History in the Legislature (107th General Assembly)

Representative John D. Ragan is a Fiscal Conservative

  • Supported balancing Tennessee's budget
  • Supported tax cuts
    • Eliminated the gift tax
    • Cut sales tax on food 1/4 percent
    • Cut the Inheritance Tax
    • Sales tax refund on purchases made for damages resulting from disasters occurring in 2011; extends the filing deadline to June 30, 2012
  • Supported spending cuts
    • Reduced state budget by over $1 billion
  • Supported rebuilding the state's "Rainy Day" reserve fund

Representative John D. Ragan is a Law and Order Advocate

  • Violent crime
    • required those convicted of aggravated rape to serve 100 percent of their sentence
    • Added criminal gang offenses within the definition of Racketeer and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO)
    • Broadened scope of violence in the workplace laws
    • Authorized the warden to permit three relatives or close friends of a victim to attend an execution where the victim has no surviving immediate family
    • Established the Blue Alert system when law enforcement officer is killed, injured or suspiciously missing in line of duty
    • Authorized a nuclear security officer to employ deadly force in certain situations protecting sensitive sites and materials
    • Supported the "Material Support to Designated Entities Act of 2011" anti-terrorism restriction on charitable donations
    • Supported the "Kelsey Smith Act" requiring cell phone service providers to provide emergency responders with geographic information concerning an emergency situation involving the risk of death or serious physical harm
  • Tough on drugs
    • Added legal penalty for producing, manufacturing or selling any product containing the Schedule I controlled substance methcathinone
    • Reduced venue restrictions (made it easier) for the prosecution of methamphetamine manufacture
    • Created civil immunity for physicians who make a good faith report to law enforcement regarding an employee's unauthorized use of hte doctor or physician's DEA registration number to write a prescription
  • Defense of free and fair elections
    • Added to current list of Tennessee felons who are never eligible to register to vote, felons convicted in any other state or federal court
    • Required voter picture identification
    • Created free picture identification for any indigent voter in Tennessee
    • Allowed state employee upon retirement to keep such employee's photo identificatino card with sticker and may be used as valid photo id for voting purposes
    • Required the coordinator of elections to compare the statewide voter registration database with the department of safety database to ensure non-United States citizens are not registered to vote in this state
  • Anti-illegal immigration
    • Added the Tennessee Lawful Employment Act -- requires "E-Verify" for employment
    • Added the "Eligibility Verification for Entitlements Act" -- applicants for a federal, state or local benefit must meet all eligibility requirements for such benefit, including lawful presence
    • Added the "Lawful Innigration Enforcement Act" -- no "sanctuary cities" in Tennessee
  • Increased state reimbursement (allocated per prisoner per day being held for the state) to a county
  • Increased penalty for failing to provide evidence of financial responsibility for motor vehicle operation

Representative John D. Ragan is Working to Enhance the Business Environment for Creation of Jobs

  • Tort liability and reform -- caps "pain and suffering" damages as well as "punitive damages" to something reasonable and less than "lottery winnings" type awards
  • Tort liability and reform -- implemented limited "loser pays" system for frivolous lawsuits
  • Co-sponsored a House Resolution for the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast
  • Supported the "Welfare Roll to Payroll Act," which directs the commissioner of human services to conduct a summer study to assess the feasibility of more work friendly assistance eligibility and benefits requirements in order to increase workforce participation
  • Added the "Unemployment Insurance Accountability Act of 2012" requiring claimants to provide more evidence of searches for work to draw benefits

Representative John D. Ragan is a Veteran's Advocate

  • Carried the Tennessee Fallen Hero's Medal legislation for Tennesseans killed in action
  • Carried the Tennessee Veteran's Court bill beginning the creation of a special docket for veterans who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic head injuries who become involved in minor offenses
  • Created a Class B misdemeanor offense for falsely representing that he or she was or is a member of the United States armed forces with the intent to deceive
  • Increased the grace period for active military members stationed outside of continental United States to renew vehicle registrations
  • Increased the penalty for disorderly conduct within 500 feet of a funeral or memorial service
  • Exempted from excise and franchise tax, entities owned by a branch of the U.S. armed forces that operate primarily to benefit armed forces members
  • Extended property tax relief to the surviving spouse of a soldier whose death results from being deployed, away from any home base of training and in support of combat operations, if the surviving spouse does not remarry
  • Authorized honorably discharged veterans to have language or a symbol indicating their military service placed on their driver license
  • Authorized the spouse of a deceased recipient of a Purple Heart memorial registration plate to receive two such registration plates for no cost
  • Required same protections for state and national guard members

Representative John D. Ragan is a Social Conservative

  • Supported Senate Joint Resolution 127 -- nothing in the Constitution of Tennessee secures or protects the right to an abortion or requires state funding of an abortion
  • Supported "Life Defense Act of 2012" increasing safety requirements that ensure adequate medical qualifications for who perform abortions and impose more restrictions on where they can be performed for women's safety
  • Supported resolution urging Congress to overturn the Health & Human Services final interim rule on contraceptives coverage for religiously affiliated employers
  • Established drug free requirement for welface - an individual convicted of second drug felony involving possession, use or distribution of a controlled substance will not be eligible for families first program benefits for a period of three years
  • Reinforcement of family life education curriculum to ensure abstinence based sex education remains Tennessee's first choice

Representative John D. Ragan Works for Limited Government

  • Co-sponsored a Constitutional Amendment for term limit to 12 consecutive years for members of the general assembly (an unsuccessful attempt)
  • Co-sponsored the "Tennessee Health Freedom Act" -- every person in this state is, and shall be, free to choose or to decline, whatever health care services he or she desires without penalty or threat
  • Carried Tennessee's "Balance of Powers" Bill to limit Federal intrusion into state's rights (an unsuccessful attempt)

Representative John D. Ragan Supports Education Reform

  • Statewide teacher evaluation system changed to include student testing results
  • Reformed based K-12 teacher tenure system to merit based system
  • Eliminated collective (union) bargaining in favor of collaborative (non-union) bargaining
  • Supported merit pay for superior teachers
  • Increased student eligibility for Hope Scholarships
  • Eliminated state restriction on charter schools

Representative John D. Ragan Serves as the House Energy Expert

  • House Energy Task Force Vice Chairman
  • National Conference of State Legislatures Nuclear Working Group Vice Chairman
  • Carried General Assembly Resolution for Statement of Intent or Position - for the U.S. Department of Interior's recommendation of a Manhattan Project National Historical Park in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Hanford, Washington
Copyright © 2012 John Ragan

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