By Paula Walter
A legislative breakfast was held this past Friday at the Crewette Building. Following a hearty breakfast prepared by the Levi Retirees, Johnson County’s local, state and federal representatives addressed the crowd with updates on each level of government.
Lana Moore with Senator Lamar Alexander’s office spoke of the success of the No Child Left Behind program in the state. According to Moore, legislation was passed last year that provided money to combat the ongoing opioid epidemic. “It’s no secret we have a huge problem, she said. “We gave $1 billion to states to fight the epidemic.” Of this money, approximately $14,000,000 was given to Tennessee in the first round of distribution of funds.
Representative Alexander is the chairman of the committees on Health, Education, Labor and Pension, in addition to sitting on the Appropriation Committees, along with committees on Aging, Natural Resources, Rules and Administration.
According to Moore, the health care exchanges under the Affordable Care Act are on the verse of collapse. There could be as many as 245,000 people that may have no insurance or limited options under the current plan. If insurance is not available, there will be waivers for penalties that may arise should someone not be able to find health insurance.
Senator Bob Corker is the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, and sits on the committees for Banking, Housing, Urban Affairs, as well as the Budget and Special Committee on Aging. According to Jill Salyers, representative from Senator Corker’s office, Corker has put forward the bipartisan Modern Slavery Initiative Act of 2015. “Twenty-seven million people are enslaved across the world,” she said. “That’s an atrocity. This bill puts forth legislation to end slavery.
According to Salyers, Senator Corker talks frequently with President Trump. Corker also does a lot of travel to and from the Middle East talking to both regional and United States leadership. According to Salyers, Senator Corker remains committed to standing behind Tennesseans.
Congressman Phil Roe represents the First District in Tennessee, which includes Johnson County. Roe’s first topic to address was the current healthcare plan. “It cost too much,” said Roe. “It’s too expensive. According to Roe, the cost was too high and young people got out of the plan. “Premiums skyrocketed,” said Roe. “ With insurance companies pulling out of the current healthcare act, out of pocket expenses and copayments have risen and there is no place for many to buy health care insurance. “We’ve got to get a replacement bill done,” Roe stated. According to Roe, families need to decide their own healthcare insurance needs.
According to Roe, plans are in the works to simplify how Americans would file taxes. Tax returns would be the size of a postcard. According to Roe, he would like to see corporate tax rates decrease from 25 percent to 20 percent.
“Korea is the most dangerous place in the world,” Roe stated. According to Roe, he believes the biggest challenge for the United States is terrorism. “I hope it doesn’t come onto our shores again,” he said.
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