The calendar has turned to March, and the pace of the 2020 legislative session in Nashville has rapidly increased.
My colleagues and I continue our work identifying conservative solutions to address the unique needs of District 39.
Recently, I introduced legislation that paves the way for our businesses to purchase goods or services from our county employees.
This will promote competition in our community and support those who desire to launch a small business or who currently operate one.
As a small-business owner, I believe these organizations are the backbone of our local and statewide economies, and I am committed to providing additional resources that enable them to remain successful.
I am also co-sponsoring several key initiatives this year.
These measures focus on improving access to high-quality healthcare, protecting the rights of law-abiding citizens under our Constitution, and they build upon our recent, historic tax cuts.
House Bill 1699 paves the way to increase the electronic delivery of healthcare in Tennessee — especially in our rural communities — through telemedicine.
Using technology to deliver telemedicine will make it easier for those who might not be able to visit a traditional doctor’s office in non-emergency situations to address their specific health situations.
As part of the Republican-led CARE plan, this measure builds upon our efforts to create a patient-centered system of care for Tennesseans while lowering overall costs.
Additionally, House Bill 2817 — which I am also supporting — allows Tennessee to become the 17th state in the country to enact constitutional carry.
This legislation sends a strong “tough on gun crime” message to violent criminals, felons, and gang members through a series of sentencing enhancements that support our law enforcement and judicial communities as they work to protect our cities and towns.
At the same time, the bill upholds the freedoms granted to law-abiding citizens under our Constitution by allowing open or concealed carry for citizens 21 and older (18 if certain military service requirements are met).
House Bill 2817 is expected to be discussed and debated in committee soon.
Finally, House Bill 2676 removes additional professions from the burdensome professional privilege tax.
In 2019, we slashed $22 million in this unnecessary tax on accountants, architects, athletic agents, audiologists, chiropractors, dentists, engineers, landscape architects, optometrists, pharmacists, podiatrists, psychologists, real estate brokers, speech pathologists and veterinarians.
House Bill 2676 eliminates physicians, osteopathic physicians, attorneys and financial advisors — among others — from paying the tax.
The reason great things are happening here in Tennessee is because we have focused on reducing regulations, cutting red-tape and taxes — both on the workers of Tennessee and our businesses, and we will continue these practices both this year and in the years ahead.
Tennessee is the best place in the entire nation to live, work, raise a family and retire, and my colleagues and I will continue our efforts to ensure the Volunteer State remains a national leader on many different levels.
It is an honor to serve as your voice in Nashville, and I am grateful for the opportunity to fight for you!
Iris Rudder is the vice-chairman of the House Government Operations Committee. She is also a member of the House Education and House Judiciary Committees, the Children & Families and the House K-12 Subcommittees, as well as the Education, Health, and General Welfare Subcommittee of the Joint Government Operations Committee. Rudder lives in Winchester and represents House District 39, which includes Moore and part of Franklin and Marion counties.