governor Bill Haslam to be signed into law.

Contact Information

Rep. Curtis Johnson
15 Legislative Plaza
Nashville, TN 37243
615.741.4341

rep.curtis.johnson@capitol.tn.gov

For more information about the Tennessee General Assembly, check our website at www.capitol.tn.gov

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