Money. Jobs. Education. COVID.
What’s Happening at the Capitol?
On Monday, October 18, Governor Bill Lee called a special session to address funding, construction, and oversight of Ford motor company historic $5.6 billion investment at the Memphis Regional Megasite, a construction plant named Blue Oval City. Blue Oval City will be an eco-friendly, carbon neutral facility where Ford will produce all electric F Series trucks beginning in 2025.
In addition to an initial $500 million incentive to Ford, legislators will consider 4 additional proposals:
$138 million on infrastructure to make the Memphis Regional Megasite shovel ready.
$40 million to build a new Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) at the Memphis Regional Megasite to create a pipeline for skilled workers.
$200 million to improve roadways leading to the Memphis Regional Megasite.
$5 million for consulting services for local governments.
I am optimistic about Ford’s investment in Tennessee and the Memphis Regional Megasite. Tennessee will emerge as a leader in showing how states can support climate conscious facilities and how their citizens are ready to take up green jobs.
While there are many benefits to this partnership, I am wondering:
How do we ensure that the construction and operation of Blue Oval City does not negatively impact our drinking water? The Protect Our Aquifer organization shared this information with me: “The Memphis Regional Megasite sites on the only recharge zone for the Memphis Sand and Fort Pillow Aquifer. The recharge zone is where rainwater directly replenishes the aquifer. Extensive paving over the recharge zone will limit the amount of water that replenishes the system.” I will work to ensure that our water is protected so that we can ensure safe, clean drinking water for West Tennesseans that rely on the Memphis Sand and Fort Pillow Aquifers.
How do ensure that minority-owned business, women and people of color, receive a proportionate amount of the contracts that will be needed to construct and operate Blue Oval City? From construction to operation, Blue Oval City will have many needs and we need to make sure that everyone who is eligible should be able to prosper from Ford’s investment.
Next week, Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally and the Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton have called for a special legislative session to address COVID 19. Specifically, the legislature will consider employer’s authority over and responsibility to employees, use of state funds by public and private entities to facilitate restrictions relative to COVID-19, federal government use of resources relative to COVID-19, authority of local entities in charge of responding to public health crises, the enforcement of executive order or proclamation issued by the governor under emergency management powers, and partisan elections of school board members.
I will always support and follow the expert recommendations from science and medical health professionals. I will vote to ensure that District 91 is protected from the devastating effects of COVID-19.
District 91 Townhall
Rep. Lamar is hosting a Fall Townhall to hear from you! Join her on Saturday, October 30th at 11am for a virtual townhall. Come to hear about Rep. Lamar’s legislation from the 2021 session, Ford’s investment in the Memphis Regional Megasite, redistricting, and the state of COVD-19 in Shelby County. Please use this link to register for the virtual townhall. We will raffle a $25 gas card to people who register for the webinar! Visit www,LondonLamar.com/events to register
Resources for District 91
On Tuesday, October 19, I joined Metro Public Health Department’s Nashville Strong Babies to announce that they received $125,000 grant that will fund the training of 15 Black and Latino doulas! This grant will expand the work of their pilot program that Nashville Strong Babies launched in August 2019. In collaboration with Home and Heart, Nashville Strong Babies provided free doula services to 50 families in the Nashville area. As a result of this doula support, 100% of the program families birthed healthy weight and full-term babies and 100% of the program families initiated breastfeeding. We can use Nashville Strong Babies’ pilot program as evidence to support the need for state-wide funding for doula services. Doulas are a vital birth and community health workers and I will work to ensure that every family has affordable access
We are waiting for the Homeowners Assistance Fund to go live! Please make sure that you go to Tennessee Housing Development Agency | Homeowner's Assistance Fund (thda.org) and sign up to get email alerts so that you know when the program goes live!
What: Financial Assistance with mortgage payments, delinquent taxes, insurance fees, and HOA dues for a primary residence
Who: 1 to 4 unit single family household with an overall income of $119, 850 or less and COVID-19 related hardship (loss of income, reduction of income, newly incurred expenses) after January 21, 2020
When: Start running sometime in October
Action item: sign up for email notifications at Tennessee Housing Development Agency | Homeowner's Assistance Fund (thda.org)
If you are having issues, receiving your unemployment assistance, please email Rep. London Lamar office’s at email@example.com with the following information:
A description of the problem
Your full name (first, middle, and last)
Your phone number
The last 4 digits of your social security
The date that you filed the claim
The email address you used to file the claim
Child Tax Credit
The American Rescue Plan increased the Child Tax Credit from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child for children over the age of six and from $2,000 to $3,600 for children under the age of six, and raised the age limit from 16 to 17. All working families will get the full credit if they make up to $150,000 for a couple or $112,500 for a family with a single parent (also called Head of Household). More info: https://www.whitehouse.gov/child-tax-credit/
Strong Schools and Safe Communities
Free ACT Prep Courses through TDOE and UTMartin
The TN Dept of Education has partnered with UT Martin to provide Free ACT Prep courses to Tennessee’s juniors and seniors. Courses will cover math, science, and reading reasoning. There are open spots in the October, November, and December sessions. All sessions are virtual and conducted via Zoom. You must register for sessions to attend. Sign up here: ACT Prep For High School Juniors and Seniors | Educational Outreach (utm.edu)