West TN Republican running for State Senator–
by Pat Hamsa
As tracked and reported by Refugee Resettlement Watch, EMM is 99.5% funded with taxpayer dollars. That means that you the taxpayer help pay the salaries of St. Francis lobbyists like Walley. Just think, if he wins the Senate seat, taxpayers can double their payments!
And like the other refugee resettlement profiteers, they have opposed President Trump’s reduction in refugee admission numbers. Maybe because the federal refugee program has historically been a cash cow for NGOs, EMM goes after any opposition to refugee resettlement. After Texas said no to continued refugee resettlement in response to the President’s Executive Order, the Episcopal Church “condemn[ed] Governor Abbott’s decision.
Unlike some of the other federal refugee contractors, EMM and its Government Relations (ie, lobbyist), are part of the Episcopal Church – “The Office of Government Relations represents the policy priorities of The Episcopal Church to the U.S. government in Washington, D.C. We aim to shape and influence policy and legislation on critical issues, highlighting the voices and experiences of Episcopalians and Anglicans globally. All policy positions are based on General Convention and Executive Council resolutions, the legislative and governing bodies of the Church.”
Walley’s job description sounds all warm and fuzzy and his campaign issues which pretty much sound like everyone else’s, include the usual anti-illegal immigration and pro legal immigration.
It’s not a far stretch to say though that Walley’s campaign position to “strengthen legal immigration” is directly related to his job with St. Francis. Not much different than Bill Lee’s personal agenda to shove the refugee resettlement program on all of Tennessee’s counties.
It also means that Walley is not likely to support any efforts by the Tennessee General Assembly to address the issue of the federal government forcing Tennessee to pay for refugee resettlement costs. Sen. Steve Dickerson whose campaign was “I’m a different kind of Republican,” was the only Republican Senator to vote against suing the federal government for forcing the state to pay the federal government’s share of costs for the refugee program.
Gresham was first elected in 2003, to the House where she served for 6 years, and then was elected to the Senate in 2009, where she will have served for 12 years by the time she retires her seat in November.
Could be happy times for Governor Lee if a like-minded refugee program expansionist won the Senate seat.
Voters in Walley’s district need to get busy asking him questions.
by Pat Hamsa
The Community Oversight Board (COB), a funded arm of the Metro Nashville government says there are 31,000 illegal aliens living and working in Davidson County.
A 2019 ranking by Pew puts the Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin area as 50th out of 182 of the nation’s metro areas with the highest number of illegal aliens which of course, they incorrectly label “unauthorized immigrants.
The COB run by anti-police-pro-open-borders special interest groups, hasn’t let the COVID pandemic slow their efforts to use the Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) to obstruct Tennessee’s sanctuary city law and keep illegal aliens from being found by ICE.
The COB is made up of 11 special interest “volunteers” supported by a Metro employee staff of 9 with a guaranteed annual budget of $1.5 million dollars. So of course Nashville’s Mayor must have his 32% property tax increase and state grant dollars to keep this special interest engine running.
In mid April the COB issued a report titled Policy Advisory Report Examining Local Law Enforcement Policies and Immigration Enforcement Actions.
The core agenda of groups like TIRRC and Conexion Americas is now institutionalized in the Metro government and because Nashville gets a lion’s share of state dollars, for example, in education funds for English Language Learners and economic and community development grants, the COB’s agenda is being funded by all Tennesseans, not just those who live in Davidson County.
Not surprisingly, the COB report was requested by Andres Martinez, the vice-chair of the COB. He also happens to be the Director of Policy and Communications for Conexion Americas, a Nashville organization and affiliate of the National Council of La Raza. This is the organization that gubernatorial candidate La Raza Randy Boyd funded with a quarter of a million dollars. For this and other reasons, thank goodness he didn’t win.
(As an aside, it’s worth remembering that La Raza Randy who was practically tied at the hip to Jeb!, Bill Hagerty was also a Jeb! aficionado serving as a Jeb! delegate in 2016. And after Jeb! withdrew, Hagerty flipped to Marco Rubio. So in fact, Trump was Hagerty’s last choice.)
A deep dive into the COB report shows that they are pushing for the MNPD to adopt four policies that will help illegal aliens in Nashville go undetected and to ignore the state’s sanctuary city law:
Equally concerning about the COB report is the glowing reference to a resolution adopted by the Austin City Council after Texas passed a very strong sanctuary city law which was subsequently ruled as Constitutional by a federal appeals court. The Austin City Council resolution was specifically intended to obstruct and skirt the state’s law.
Nashville Mayor’s Immigration Task Force is also recommending that the Metro Council adopt the Austin City Council resolution. If that happens, expect to see the same in Knoxville, Chattanooga and Memphis.
Any chance the Governor’s office has any clue what’s going on in Metro? Didn’t Bill Lee campaign as a hawk on illegal immigration? Didn’t he criticize Haslam for not signing the sanctuary city bill and said that if he were governor he would have signed it?
Many thought he actually meant what he said just like when he said he supported the state’s Tenth Amendment lawsuit on refugee resettlement. Right.
The U.S. Supreme Court just issued a unanimous decision upholding the federal anti-harboring law that bars people from actively encouraging illegal immigrants to remain inside the country. Sounds like it would include actions being considered by the Metro Council and the COB on top of Tennessee’s sanctuary city law.
Between 2015 and 2020, the state has given Metro Nashville $99,581,919 in fast track economic development grants. In 2017 and 2018, the state rewarded the out-of-control and irresponsible spending and illegal-alien-protectionist government in Davidson County with over $28 million dollars to recruit Philips North America and Alliance Bernstein.
Where and when does this stop?????
In November 2019, Tennessee’s State Comptroller rejected Nashville’s budget and issued a warning that if the county didn’t fix it’s financial mess, the state would take it over. The fix proposed by Mayor Cooper is a 32% property tax increase without any cuts of course to the COB $1.5 million dollar budget.
Feel free to let your state legislators and the Governor’s office know what’s going on in Metro Nashville – they need to put a stop to it before the radical blue island takes the whole state down.
State Rep. Bryan Terry, MD (R-Murfreesboro) called on Gov. Bill Lee and the Department of Commerce and Insurance to ensure that the newly unemployed have their surgical health insurance coverage honored because of the moratorium on elective procedures. Due to an unintended consequence of banning elective procedures, many Tennessee patients may have paid premiums and had valid insurance during the ban, but then they had their surgery delayed. Now that they are unemployed, they may get stuck with the bill through no fault of their own. Terry is working to correct that.
On March 23, Lee issued Executive Order 18 which banned all elective surgeries in Tennessee to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE). Prior to and during the ban, insurers have been approving elective surgeries through a process called “prior authorization”. It is a process by which insurers agree to pay for the procedure or surgery of the insured. While Governor Lee did urge insurers to uphold their coverage commitments to Tennesseans, unfortunately, many Tennesseans have lost their job or their employers have not been able to continue paying premiums. This means that the insurance policy that was valid prior to or during the ban may no longer be valid. This situation places patients, providers, and facilities in a bind.
Explained Rep. Terry, “Through no fault of their own, we have newly unemployed individuals who needed surgery and had valid insurance, but now they are in a situation where they are at the mercy and grace of the insurers. Premiums were paid. Providers were willing to operate, but the COVID-19 pandemic halted their medical care. The state needs to ensure that these patients and providers aren’t punished by a government decision. Those commitments need to be honored.”
Many patients who were scheduled to have necessary, but elective medical or dental procedures before Gov. Bill Lee’s executive order halting all non-emergency procedures may now be left to cancel or pay out of pocket for previously approved procedures unless action is taken to address the issue. While some insurance companies are offering extensions for these prior authorizations or grace periods to catch up on premiums, there isn’t any guarantee that patients won’t receive a bill or providers won’t be reimbursed.
In a letter to Lee and Hodgen Mainda, Commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, Terry suggested a recoupment moratorium could be put in place for surgeries approved prior to or during the halting of elective surgeries brought through Executive Order 18. Terry said this would not only help patients, but also hospitals and medical or dental practices that have experienced major financial setbacks as a result of the cancellations and postponements of elective surgical procedures.
“TennCare has frozen their termination process and they are going to honor those commitments to patients. Private insurance carriers who took the premiums should do the same,” said Terry. “I understand that Governor Lee urged a grace period and some insurers have said they will comply. But patients and practices need guarantees during these uncertain times. They do not need additional financial burdens and hardships when they are complying with Executive Orders.”
Terry said that he is working with Commissioner Mainda, Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville), and Insurance Chairman Robin Smith (R-Hixson) on the issue and has offered guidance and solutions. “With over 400,000 newly unemployed, as well as businesses that need time to catch back up after they reopen, the state doesn’t know how big of a problem that this is. With the state reopening elective surgery on May 1st, time is of the essence and this issue needs to be addressed properly and expeditiously by the state.”
Rep. Bryan Terry, MD represents District 48 which is the eastern half of Rutherford County. His office can be contacted at 615-741-2180 or Rep.Bryan.Terry@Capitol.Tn.Gov
“We are eager to serve once again but we urge Tennesseans to continue to practice physical distancing when visiting parks,” Jim Bryson, deputy commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, said. “We have implemented policies designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and we will monitor all aspects of the issue to ensure safety among visitors and our staff.”
When considering a visit, Tennessee State Parks encourages the following:
• Stay at home if you are sick or do not feel well.
• Maintain at least six feet of distance between you and other visitors.
• Visit parks that are only a short distance from your home.
• Consider visiting earlier in the day so you can adjust plans if a park is full.
• Tennessee State Parks may limit access to certain parks or areas if capacity is reached.
• Plan ahead. Many Tennessee State Parks buildings will be closed.
• Plan to bring your own snacks, water and hand sanitizer.
• Prepare for limited or no bathroom access. Some restrooms remain open, but many will not.
• Consider bringing a mask and wearing it when around other people.
• Dispose of trash in appropriate containers to help keep cleaning staff safe and TN parks litter-free.
Keep in mind that overcrowding may cause entire parks or portions of parks to close again.
Facilities and gathering areas, including pavilions and playgrounds, will remain closed. Cabins, lodges, restaurants, campgrounds, and group camps remain closed.
Members of Metro Nashville’s Community Oversight Board demanded this week that Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) officers stop asking people about their immigration and citizenship status.
COB members also demanded that MNPD keep tabs on what U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers do in Davidson County.
This, according to the COB’s first policy advisory report, which they plan to present to MNPD Chief Steve Anderson.
“The MNPD should create and implement policies that discourage police officers from asking about immigration or citizenship status,” according to the COB report.
“If an officer does ask about immigration status or citizenship status, they should be required to document that they asked and provide a justification for the question in their report narratives.”
COB members also want MNPD officers to document whenever federal immigration enforcement officials call on them during their enforcement actions in Davidson County, the report said.
“Given recent high-profile events involving federal immigration enforcement officials and Metro Government first responders within the Nashville community, DEC and MNPD should better document incidents in which federal agencies call for local law enforcement assistance,” according to the report.
“By keeping records that accurately capture these instances, Metro government officials can better assess the impact that these calls are having on the community as well as keep track of the Metro government resources expended on such requests.”
According to a , board members want Anderson to adopt their recommendations. Per its charter, COB members can issue policy advisory reports and recommendations to agencies involved in public safety and the administration of justice in Nashville and Davidson County.
COB Vice Chair Andrés Martinéz requested the policy advisory report, according to the press release.
Gov. Bill Lee on Monday announced he would not extend his Safer at Home Executive Order beyond April 30, and his administration is working with the Economic Recovery Group (ERG) to safely begin reopening Tennessee’s businesses. State Rep. Bryan Terry (R-Murfreesboro) has been selected to serve as a member of a health care advisory group, which will assist the ERG in developing recommendations and guidelines to continue safeguarding workers in the health industry as part of this phased economic reboot.
“It is an honor and a privilege to serve my colleagues in the health care industry and my fellow Tennesseans in providing assistance to the Economic Recovery Group during this critical time,” said Terry, an anesthesiologist from Murfreesboro. “Governor Lee and his team believe that Tennessee is in a position to do a phased reopening, and I look forward to assisting in this effort.”
Comprised of representatives from state departments, members of the legislature and leaders from the private sector, the ERG is working together to safely reboot Tennessee’s economy during the coronavirus pandemic. This effort is in cooperation with the White House, which has begun coordinating a phased reopening of the nation’s industries one region at a time.
“COVID-19 has not only created a public health crisis, it has hurt thousands of businesses and hundreds of thousands of hardworking Tennesseans,” said Lee. “As we work to safely open Tennessee’s economy, this group will provide guidance to industries across the state on the best ways to get Tennesseans back to work.”
Industry representatives working with the ERG collectively represent Tennessee’s major industries, including retail, banking, agriculture, manufacturing, health care and small business. They will offer guidance for transition specific to their industry.
Bryan Terry, MD represents Tennessee House District 48, which is the eastern portion of Rutherford County and a portion of Murfreesboro. Terry lives in Murfreesboro and can be reached by email at: or by calling 615-741-2180.
Govenor Bill Lee has urged schools to remain closed until March 31st. We stanchly support the Governor in his efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus here in Tennessee by encouraging school districts to close through the end of the month to protect the health and wellbeing of Tennessee’s students, teachers, and entire communities across the state.
US Representative from Tennessee Mark Green said, “The COVID-19 outbreak is an international health crisis that will require an unprecedented response, and our Nation’s schools are facing extreme difficulties in the face of this pandemic, including sending their students home indefinitely. The gravity of the situation schools are facing navigating the COVID-19 pandemic creates an undue burden for preparing and administering statewide assessments.” To wholly protect educators and students from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tennessee General Assembly must take a few additional steps for public education:
• Attendance: The state must waive attendance requirements and excuse the chronic absenteeism of students. The legislature should also consider waivers for the instructional day requirement for districts.
• TNReady: Stop standardized testing for this academic year. They should also ask the Department of Education to immediately enter into negotiations to suspend the contract with our current testing vendor to save taxpayer dollars. That contract should be extended to fulfill our obligations. This means, as Representative Scott Cepicky has suggested, that the Commissioner of Education must request a waiver from the Federal Government on testing, which we have suggested and endorse. When schools resume, teachers should be free to teach, and re-teach if necessary, without the burden of testing.
• Hold Harmless: We must ensure that “no adverse action may be taken” against any student, teacher, school, or district based on results from the cancelation of state standardized tests. This also means that no assessment will impact students’ final grades. The lack of assessment results should not be used for any decisions related to hiring, firing, or not compensating teachers. We should also prohibit identifying a school as a “priority school” in Tennessee’s bottom 5 percent, the starting point for state intervention, although a district should be free to request any assistance for schools that self-identify and are in need.
Tennessee is a resilient state made up of incredible people with a generous spirit. We will defeat COVID-19, the coronavirus. However, each of us must remain vigilant in our efforts to combat and help prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses (Coronavirus or the flu) by maintaining high standards of hygiene and using common sense. We are confident that district leaders will continue to make the right decisions for their communities with the support of our Governor and Legislature.