Healthcare, Housing, and more…

This week, I wrote about affordable housing in Nashville — both efforts to expand access and efforts to thwart expansion of affordable housing mandates. I also wrote about Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell’s joke of a task force on access to healthcare. On the education front, I wrote about Phase II of TNReady and efforts to do away with it this year. And, I asked: Is RTI working?

First, healthcare.

Over at Tennessee Citizen Action, I wrote in response to Speaker Harwell’s announcement of the 3 Star Healthy Task Force:

In other words, Speaker Harwell called a press conference to announce she plans to do nothing to improve access to healthcare and that she won’t throw her support behind Governor Haslam’s plan.
Hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans are waiting for access to affordable health care and Beth Harwell’s response is that they should wait just a little longer and that maybe next year, there will be a plan. Then again, maybe not.
And I later added:

Underwhelming is the kindest way to describe the response to Speaker Beth Harwell’s “3-Star Healthy Project,” a task force to prepare alternatives to Gov. Bill Haslam’s Insure Tennessee plan, which she announced Tuesday.

When Insure Tennessee failed to garner any support in the legislature last year, Harwell said, she began looking for alternatives.

Earlier in the week, I wrote about State Representative Glen Casada’s efforts to thwart affordable housing mandates:

It seems Casada only wants affordable housing if it means more money in the pockets of real estate developers in the way of tax incentives — taking money from taxpayers and giving it to his wealthy buddies. That, or he only wants those with money to move to Tennessee’s fast-growing cities.

Undaunted by Casada’s mean-spirited efforts, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry moved forward with her own affordable housing initiative:

“As Nashville continues to grow, we have to ensure that all of our residents benefit from our city’s prosperity,” Barry said at a news conference with affordable housing advocates and council members. “And that means making sure that they have access to affordable housing options.

At Tennessee Education Report, I wrote about Tullahoma’s push to end TNReady testing for this year:

While the Department of Education indicates it has no plans to suspend TNReady testing for this year, the Tullahoma School Board is set to vote on a resolution asking for just that at a meeting on Monday, April 18th.

And I also asked the question: Is RTI Working? This after examining a 2015 U.S. Department of Education study on the program.

For more on pressing public policy issues, follow @TheAndySpears




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