NASHVILLE, TN (SPECIAL TO WLAF)- I wanted to take a little time to bring attention to the most important week of the year. This week gives us all hope because of the resurrection. Jesus Christ defeated death and took our sin on him. I am so grateful for his sacrifice and I wish everyone a safe and happy weekend.

TOP PHOTO: Senator Ken Yager shakes hands with Commissioner Charley “Goat” Baird at a 2023 Campbell County Commission meeting.

The eleventh week of the second session of the 113th General Assembly is now complete. This week,  I advanced legislation that will add the death penalty as a penalty option for the offense of child rape. This is a heinous crime, and I believe that juries should have the option to consider the death penalty.

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

Funding in Governor’s Budget Amendment for Senatorial District 12

Governor Lee’s budget amendment was released during the Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee. I am proud to say that I secured funding directly for my district. Specifically, funding for the Nuclear Energy Fund which will impact Oak Ridge. In the weeks ahead, you can expect multiple announcements for new industries in the area.

Death penalty could be option for convicted child rapists under new bill

The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced legislation I am sponsoring to increase the penalty for child rapists in Tennessee. Senate Bill 1834 would expand the death penalty to defendants convicted of child rape.

We have a compelling interest to protect our most valuable citizens, our children. Child rape is one of the worst crimes imaginable, and there are times life imprisonment for the rapist does not go far enough. This legislation gives prosecutors the ability to go after the most severe offenders of child rape with the most severe punishment: death.

The legislation will strengthen existing state law by increasing the penalty for rape or aggravated rape of a child to death, life in prison without the possibility of parole, or life in prison. Current law classifies the offense as a Class A felony punishable as either a Range III offense, which carries a sentence of 40-60 years in prison or a Range II offense of 25-40 years in prison.

The proposal builds on the General Assembly’s efforts in recent years to improve public safety, reduce recidivism rates, and hold criminals accountable through smart-on-crime justice reforms. The General Assembly in 2022 passed truth in sentencing laws that increased penalties for the most violent of crimes and now requires offenders to serve 85-100 percent of their sentences.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/30/2024-6AM)