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Tennessee State Representative Joe Pitts Honored for His Twelve Years of Service in the Tennessee House of Representative

Written by Joe Pitts
Tennessee State Representative

Tennessee State Representative - District 67Nashville, TN – Tennessee State Representative Joe Pitts was honored by House Joint Resolution 910, Thursday on the House Floor for his twelve years of service to his constituents in the 67th District and the citizens of Tennessee.  Rep. Pitts earlier this year announced that he would not run for re-election to the House.

His wife, Cynthia, joined him on the House Floor.  Rep. Pitts thanked his Lord, his wife Cynthia, and others but most of all thanked the people of the 67th House District for the opportunity to represent them for 12 years. 

Tennessee State Representative Joe Pitts being honored in the Tennessee House of Representatives for his twelve years of service.
Tennessee State Representative Joe Pitts being honored in the Tennessee House of Representatives for his twelve years of service.

Rep. Mike Stewart (D-Nashville) Democrat Caucus Chairman stated to Rep. Joe Pitts that “As a veteran I will just say how thankful I am and I know many of you shares this for his extraordinary work on behalf of veterans, year after year, down in the details.  Thank you for that legacy.  That 22 year old PFC who is out in the world and struggling and maybe being asked to be an adult for the very first time he needs all the support we can give him or her and this man has done more for that person than anybody else in this body.”

At the end of Rep. Pitts’ acceptance of the resolution he stated that many people have asked him what he planned to do in politics and he responded “I don’t know what my future holds, but I know who holds my future.”  

To view, hover your mouse over the link, hold down the control key and click on the link below.  Then press the play button.


Veterans Hiring Preference Legislation

In April, 2012, the “Tennessee Excellence, Accountability, and Management (T.E.A.M.) act was signed into law.  Part of this law stated “When invitations to interview candidates are extended, whether for appointment or promotion, and the list of eligible includes any person who has been honorably discharged from the army, navy, air force, marine corps or coast guard or any active federal service in the armed forces of the United Stated, these persons must be invited to interview”. 

It also stated “If a veteran is on the list of eligible, and if the minimum qualifications and the skills, abilities, competencies and knowledge of the veteran and any another applicant being interviewed for the position are equal, preference will be given to the veteran for the position.”

This summer it was brought to my attention that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation interpreted “will” as “may”. Thus, House Bill 2006/Senate Bill 2192 (Sen. Jon Lundberg, R-Bristol) was drafted changing the word “will” to “shall” to clarify the Tennessee General Assembly’s original intention.

This bill passed the House Floor on March 22nd, 2018 and the Senate Floor on April 4th, 2018 and is headed to the Governor for his signature.

Art Therapy Licensing Bill

House Bill 2150 (Rep. Joe Pitts, D-Clarksville) and Senate Bill 2127 (Senator Ed Jackson, R-Jackson) would set up a licensing procedure through the Tennessee Department of Health.  “This legislation was brought to me by a group of art therapy professionals requesting the State to set up this procedure,” Pitts said. 

Art therapy will be another tool in the toolbox to assist Tennesseans with mental illness, people with cancer, people with Dementias & Alzheimer’s, as well as active duty military, veterans, and military families.  Art therapy is a distinct, master’s level mental health profession with education and credentialing requirements similar to other mental health professions licensed in the state such as licensed clinical Social Workers and Licensed Professional Counselors. 

This legislation cleared the House Health Sub and Full Committee and will be heard in the House Government Operations committee on Tuesday, April 10th. 

Funding for Genesis Learning Centers

House Bill 1607 (Rep. Joe Pitts, D-Clarksville) and Senate Bill 1803 (Senator Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro) was brought to our attention by Senator Ketron. 

“Senator Ketron, Speaker Pro Tem Johnson and I have been trying to stabilize funding for the Genesis Teen Learning Centers in Rutherford County and Montgomery County for several years,” Rep. Pitts said.  There are actually 2 other facilities that are similar to Genesis and are located in Carroll County and Tipton County.  These learning centers, or Category 1 schools, provide education services to students who have been dismissed from public schools and alternative schools. 

This is often their last chance to obtain a diploma and stay out of state custody.  Ninety percent of students that attend the Genesis Learning Centers remain out of state custody as well as 90% of all discharges from the programs remain out of juvenile court.  These learning centers do not receive Basic Education Program dollars (BEP).  If this bill passes, BEP funding will flow into these learning centers.  This legislation will be heard on the Senate Floor next week and the Finance Ways and Means sub-committee in the House on Monday April 9th.

If you have questions about the above or other issues of concern, please call me at 615.7412043, or email me at


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