By: Bonnie Davis Guy
Early Friday morning, May 8, Johnson Countys annual Legislative Breakfast took place at the Crewette Building in Mountain City. Catered by the Levi Retirees, everybody that is anybody in the local political arena was in attendance.
Karla Prudhomme, M.Ed. Economic and Community Development and Tourism Director for Johnson County/Mountain City, began the meeting, thanking all in attendance and introducing John Coolahan, the President of the Chamber of Commerce. Chamber partners in sponsoring the breakfast were recognized and thanked. Sponsors included Wiley Roark from Maymead and Joe Thacker and Sally Snyder from Mountain Electric. John also took the opportunity to thank the Levi Retirees for the delicious food and hard work.
Next up was Lana Moore, representative for U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander. Moore began by giving background on what had been going on in the Senate sessions in Washington. She reported that during this session more amendments were voted on than in all of the previous year. A balanced budget has been approved and the Medicare Access and CHIP Bill passed. Senator Alexander is the H.E.L.P. (Health, Education, Labor and Pensions) Committee Chairman. Due to his efforts, this committee unanimously passed the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015. This bill basically addresses some of the pitfalls in the previous No Child Left Behind Act, restoring to the states the authority over accountability while maintaining information on federally required tests, helping states to improve low performing schools, and strengthening the states and local systems individual control. This was a big win for Alexander as it is virtually unheard of for such a bill to pass out of committee with complete bipartisan support and a unanimous vote. Senator Alexander supports states taking control of their education programs and limiting the role of the federal government. Senator Alexander is also in support of new medications getting through the FDA process in a more expedited, yet safe fashion.
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