By State Senator Page Walley
Hearing from constituents in order to best represent you is the most important thing I do. In addition to my in-person listening meetings and regular community visits, we held our first telephone town hall meeting. Thank you to the 4,000 people across the district who participated in our telephone town hall. I particularly appreciated Transportation Commissioner Butch Eley for participating and answering questions about the tremendous investments we’re planning to make in our counties for road improvements. I receive frequent calls about road conditions and am working to make sure we get those remedied as soon and as best as possible.
Another major issue for our district is access to emergency and hospital care. Tennessee had more rural hospitals close per capita in the past 15 years than any other state. Reopening these hospitals has been a major commitment and focus of mine. We recently celebrated the reopening of the Haywood Hospital in Brownsville, and I recently passed legislation in our Health Committee to expedite the hopeful reopening of a hospital in McNairy County. I will continue to work with local officials to preserve our existing rural hospitals in our district and support other reopenings like in Fayette County.
Updates on legislation moving through our General Assembly
I’m cosponsoring many bills to help DCS expedite adoption and improve foster care. These include efforts to give foster parents more input in the cases of children who have been in their care and reduce the timeframe for when finalized adoptions can be overturned. Another measure allows expectant mothers choosing adoption to receive support services paid for by the adoptive parents for the length of their pregnancy and up to 90 days post birth, as well as up to two years of counseling for the birth mother.
After input from hundreds of parents and educators, I am cosponsoring a bill to clarify and adjust the 2021 Literacy Success Act to broaden the criteria used to assess 3rd grade literacy and provide more local input to help parents and teachers request reconsideration of any retention decisions. Reading by third grade is critical to student success, and I think this bill will help ensure better reading and overall education outcomes for students.
You will continue to see me out in our communities looking for opportunities to hear from you. Don’t hesitate to contact my office. If you need to contact me for any reason please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office at 615-741-2368. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve as your state senator.