Sen. Southerland: “I am committed to doing everything to save Panther Creek State Park pool”

 (NASHVILLE, Tenn.), January 21, 2022 – On January 20, new Senate and Congressional redistricting maps for Tennessee received Senate approval. Approval followed a lengthy and transparent process of gathering and considering input from stakeholders throughout the state. As a result of this vote, my district will now include more of Sevier County with the City of Gatlinburg. It will also include Unicoi County in addition to Cocke, Greene, and Hamblen; the counties I have been serving. I look forward to serving the constituents of this new District 9.

The new Senate map balances the federal mandate of “one person, one vote” with the state constitutional mandate not to split counties. In the new Senate map, there are just 9 county splits, and a historically low deviation among districts of 6.1 percent. That’s lower than the 7.7 percent deviation in the alternative map presented in committee by the Democratic Caucus. No incumbents are paired together, and current district boundaries were disturbed as little as possible.

The new Congressional map has zero deviation among districts as prescribed in federal case law; all districts contain exactly 767,871 people, with the exception of the 4th District, which has 767,872 people. The map splits just 10 counties among the nine districts and it honors the three Grand Divisions of Tennessee: The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd districts are wholly within East Tennessee, the 8th and ninth districts are wholly within West Tennessee, and growing Middle Tennessee gets four districts.

Find the maps here. The House redistricting map will be considered next week.

Park Pools

This week, I met with commissioners who are over Tennessee’s State Parks to try and save the pools in our parks because I know how important these pools are to our communities. Over the past months, I have heard from many citizens who support the pools in our parks. I am committed to doing everything that I can to save our pools and I appreciate everyone who has reached out to help and voice their support.

State of the State

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee will deliver his fourth State of the State address to the General Assembly and fellow Tennesseans on Monday, January 31 at 6 p.m. CT. The joint session will take place in the House Chamber of the Tennessee State Capitol.

Tennessee is in the best financial condition in recent history, having seen $1.2 billion in excess revenue from the 2020-2021 fiscal year, as well as $1.112 billion in revenue over budgeted estimates in the first four months of the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

Tennessee has a proud tradition of being a fiscally conservative and well-managed state with the lowest possible tax burden to residents. The AAA-rated Volunteer State is among the five least indebted states in the nation per capita, ranks third for best-funded pension plans, and is one of only five states without road debt. Our high ranking is also boosted by the state’s low unemployment, rising educational achievement, and robust job growth. Expect the legislature to be very thoughtful in how state dollars are budgeted by possibly even taking a multi-year approach in spending to ensure Tennessee’s continued strong financial stability.

The address can be found on Gov. Lee’s Facebook and YouTube channels and will be aired statewide.

Thank you for reading this edition. Your concerns as a constituent are very important to me and I encourage you to contact me with them. My office can be reached by phone at: (800) 449-8366, Ext: 13851, or by e-mail at: sen.steve.southerland@capitol.tn.gov. I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for the honor to serve as your State Senator. God bless!