Rep. Dan Howell’s Newsroom

Rep. Howell, Sen. Bell announce $630,000 grant for water system improvements in City of Benton

September 16, 2020

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — State Rep. Dan Howell (R-Cleveland) and State Sen. Mike Bell (R-Riceville) today announced $630,000 in community development block grant (CDBG) funding has been approved for the City of Benton to improve the city’s water system.

All funds were allocated under a procedure that the General Assembly has previously authorized, based upon priorities set at local levels where needs are best known.

“This sizeable award will improve the quality, safety and delivery of water for the citizens of Benton,” said Rep. Howell. “I appreciate Sen. Bell and our local leaders for their partnership in securing this important funding, and I remain committed to fighting for additional resources that will support our continued economic development —both in Polk County and throughout House District 22.”

“I am pleased Benton will receive these funds and want to thank our local officials who were instrumental in helping secure them,” said Senator ­­­­Bell, who strongly supported the grant application.  “Clean water and the proper disposal of waste water are important to public health.  This kind of infrastructure is very important to the well-being of our citizens and to the overall economic development of our county.”​

The CDBG program is administered by the Department of Economic and Community Development. For more information please visit: https://www.tn.gov/ecd

 

 

 

State Rep. Dan Howell works to improve transportation for disabled and aging

February 18, 2020

State Rep. Dan Howell introduces legislation to improve transportation for disabled and aging

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) State Rep. Dan Howell, R-Cleveland, today announced legislation aimed at improving transportation options for the disabled and aging populations across the state.

Howell introduced the Tennessee Accessible Transportation and Mobility Act of 2020 (HB1596/SB1612) which would create an office within the Tennessee Department of Transportation dedicated to expanding and improving accessible transportation.

“Public transportation allows people to get to the doctor, work, visit family or friends and improves quality of life overall,” Howell said. “But accessible transportation is the number one barrier keeping our disabled and aging population from being more active in their communities; with this legislation we’ll work to remove those barriers.”

Public transportation is a challenge in certain areas across the state and especially difficult to access for the disabled and aging, Howell said. If the Tennessee Accessible Transportation and Mobility Act of 2020 becomes law, it will require the new office to identify and work to eliminate those barriers.

The goal is to give as much access to public transportation as possible so the elderly and disabled can be out in the community, engaged and living more productive lives, Howell said.

The Tennessee Accessible Transportation and Mobility Act of 2020 has bipartisan support in the General Assembly.  State Rep. Darren Jernigan, D-Old Hickory cosponsors the bill.

“The Tennessee Accessible Transportation and Mobility Act is a first of its kind idea in the United States that will be an incredible step forward for people with disabilities and their access to transportation. Accessible transportation can provide a level of independence and a quality of life that may lead to education opportunities, employment, home ownership, to full incorporation into all levels of society. I’m very proud to co-sponsor this legislation with Chairman Howell,” said State Rep. Darren Jernigan, D-Old Hickory.

For full details of House Bill 1596 visit here.

Dan Howell represents House District 22. He is the chairman of the Transportation committee. He also serves on the Judiciary Committee, Select Committee on Rules, Government Operations Committee, Safety & funding Subcommittee, Infrastructure Subcommittee, Civil Justice Subcommittee, and the Joint Government Operations Commerce, Labor, Transportation and Agriculture Subcommittee.

 

State Representative Dan Howell To Carry Legislation On Behalf Of House Leadership, Governor Bill Lee

March 1, 2019

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R-Portland) and Assistant Majority Leader Ron Gant (R-Rossville) today announced that State Representative Dan Howell (R-Cleveland) has been chosen as a co-prime sponsor to shepherd House Bill 951 through the legislative process on behalf of Republican leadership.

 House Bill 951 is part of Governor Lee’s legislative package for the year, which is traditionally sponsored by the House Majority Leader and Assistant Majority Leader. Because of Representative Howell’s leadership abilities and his passion for advocating on behalf of Tennesseans with intellectual or developmental disabilities, Representative Howell is the ideal person to handle all details relating to this measure.

“Representative Howell is passionate about and has fought for Tennesseans with developmental or intellectual disabilities and their caretakers,” said Leader Lamberth. “I know he will do a great job guiding this initiative through the legislative process, and I look forward to working with him to ensure it passes.”

“I appreciate Representative Howell’s willingness to guide this legislation through the House,” said Assistant Leader Gant. “House Bill 951 will have an incredible impact on our disabled citizens and their families, and I appreciate Representative Howell’s advocacy on their behalf.”

 House Bill 951 removes licensure requirements for citizens who provide direct care to a group of no more than three people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in a Medicaid home or community-based services program. The overall goal is to increase the quality of care available, so these important groups are empowered to live successfully in their communities.

“I am grateful to our Governor, and our House leadership team for asking me to carry this important initiative that will have a tremendous benefit and improve the quality of care for our intellectually, and developmentally disabled citizens and their families,” said Representative Howell. “I have prioritized the needs of these groups throughout my time serving in our General Assembly, and I will continue to fight for additional resources that support them.”

House Bill 951 advanced out of the House Mental Health & Substance Abuse Subcommittee on Wednesday morning. It will now head to the full Health Committee.

 For more information, please click here.

Dan Howell is the Chairman of the House Transportation Committee. He is also a member of member of the House Government Operations, and House Judiciary Committees, as well as the Civil Justice, Infrastructure, and Safety & Funding Subcommittees. Howell lives in Cleveland and represents Tennessee House District 22, which includes Meigs, Polk, and part of Bradley Counties.

 

 

 

Speaker Casada Names Representative Dan Howell Chairman Of House Transportation Committee

January 14, 2019

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada (R-Thompson’s Station) has named State Representative Dan Howell (R-Georgetown) Chairman of the House Transportation Committee.

The 11-person committee will be responsible for all laws pertaining to infrastructure. These include highways, bridges, railroads, air, bus, and vehicular transportation. Additionally, members will oversee rules and regulations related to highways, railroad, air, and waterway usage, as well as the Department of Safety.

“Representative Howell has done an incredible job building strong partnerships with our local leaders throughout Tennessee, which has played a critical role in helping our General Assembly identify and create innovative solutions to better address the unique needs of our citizens,” said Speaker Casada. “I know he will be an effective leader of the House Transportation Committee, and I appreciate his dedication to our state and his service.”

“I am humbled and honored to be appointed Chairman of the House Transportation Committee by Speaker Casada,” said Representative Howell. “Tennessee is experiencing economic growth and prosperity unlike any time we have ever seen before. It is critical that we work to ensure our infrastructure meets present day demands and continue to make improvements in this area in the years ahead. This will solidify the economic future of our state.”

Representative Howell will also serve as a member of the House Government Operations, and House Judiciary Committees, as well as the Civil Justice, Infrastructure, and Safety & Funding Subcommittees. Howell lives in Georgetown and represents Tennessee House District 22, which includes Meigs, Polk, and part of Bradley Counties.

Measure Sponsored By Representative Howell Overhauling State’s Welfare System Passes In House

April 13, 2018

(NASHVILLE) — This week Republican lawmakers passed an initiative sponsored by State Representative Dan Howell (R-Georgetown) designed to overhaul Tennessee’s welfare system.

House Bill 1822 — which passed by an 88-7 vote tally — requires able-bodied adults who receive cash benefits through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program to meet reasonable work requirements in order to continue receiving benefits. The measure also increases assistance for families who meet these requirements by two percent. This increase is designed to better cover the basic needs of approximately 40,000 children who live in Tennessee.

Additionally, House Bill 1822 curbs instances of fraud, waste, and abuse within the current system by allowing Tennessee to partner with surrounding states in order to ensure there is no double dipping of welfare benefits.

The passage of this measure is the latest in a series of Republican-led efforts — which includes House Bill 1551, also sponsored by Representative Howell  — designed to implement work requirements on able-bodied citizens who receive assistance from the state.

Work requirements for entitlement programs encourage self-sufficiency and less dependence on government benefits. In 1996, Congress passed bipartisan welfare reform requiring able-bodied adults to work in order to receive benefits under both SNAP and TANF. The change resulted in millions of people nationwide moving off government assistance and back into the workforce.

In fact, for the first time in more than a decade, the number of Tennesseans receiving SNAP benefits, formerly called food stamps, dropped to less than 1 million this past January.

“This measure ensures program integrity and guarantees that state resources are managed in the most efficient and effective way possible,” said Representative Howell. “We want our citizens to have meaningful employment, and we also want to make sure that those who are receiving benefits are doing so in good faith and are not taking advantage of the system.”

House Bill 1822 now awaits Governor Haslam’s signature. For more information about this initiative, please click here.

Dan Howell serves as the Chairman of the Joint Government Operations Judiciary & Government Subcommittee and as the Vice-Chairman of the House Local Government Committee. He is also a member of the House Government Operations and Joint Government Operations Committees, as well as the House Local Government Subcommittee. Howell lives in Georgetown and represents House District 22, which includes Meigs, Polk, and part of Bradley Counties. He can be reached by email at: Rep.Dan.Howell@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-7799.

Speaker Harwell Appoints Representative Howell To Ocoee River Recreation & Economic Development Board

August 1, 2017

Board will oversee future investments made to preserve the treasured Ocoee River and maintain economic growth

(NASHVILLE) — Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville)  today appointed State Representative Dan Howell (R-Georgetown) to the Ocoee River Recreation & Economic Development Fund Board.

The board was created with the passage of House Bill 74 sponsored by Howell during the 2017 legislative session. This critical initiative saves Tennessee’s prized Ocoee River by supporting recreational water releases on the Ocoee River and also encourages economic growth in the region the Ocoee serves.

The Ocoee River Recreation and Development Fund Board consists of 15 members; each is eligible to serve four-year, renewable terms. The group will oversee future investments in the famed waterway made through the Ocoee River Recreation & Economic Development Fund.

Additionally, they will apply for grants and matching funds in order to sustain the popular whitewater river. They will also request and receive gifts, contributions, and any other donations from public or private sources, create a nonprofit organization for the purpose of fulfilling the mission of the development fund, adopt policies and guidelines for fund usage, conduct studies and make recommendations concerning the Ocoee River management zone, and submit annual reports to the governor, speakers of both the House and Senate, as well as the appropriate legislative committees.

The Ocoee is the most popular whitewater river in the nation; more than 5 million people have utilized it over the last 10 years. The river also hosted the whitewater slalom events during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta; it creates an estimated 640 jobs for Tennesseans through tourism and has a total economic impact of $43.8 million in the southeastern portion of our state.

“I am honored to be appointed to the Ocoee River Recreation & Economic Development Fund Board by Speaker Harwell,” said Representative Howell. “I know our work will continue to enhance our local economy by maintaining and creating jobs; it will also guarantee that our residents and citizens across the country are able to enjoy these historic waters for many more years.”

“Representative Howell is a tremendous asset to this important group that will ensure the Ocoee remains protected and the economic future of southeast Tennessee is sustained,” said Speaker Harwell. “I appreciate his passion for preserving a part of our state’s history, and I thank him for his willingness to serve.”

For more information about House Bill 74/Public Chapter 434, please visit the Tennessee General Assembly website at http://publications.tnsosfiles.com/acts/110/pub/pc0434.pdf

Dan Howell serves as the Chairman of the Joint Government Operations Judiciary & Government Subcommittee and as the Vice-Chairman of the House Local Government Committee. He is also a member of the House Government Operations and Joint Government Operations Committees, as well as the House Local Government Subcommittee. Howell lives in Georgetown and represents House District 22, which includes Meigs, Polk, and part of Bradley Counties. He can be reached by email at: Rep.Dan.Howell@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-7799.

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House Republicans Broaden Access To Broadband Services For Rural Tennesseans

April 12, 2017

(NASHVILLE) — This week, House Republicans passed legislation sponsored by State Representative Kevin Brooks (R-Cleveland) and State Representative Dan Howell (R-Georgetown) that improves access to reliable internet services for Tennesseans living in rural communities.

House Bill 529, also known as the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act, expands broadband internet services across the state — especially to rural Tennessee communities that completely lack coverage — through business investment, deregulation and education.

Coupled with the state budget, the legislation makes targeted investments through grants and tax credits that focus on the state’s underserved or unserved areas. It also permits the state’s private, nonprofit electric cooperatives to provide retail broadband internet service — something they have been completely unable to do in the past.

Tennessee currently ranks 29th in the country for broadband access; thirteen percent of the state actually lacks accessibility to high speed internet. While only 2 percent of the state’s urban citizens lack access, 34 percent of rural residents per capita are without coverage, placing them at a distinct disadvantage over their city counterparts.

“Our rural communities are a critical component of our state’s economy, and this legislation enables them to grow and prosper,” said Representative Brooks. “I’m excited that Tennessee’s rural residents, including those in my district, will now have their needs for affordable and reliable internet services met, thanks to the passage of the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act.”

“The Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act paves the way for the residents of District 22 to have their long-standing internet service needs finally addressed,” said Representative Howell. “ I am pleased that more of my constituents will now have access to dependable broadband internet services.”

The full text of House Bill 529 can be accessed by visiting the Tennessee General Assembly website at: http://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/110/Bill/HB0529.pdf

Kevin Brooks serves as the Vice-Chairman of the House Finance, Ways & Means Committee. He is also a member of the House Calendar & Rules and House Insurance & Banking Committee, as well as the House Finance Ways & Means Subcommittee. Brooks lives in Cleveland and represents House District 24, which includes part of Bradley County. He can be reached by email at Rep.Kevin.Brooks@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-1350.

Dan Howell serves as the Chairman of the Joint Government Operations Judiciary & Government Subcommittee and as the Vice-Chairman of the House Local Government Committee. He is also a member of the House Government Operations and Joint Government Operations Committee, as well as the House Local Government Subcommittee. Howell lives in Georgetown and Represents House District 22, which includes Meigs, Polk and part of Bradley Counties. He can be reached by email at: Rep.Dan.Howell@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-7799.

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Representative Dan Howell Scores Major Win With Legislation To Combat Welfare Fraud In Tennessee

March 13, 2017

(NASHVILLE) — State Representative Dan Howell (R–Georgetown) has scored a major win with the official passage of legislation designed to combat welfare fraud in Tennessee. Once passed by the Senate, the bill will travel to the desk of Governor Bill Haslam to be signed into law.

House Bill 227, referred to as the Program Integrity Act, is the result of over two years of work between Representative Howell and the Department of Human Services (DHS) and TennCare. As passed, the important legislation gives these departments more tools in the toolbox to help reduce welfare fraud across the state.

Specifically, the bill creates a new system of enhanced verification in Tennessee, requiring DHS to conduct quarterly data matches and crosscheck this data in various ways to help eliminate fraudulent payments that are being made. As society becomes more mobile, the bill allows DHS to explore joining a multistate cooperative for identifying individuals who currently receive Tennessee benefits but who live in other states.

“As people move, get jobs and get married, pass away, or simply falsify their economic statuses, the new computerized crosscheck system created by House Bill 227 will help ensure those who are receiving benefits are only those who actually qualify for the programs and who genuinely need state assistance,” said Representative Howell.

In addition to the new enhanced verification system, the legislation also directs the Tennessee Department of Lottery to report to DHS, on a monthly basis, the name, prize amount, and any other identifying information of welfare recipients who win a prize of $5,000 or more. While this rule is already in federal statute requiring welfare recipients to self-report this information, this change simply adds an extra layer of security to the process by adding that the Department of Lottery will also report this information to the state.

“As lawmakers, we must be willing to make hard decisions to ensure Tennessee taxpayer dollars are protected,” continued Howell. “This legislation helps do exactly that and I am honored to have the opportunity to shepherd this bill through the legislative process.”

In Tennessee, studies estimate the state loses approximately $123 million per year in fraudulent payments to people who are not actually qualified to receive benefits.

The full text of House Bill 227 can be found by visiting the Tennessee General Assembly website at: http://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/110/Bill/HB0227.pdf.

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