(NASHVILLE), February 24, 2021 — A resolution allowing voters to change the way Tennessee’s Attorney General is selected was approved on Tuesday by the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Senate Joint Resolution 1, sponsored by Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Ken Yager (R-Kingston), calls for a transparent nomination process by the Tennessee Supreme Court in selecting the State Attorney General, followed by a confirmation vote of the nominee by a majority of both houses of the Tennessee General Assembly.

“This is one of the most important appointed positions in the state,” said Senator Yager.  “The State Attorney General has over 340 employees and a budget of over $50 million, not to mention the important decisions that are made which affect the lives of the people of Tennessee.”

The 1870 constitution required Supreme Court judges be elected by Tennessee voters.  Yager said the current system of appointing justices means the selection of the State Attorney General is twice removed from the public.  Tennessee is the only state in which the State Supreme Court appoints the attorney general.  The votes taken by the court on nominees are not currently disclosed to the public. 

“The reason for this legislation is two-fold,” Yager said.  “It will provide for a more transparent process in the selection of nominees.  The second is that confirmation by the General Assembly will make the process accountable to the people by giving elected officials a role in the process.”

“This proposal adheres to the intention of the authors of our 1870 State Constitution, while keeping intact the current nomination role for the judiciary,” he continued.

The resolution would require the votes of the Tennessee Supreme Court justices to be held in open court with recorded votes. Once the nomination is made, the legislature would have 60 days to go through the confirmation process. In the event that the candidate is rejected, then the court would have 60 days to make another nomination.

The resolution, which was approved by the 111th General Assembly in 2019, must receive a two-thirds majority of the 112th General Assembly under the Tennessee Constitution.  Once on the ballot, constitutional amendments must receive a majority of votes cast in the gubernatorial election in 2022.

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NASHVILLE — State Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) praised action taken by the Tennessee State Building Commission’s Executive Committee on Monday to transfer 1.6 acres to Stephens Baptist Church for property being used for church operations.  This action will resolve prior boundary issues and clearly delineate the property to be utilized by the Church.

“I am delighted that this matter will be resolved soon and that this property will be transferred to the Church,” said Senator Yager, who worked with the University of Tennessee and Stephens Baptist Church on the matter.  “This is a huge relief as the property is needed for church operations and parking capacity.” 

Yager also credited Representative John Mark Windle (D-Livingston) and Morgan County Executive Brian Langley who were very supportive in finding a solution.

The transfer of property will be made from the University of Tennessee’s Institute of Agriculture (UTIA), which owns approximately 8,361 acres in Morgan and Scott Counties for their Cumberland Forest Research and Education Center.  In 1952, the UTIA granted Stephens Baptist Church the perpetual right to use approximately .42 acres of Cumberland Forest property to build and operate a Church building. According to the Building Commission, it has been determined that a portion of the building was constructed outside this area and the Church has used an additional area parking.  

“This Church is a very vibrant and important part of our community,” Yager added.  “I appreciate Morgan County Executive Langley for bringing this to my attention and Rep. Windle for lending his strong advocacy for the Church.  I also appreciate the cooperative attitude and leadership of Pastor Kilby and the wonderful congregation of this Church who do great work in this community.” 

“We are very grateful that UT has agreed to transfer the property and that it will remain part of the Stephens Baptist Church for future generations to worship,” Yager concluded.

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(NASHVILLE), February 22, 2021 – State Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) praised action taken by the Tennessee State Building Commission’s Executive Subcommittee on Monday to acquire land for the Tackett Creek Wildlife Management Area in Campbell and Claiborne Counties. Yager said the State Building Commission voted to acquire the entirety of the leased property by conservation easement in a single transaction.

“This is a very good news for Campbell County and our region,” said Sen. Yager. “This property is some of the most beautiful land in Tennessee and is enjoyed by many local citizens.”

The 43,000 acres of the Tackett Creek Wildlife Management Area are currently being leased by TWRA under an agreement with Molpus Timberlands Management where it has been used for hunting and recreational purposes. Yager said the $7.98 million purchase will be made utilizing Tennessee’s Wetlands Acquisition Fund. The fund preserves certain wetlands and bottomland hardwood forests in the state.

The Tackett Creek Unit is located near the Sundquist, New River, and Royal Blue units of the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area. Yager said the acquisition is an important expansion of the management area. Having been heavily surface-mined in the past and with active surface mining and reclamation efforts ongoing, the property consists of excellent habitat for grouse, turkey, deer, and elk.

The property is accessible from Tennessee Hwy. 90 east, located between Lafollette and Jellico on the west side, or on the east side from Cumberland Gap and Middlesboro, Ky. on Hwy. 74 west.

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NASHVILLE – As the General Assembly began the new 2021 legislative session on Tuesday, State Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) encourages local citizens to contact him regarding issues of importance to them.  Yager represents Campbell, Fentress, Morgan, Rhea, Roane, Pickett and Scott Counties in District 12 in the Tennessee Senate.

“We have a lot of important issues on our agenda this year beginning with a special session on education,” said Senator Yager.  “I invite all local citizens to call, email or write me regarding their concerns on the issues we face in Tennessee.”

Yager plans to implement an online survey in early February to gauge constituent views on key issues that will come before lawmakers in 2021.  He has repeatedly utilized constituent surveys during his legislative tenure which helps guide his decisions on important votes.  More details regarding the survey will be posted soon.

“I want as much input as possible from the people I represent regarding legislation before us this year.  I also stand ready to help citizens navigate state government services, whether it is unemployment benefits, TennCare, or other state services.”

Sen. Yager can be reached by email at sen.ken.yager@capitol.tn.gov, by phone at (615) 741-1449, or by mail at 425 5th Avenue North, Suite 704 Cordell Hull Building, Nashville, TN 37243.

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NASHVILLE — Members of the Senate majority met today in Nashville where they voted to reelect Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) to a top leadership role as Republican Caucus Chairman.  The meeting was held as the General Assembly prepares to open the first session of the 112th General Assembly on January 12. 

Senate Republicans hold a 27-6 super majority, providing direct member representation to citizens in all 95 counties in Tennessee.  

Chairman Yager said, “I am honored and humbled to serve again as Caucus Chair to such a hardworking, talented and committed group of individuals.   We have many challenging issues that await us in the 2021 legislative session. This caucus embraces challenges and will chart a bold, conservative path to support economic recovery efforts, improve education, and provide quality health care services, making Tennessee the best place in the nation to live work and raise a family.

Caucus members also voted to relect Yager to serve on the Joint Fiscal Review Committee.  The committee conducts a continuing review of the financial operations of state government.   He previously served as chairman of the committee.  Yager will be confirmed by a resolution of the full Senate when the General Assembly convenes.

Others elected to Caucus leadership positions include Senator Jack Johnson as Majority Leader, Senator Ferrell Haile (R-Gallatin) as Treasurer, Senator Dawn White (R-Murfreesboro) as Secretary and Senator Shane Reeves (R-Murfreesboro) as Chaplain.   In addition, Lt. Governor Randy McNally was renominated for a third term serving Tennessee.

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