Sen. Ketron urges local high school seniors to apply for state’s new Tennessee Promise Scholarship before Nov. 1 Deadline
Rutherford County in need of mentors for scholarship recipients
(NASHVILLE, Tenn.), October 17, 2014 -- State Senator Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) today encouraged local high school seniors to apply for Tennessee Promise, the state’s new scholarship program, by the November 1 deadline. He also urged area citizens to consider becoming a mentor with one of Tennessee Promise’s partnering organizations.
“I want all of our high school seniors who want to receive a college education to apply before the end of the month,” said Senator Ketron. “Parents and students need to be aware that this deadline is approaching. I also want to make sure citizens in our area know that we need mentors for these students. We are the Volunteer State and I hope that many local citizens will step up to volunteer as a mentor to help these students succeed.”
The Tennessee Promise is a last dollar scholarship, meaning it will cover costs of tuition and mandatory fees not met from the Pell, HOPE or TSAA. It provides for two years of tuition-free education at a community college or technical school in the state. Ketron said students can then use the state’s transfer pathways program if they choose to attend a four-year school, making it possible to start as a junior. Students can learn more about the scholarship and apply online at www.TNPromise.gov
As part of the program, students will be paired with a partnering organization and provided a mentor who will support them during the college application process. It is estimated that at least 5,000 volunteer mentors are needed to work with scholarship applicants. Mentors, who must be 21 years of age or older, must be willing to invest 10 to 15 hours annually assisting 5 to 10 high school seniors by playing an active role to help make sure that students succeed. Prospective mentors can find more information about the program and apply online at http://www.tnpromise.gov/volunteers.shtml. The application deadline for mentors is also November 1.
“This scholarship program will have a tremendous impact on our state, not just to improve the lives of the individual students and their families, but on our state as a whole. We need to seize this opportunity to move Rutherford County and our state forward.”
(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) October 2, 2014 – Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) is a candidate for re-election to the 13th senatorial district in the Tennessee State Senate in the November general election. Ketron is unopposed for the district seat which includes LaVergne, Smyrna, Eagleville and Murfreesboro, as well as the Blackman, Walter Hill, Leanna, and Rockvale communities.
"It has been a privilege to represent District 13 in the State Senate,” said Senator Ketron. “I am asking the citizens of Rutherford County to send me back to Nashville to represent them for another four years.”
Ketron was first elected to the Tennessee General Assembly in 2002 and was the first Republican to represent the district in recent history. He was elected by his peers to a key leadership role in the General Assembly in 2010 as Chairman of the Senate Republican Caucus. He was also elected by his peers to serve as Chairman of the Joint Senate and House of Representative’s Fiscal Review Committee which oversees all state government contracts.
“My goal is to continue working in our State Senate to provide fiscally responsible government and to get results on a wide variety of other important issues facing our state, specifically to help provide Tennessee students with a globally competitive education. I am particularly humbled to represent my alma mater, Middle Tennessee State University. I am very proud of the accomplishments we have made to make MTSU a world class university over the past several years, including the new Science Center which is a tremendous asset to this campus.”
Ketron was co-founder and served as the first President of the MTSU Blue Raider Athletic Association and is listed among the university’s Distinguished Alumni.
Among key laws sponsored by Ketron during his last term of office is one that lets Tennesseans in communities that allow retail package stores and liquor-by-the-drink establishments vote on whether to allow the sale of wine in retail food stores via local referendum. He also passed major reform legislation that applies best of class practices and modernizing how state government manages the procurement of goods and services. The new system is expected to save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars over the long run. In addition, Ketron pushed through Tennessee’s “Material Support to Designated Entities Act of 2011” to cut off the support for terrorists who are planning to commit acts in Tennessee and curb the incidence of homegrown terrorism.
Ketron also won approval earlier this year of key legislation calling for a study to determine the feasibility of a monorail public transportation system along the I-24 Nashville Southeast Corridor that connects downtown Murfreesboro to Nashville.
The Murfreesboro lawmaker has a long list of prior community service which includes being National President of the National Exchange Club, President of the Foundation for the Prevention of Child Abuse, President of the Rutherford Volunteer Fire Department, President of the Professional Insurance Agents of Tennessee, as well as membership in the Masons, Shriners, Leadership Rutherford and the Rutherford County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Ketron has received numerous awards during his legislative tenure including the most recent ACT National Security Eagle Award, Greater Nashville Regional Council’s Legislator of the Year Award, Outstanding Service Awards from the Tennessee Sheriff’s Association and Chiefs of Police, Humane Society’s Humane Legislator of the Year and the Tennessee Conservation Voters’ Good Green Deeds Award.
Ketron and his wife, Theresa, have one daughter, Kelsey, and reside in Murfreesboro.
WASHINGTON, DC, September 11, 2014 – – State Senator Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) will be awarded the National Security Eagle Award by ACT! for America at an event tonight in Washington DC. Ketron is set to receive the national honor at the organization’s fifth annual national conference which will be attended by members from 875 chapters from across the nation, in addition to 9-11 family members and American wounded warriors.
ACT! for America is the nation’s largest national security movement with over 280,000 active grassroots members from various political parties and religions. It is an issues advocacy organization dedicated to effectively organizing and mobilizing the most powerful grassroots citizen action network in America.
Ketron sponsored Tennessee’s “Material Support to Designated Entities Act of 2011” to cut off the support for terrorists who are planning to commit acts in Tennessee and curb the incidence of homegrown terrorism. He filed the bill in the wake of homegrown terrorist shootings at Fort Hood, Texas and Little Rock, Arkansas, which targeted U.S. soldiers.
Recently it was reported that as many as 300 Americans are fighting alongside ISIS, the most radical group of jihadists who claimed responsibility for the beheading of U.S. journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.
“Homegrown terrorism remains a tremendous threat to the U.S.,” said Senator Ketron. “Recent developments continue to show that this threat is not only real, but can happen in any state, any town and any community. I appreciate this recognition from ACT! and will continue to work for the safety and security of our citizens. The 13th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attack should continue to serve as a reminder to all Americans that we can never let our guard down as there are those who are willing to hide behind innocent citizens to reign down terror on this nation.”
Ketron will also attend a Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Pentagon’s 9-11 Memorial on Friday.
GOVERNOR HASLAM, COMMISSIONER HAGERTY ANNOUNCE FEDERAL-MOGUL TO EXPAND CURRENT OPERATIONS IN RUTHERFORD COUNTY
August 27, 2014
NASHVILLE—Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty along with Federal-Mogul officials announced today the company will invest $6.2 million to expand its current distribution facility in Smyrna, Tennessee and create 135 new jobs in Rutherford County. “We are thankful for Federal-Mogul and their continued investment in our state and the new jobs they are creating in Middle Tennessee,” Haslam said. “When companies like Federal-Mogul choose to reinvest here, it speaks volumes about our workforce and the quality of Tennessee-made products, and today’s announcement is another step toward our goal of becoming the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.” “Tennessee continues to set itself apart as a global leader in the automotive industry,” Hagerty said. “Major automotive manufacturers like Nissan, Volkswagen and General Motors support a robust pipeline of more than 900 automotive manufacturers and suppliers located throughout our state. I am pleased Federal-Mogul will continue to be a part of why Tennessee has been named the No. 1 state in the nation for automotive manufacturing strength an unprecedented four years in a row, and I appreciate the new jobs they are creating in our communities.” “Federal-Mogul is pleased to continue investing in Smyrna,” Paula Silver, Federal-Mogul’s vice president of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations, said. “We have a dedicated and hard-working team here that takes pride in distributing high quality products for our customers. We are excited to grow our Smyrna operations and create more job opportunities.” Federal-Mogul is expanding its existing Worldwide Aftermarket Distribution Center in Smyrna, due to the recent purchase of part of Affinia’s product line. Affinia is a leader in the manufacturing and distribution of automotive replacement products. As part of this expansion, Federal-Mogul will increase its Smyrna footprint from 600,000 square feet to 800,000 square feet. This larger warehouse and distribution capacity will allow the facility to become more productive. “Today’s announcement of 135 new jobs by Federal-Mogul is great news for the Town of Smyrna and Rutherford County,” Smyrna Mayor Mary Esther Reed said. “The Town of Smyrna continues to experience positive job growth and we thank Federal-Mogul for their confidence in our community for this additional investment.” Federal-Mogul Holdings Corporation is a leading global supplier of products and services to the world's manufacturers and servicers of vehicles and equipment in the automotive, light, medium and heavy-duty commercial, marine, rail, aerospace, power generation and industrial markets. The company's products and services enable improved fuel economy, reduced emissions and enhanced vehicle safety. “TVA and Middle Tennessee Electric congratulate Federal-Mogul on its announcement to expand in Smyrna, Tennessee,” TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development John Bradley said. “We are pleased to partner with the state of Tennessee, Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, and city and county officials to assist Federal-Mogul’s additional investment to create new jobs.” In addition to its Smyrna location, Federal-Mogul has operations in Smithville and Sparta, Tennessee. In total, approximately 1,000 people are employed at Federal-Mogul’s three Tennessee locations. People interested in applying for these new jobs in Smyrna should contact Missy Rogers, human resources manager, at Missy.Rogers@federalmogul.com. About Federal-Mogul Federal-Mogul Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: FDML) is a leading global supplier of products and services to the world's manufacturers and servicers of vehicles and equipment in the automotive, light, medium and heavy-duty commercial, marine, rail, aerospace, power generation and industrial markets. The company's products and services enable improved fuel economy, reduced emissions and enhanced vehicle safety. Federal-Mogul operates two independent business divisions, each with a chief executive officer reporting to Federal-Mogul's Board of Directors. Federal-Mogul Powertrain designs and manufactures original equipment powertrain components and systems protection products for automotive, heavy-duty, industrial and transport applications. Federal-Mogul Motorparts sells and distributes a broad portfolio of products through more than 20 of the world's most recognized brands in the global vehicle aftermarket, while also serving original equipment vehicle manufacturers with products including braking, chassis, wipers and other vehicle components. The company's aftermarket brands include ANCO® wiper blades; Champion® spark plugs, wipers and filters; AE®, Fel-Pro®, FP Diesel®, Goetze®, Glyco®, Nüral®, Payen® and Sealed Power® engine products; MOOG® steering and suspension parts; and Ferodo®, Jurid® and Wagner® brake products. Federal-Mogul was founded in Detroit in 1899 and maintains its worldwide headquarters in Southfield, Michigan. The company employs more than 45,000 people in 34 countries. For more information, please visit http://www.federalmogul.com. About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Tennessee was named “2013 State of the Year” for economic development by Business Facilities magazine. The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies which help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. The department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Find us on the web: tn.gov/ecd. Follow us on Twitter: @tnecd. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/tnecd. ###
Senator Ketron honored in special award for legislative achievements by Tennessee Development Districts
Monday, April 14, 2014
(NASHVILLE, TN) April 11, 2014-- State Senator Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) has been recognized by the Development Districts Association in Tennessee (TDDA) for legislative achievements benefitting the people of the 13th Senatorial District, which he represents. Ketron received the award on Thursday, April 10 as the group gathered for a statewide meeting in Nashville.
The Tennessee Development District Association is an association of the nine state-wide districts, which were established by the General Assembly under the Tennessee Development District Act of 1965. The Tennessee Development District Association was established to serve as a statewide forum for the diverse problems the districts must solve in their mission to serve 95 counties and some 350 municipalities
"The Development Districts do tremendous work and I am very honored to be recognized by them,” said Senator Ketron. “I look forward to continuing to work them to expand economic opportunities in our communities, as well as to provide assistance to citizens with disabilities and those with other essential needs.”
Legislative Leaders, Governor Haslam and Heart Association to Kick Off Walking Challenge in Conjunction With National Walking Day
Monday, March 31, 2014
(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) Governor Bill Haslam, Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey, House Speaker Beth Harwell, Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Bill Ketron and Assistant Republican Leader Kevin Brooks will join the American Heart Association to recognize National Walking Day, the American Heart Association's annual icon day encouraging Americans to become more physically active by walking to improve health. The Challenge will encourage Tennesseans to go for a 30-minute walk on this day. The press conference will conclude with a legislators group walk from the Capitol to the Plaza.
WHAT: Tennessee Legislative Walking Challenge Kickoff
WHEN: Wednesday, April 2, 2014, 12:00 noon
WHERE: Steps of the south side of the Capitol, the side that faces the Plaza. In the event of inclement weather: Senate Chamber.
SPEAKING: Governor Bill Haslam, Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey, Speaker of the House Beth Harwell, Sen. Bill Ketron, Rep. Kevin Brooks, and officials of the American Heart Association
• Nearly 29% of Tennesseans report doing no physical activity outside of work during the past month. Tennessee ranks 44th in the nation for worst cardiovascular mortality rate.
• Research shows that brisk walking for at least 30 minutes a day is one of the best activities individuals can do to improve heart health and overall health.
• It is estimated that if 10 percent of Americans began a regular walking program, $5.6 billion in heart disease costs could be saved.
• Walking can help lower blood pressure, increase HDL “good” cholesterol in the blood, control weight and control blood sugar, improve metabolism and energy and lower stress levels.
• The American Heart Association recommends that children and adolescents participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate or vigorous intensity physical activity each day and adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity (or combination of both) each week.
• Approximately 50 percent of American adults and 62 percent of children do not get daily vigorous physical activity.
• The direct and indirect costs of cardiovascular diseases, including lost productivity, were an estimated $315.4 billion in 2010.
• Obesity is a significant factor driving health care spending, accounting for an estimated 12 percent of growth in recent years.
• One in three American kids and teens is overweight or obese, nearly triple the rate in 1963.
Judiciary Committee approves legislation sponsored by Senator Ketron to strengthen penalties against spectators at animal fights
Thursday, March 27, 2014
(NASHVILLE, TN) March 26, 2013 -- The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved legislation, sponsored by Senator Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro), which strengthens penalties against spectators attending animal fights. Senate Bill 2366 makes it a Class A misdemeanor offense to be a spectator at any animal fight with a minimum fine of $500.
Ketron said the intent of the bill is to provide punishment stiff enough to deter attendance and put a dent in the pocketbook of criminals who organize these events.
“Animal fighting exists primarily because of the spectators,” said Ketron. “They seek out the illegal activity, promote the event by word of mouth, pay admission fees to organizers and then gamble on the fights. They are entertained by and profit from the socially and morally reprehensible crime of watching animals which have no choice but to fight to the death.”
It is illegal to own, possess or train an animal for the purpose of fighting them in Tennessee. Current law also prescribes a Class B misdemeanor to be a spectator at a dog fight with a maximum fine of $500 and a Class C misdemeanor to attend a cockfight with a maximum fine of $50.
“Children are routinely in attendance at these events where they are exposed to a host of criminal activities and animal cruelty,” said Senator Ketron. “Cockfighting attracts such criminal elements as the Mexican drug cartel who ran multi-ton quantities of meth and heroin through cockfighting pits in our state. Federal investigations have revealed intricate gambling operations with millions of dollars changing hands illegally,” he concluded.
Thursday, March 13, 2014
(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) State Senator Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) won approval today of key legislation calling for a study to determine the feasibility of a monorail public transportation system along the I-24 Nashville Southeast Corridor that connects downtown Murfreesboro to Nashville. Senate Bill 2515, which was approved by the Senate Transportation Committee, directs the Department of Transportation to conduct the study, which would include the costs of construction, operation and financing of the monorail system.
“This 32-mile strip of interstate is the most congested corridor in the state,” said Senator Ketron. “The current population of Rutherford County is about 290,000. By 2025 it is estimated to be at 600,000 and by 2035 it is estimated that there will be another million residents in the greater middle Tennessee area. This presents a great problem in terms of traffic issues. We have to be forward thinking regarding what we are going to do when we add this many new vehicles to an already congested roadway.”
Ketron said he has conducted numerous meetings with the department and other transportation officials about the project since last summer. He said that a monorail could handle up to 55,000 passengers per day, which would greatly reduce future congestion.
“We are left with no other means to handle congestion that will alleviate this kind of population growth,” said Senator Ketron. “A great number of my constituents travel this corridor every day and find that their commute is getting longer. This study is a critical step in giving us a roadmap on how this project could be accomplished,” added Ketron.
The bill requires the study to identify all public and private funding sources, including amounts that can reasonably be anticipated and estimated costs and revenues. It requires TDOT to report its findings and recommendations to the Senate and House Transportation Committees by February 1, 2015.
Friday, February 28, 2014
NASHVILLE, The U.S. Humane Society recognized Senator Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) and Representative Jon Lundberg (R-Bristol) this week with Humane Legislator of the Year awards for their dedication to protecting animals from cruelty. Leighann Lassiter, the group’s state director said the award reflected work done by the lawmakers over the past seven years to increase penalties for dogfighting and cockfighting.
The lawmakers received the award at the Humane Society’s annual meeting in Nashville.
“Our state lawmakers are a critical part of the effort to build a more humane society, and we are thrilled to recognize two of Tennessee’s leaders in this movement,” said Lassiter. “Representative Lundberg and Senator Ketron exemplify the compassion and tenacity needed to truly make a positive impact for animals in the Volunteer State. We thank them for their tireless efforts to keep animal fighting, puppy mills and other forms of animal cruelty out of our state.”
In addition to increasing penalties for animal fighting, Lassiter praised Ketron and Lundberg for their support of legislation regulating commercial dog breeding operations known as puppy mills and for their outspoken opposition to the 2013 “ag-gag” bill.
Monday, February 24, 2014
(NASHVILLE), The Senate has approved legislation, sponsored by Senators Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) and Doug Overbey (R-Maryville), that provides greater accountability and transparency in the state’s TNInvestco Program. TNInvestco is a program administered by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (EDC) that provides benefits to small, medium-sized, and start-up businesses to encourage job growth in the state.
“This legislation will provide greater oversight and ensure that companies receiving tax credits are completing their statutorily required investment strategy scorecards,” said Senator Ketron. “It also helps to ensure investment strategy benchmarks are being met and that investments are free from fraud, waste, and abuse.”
“The overwhelming majority of jobs in this state are created by small businesses,” said Senator Overbey. “This bill helps to ensure that entrepreneurs have access to capital in order to grow jobs, but that it is done in an accountable and transparent manner.”
Some of the key provisions included in Senate Bill 766 are:
• requires the department to obtain sufficient documentation to support the state’s profit share percentage;
• changes the date through which the TNInvestcos submit their information in the annual report to provide better accuracy of investment activity for the calendar year;
• changes the number of days that a TNInvestco has to submit their annual audited financial statements from 180 days to 120 days so that information is received in a more timely fashion;
• changes the number of days that the TNInvestco has to cure any areas of non-compliance from 60 days to 45 days to ensure that policies and procedures are being met without substantive delays;
• allows ECD to promulgate rules and regulations to ensure compliance with requirements of the program; and
• gives ECD greater enforcement capability by allowing them to assess a penalty for persistent non-compliance by a TNInvestco.
The bill also allows a TNInvestco to re-invest their returns and the state’s returns in equal portions up to the 7th anniversary of the fund. Finally, it adds new language to the law that requires ECD to liquidate all remaining ownership interests by the state beginning December 31, 2021.