Election integrity and supporting the 12th Senatorial District highlight this week

TOP PHOTO: Senator Ken Yager visits a Campbell County Commission meeting in October and shakes hands with Commissioner Goat Baird.

NASHVILLE, TN (WLAF) – The sixth week of the 113th General Assembly is now complete. Some highlights of the week include an update from the Secretary of State on Tennessee’s election integrity ranking, and some of my bills that will bring jobs and economic development to my district are being passed by committees.

Tennessee is #1 in Election Integrity – The Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee heard from Secretary of State, Tre Hargett, regarding the Department’s budget proposals as well as an update on election integrity. I am pleased to live in a state that is ranked the highest in the country for election integrity two years in a row. In Tennessee, it is easy to vote, but it is hard to cheat.

Support for development districts – Legislation I sponsored would increase funding to the nine development districts across Tennessee. These development districts have many responsibilities, some of which include planning functions for rural counties, promoting economic development and job creation. Senate Bill 2341 passed out of the Senate State and Local Government Committee unanimously.

Extending the Ground Ambulance Service Provider Assessment Act – Similar to bills I have passed in previous years, I am sponsoring Senate Bill 2330 which extends the Ground Ambulance Service Provider Assessment until June 30, 2025. The legislation will generate $20 million to be shared among rural ambulance services in Tennessee. This Assessment will help the ambulance services continue to provide emergency services to my constituents in rural counties. It is important legislation, and I am so proud to sponsor it to help my district. The bill passed out of the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee unanimously.

Updates to Length of Service Reward Program: Another bill I am sponsoring, Senate Bill 2331, makes changes to the Length of Service Reward Program (LOSAP). LOSAP allows participating local governments to receive state matching funds to provide financial rewards to volunteer firefighters and EMS workers as a way to encourage, recognize and retain their service. The bill removed the directive to administer the LOSAP grant on a first come, first serve basis. This change will allow employers to receive a prorated amount of grant funding. The bill also allows Treasury to use the LOSAP grant funds to pay for the administrative expenses associated with the program to ensure that the program costs are covered without raising participant fees. The bill passed out of the Senate State and Local Government Committee unanimously and is expected to be on the Senate floor next week.

I invite everyone to visit the State Capitol. If you have children in grades 5-12, they can even serve as a page in the Senate. If your child would like to be a part of state government and would like to learn how laws are made, you can contact my office. I will do my best to accommodate all senate page requests.It is an honor to serve as the State Senator for nine of the finest counties in the state of Tennessee. If I can ever be of assistance to you, please contact me at 615-741-1449 or sen.ken.yager@capitol.tn.gov. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 02/23/2024-NOON)