SENATOR KEN YAGER
WHO I REPRESENT
I am honored to represent nine of the finest counties in the Tennessee Senate: Campbell, Clay, Fentress, Macon, Morgan, Overton, Pickett, Roane, and Scott. In Nashville, it is my priority to represent the values and interests of my district.
My wife Malinda and I will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary in 2023. I met her when I was a young lawyer and she was a clerk at the Courthouse. Malinda is absolutely my rock. Incredibly patient with me, she understands my need to be in the district with constituents. We have two adult children, Bonnie-Marie and Will as well as a wonderful son-in-law, Jamie. All three are establishing careers in their own right. Malinda and I attend the First Baptist Church in Kingston. My faith in God is a crucial part of who I am and how I serve my family, community, and Tennessee.
A LIFETIME OF PUBLIC SERVICE
For 47 years I have had the privilege to serve the public. First, as a teacher in the then Harriman City Schools, later as the Roane County Attorney and then Roane County Executive for six terms. Through my decades of experience in local government, I gained valuable knowledge like learning to work together to accomplish a goal, be a good listener, and to respect those I may disagree with. This understanding has helped me to be an effective state senator.
I was first elected to the Tennessee Senate in 2006. In 2018, my Republican colleagues in the Senate elected me to Leadership as Chairman of the Senate Republican Caucus. In this position, I work to advance conservative values in the Senate and I am grateful that my colleagues have trusted me with this important role. During my time in the Senate, I have also chaired committees including the Senate State and Local Government Committee and the Joint Fiscal Review Committee.
MAINTAINING FISCAL CONSERVATISM & LOW TAXES
One of the biggest responsibilities we have as lawmakers is to manage taxpayer dollars. I currently serve on the powerful Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee, where I am guided by conservative fiscal principles as we craft the state budget each year. My local government experience as chairman of the county budget committee taught me to be a sound fiscal manager and helps me on this committee as we balance a $50 billion-plus budget with no new taxes. Because of our fiscal discipline, Tennessee is ranked the #1 state for long-term fiscal stability and has also achieved a three-star credit rating from the national rating agencies.
I understand the importance of economic development and investment in our communities to attract and maintain quality jobs for citizens. I also serve on the Senate Commerce and Insurance Committee, where my priority is to support the cities and counties in my district in recruiting businesses and industries. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and I also work to ensure Tennessee has a business-friendly environment for small businesses to thrive.
Another important ingredient in a prosperous community is great educational opportunities. I am not on the Education Committee, but as a member of Finance, I look for ways to support public education. In 2022, for example, we invested over $1 billion in new funding dollars for education. I can be counted on to visit local schools, community colleges, and TCATs regularly to hear from educators, students, and parents.