January Legislative Update

January was an exciting month at the State Capitol: the 111th Tennessee General Assembly kicked off our 2019 legislative session and inaugurated our state's 50th Governor, Bill Lee.

Swearing in of Legislators

On January 8, I took the oath of office as the 111th General Assembly gaveled in for the legislative year. I am grateful for the continued opportunity to serve in the State Senate and sincerely appreciate the confidence placed in me by my constituents.

Inauguration Of Governor Bill Lee

Amanda and I attended the inauguration of Governor Bill Lee on January 19. As the Governor further outlines his legislative agenda in the upcoming weeks, I look forward to working alongside the new administration to make Shelby County an even greater place to live.

Legislative Priorities

My top priorities for this year are protecting veterans and eliminating the Professional Privilege Tax. In November I filed the very first bill of the new legislative session, Senate Bill 1. If enacted, this bill would establish a statewide "Green Alert" public notification system -- similar to an Amber Alert -- to help quickly identify and locate missing veterans or active members of the Armed Forces who are at risk due to a physical or mental health condition related to their service.

I have also filed legislation to eliminate the Professional Privilege Tax for good. This annual $400 tax is paid by accountants, engineers, landscape architects, speech pathologists, and other professionals just for the so-called "privilege" of earning a living. The idea that earning a living is a privilege is insulting to hardworking Tennesseans, and it is time for the tax to end.

How Can I Help?

As always, I am here to serve you. I look forward to hearing about issues that are important to you as the 2019 legislative session continues. Please do not hesitate to contact me via email, sen.brian.kelsey@capitol.tn.gov, or phone, 615-741-3036 to share your priorities with me. It is truly an honor to continue to represent you in the Tennessee Senate.