Rep. Michael Curcio’s Newsroom

Rep. Curcio’s initiative increasing access to affordable health plans effective July 1

June 30, 2020

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — A measure sponsored by State Rep. Michael Curcio (R-Dickson) that increases access to affordable health insurance plans will take effect on July 1, 2020.

Part of the innovative Republican CARE plan, House Bill 874 enables small business associations to partner together to provide affordable health plans for their employees. The overall goal of the legislation is to increase access to quality health care, while lowering overall costs.

 “House Bill 874 supports all Tennessee small businesses by enabling them to provide affordable solutions to address unique health needs for their employees,” said Rep. Curcio. “I appreciate Gov. Lee signing this legislation into law, and I look forward to it taking effect this week. My colleagues and I will never stop fighting for conservative health solutions that improve access and the quality of care available to all Tennesseans, while also driving down overall costs.”

“Specifically, this legislation sets up an environment where small groups can band together to purchase health insurance without state regulations getting in the way,” Curcio added.  “For years, lawmakers have heard from their constituents who own small businesses that they wanted the freedom to work together in this way. That is what this legislation seeks to accomplish, and House Bill 874 is a tailor-made solution for Main Street.”

 For more information on House Bill 874, please click here.

 Michael Curcio serves as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. He is also a member of the Joint Fiscal Review Committee, Calendar and Rules Committee, Naming Designating and Private Acts Committee, the Civil Justice Subcommittee, Criminal Justice Subcommittee, Children and Families Subcommittee, and the Constitutional Protections and Sentencing Subcommittee.

Conservative Management and Emergency Preparedness

March 18, 2020

My grandfather used to say “if you always live like you’re in a recession, you’ll never experience one.”  This is sage advice and is exactly what your Tennessee General Assembly and State Leadership believe.

First, I want to address the novel Coronavirus which began in China and has now made its way across Europe and the Americas.  It is not appropriate to panic, but it is appropriate to take this seriously.

What we know is that as testing kits come online, we will see a sharp rise in the infection rate in Tennessee.  Right now, we can test about 100 people per day, but as new testing kits make their way into the market, we hope to ramp that number up to more than 20,000 per day by the end of next week.

When that happens, the number of confirmed cases will spike immediately.  Remember, those are cases that already exist, but have not been confirmed through a test.  This sharp spike should be no cause for alarm, but again, we need to take this seriously.

What we have seen in other countries that were hit first, is that many people show no symptoms at all.  In fact, in South Korea and Singapore, where testing has been widespread, they found that the average age of infection was in the 20-40-year-old population, but many of those showed mild to no symptoms.

The danger here is that many of us could unwittingly spread the virus to our older friends and neighbors, or those who are immunocompromised because of diabetes, heart disease, or some other underlying condition, and for them, the respiratory reaction to the disease could well be deadly.

The most important thing you can do is stay a safe distance from those who could be most vulnerable.  Even if you feel well, you could be endangering a loved one.

Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention call for limiting groups to no more than 10 and to keep six feet away from others.  If at all possible, they are asking anyone who can to work from home.  This “social distancing” will keep everyone from getting sick at once, and therefore not overrun our health care system as happened in Italy.

Now to the state:

Tennessee is known across the country for its conservative fiscal management.  Regardless of who has been in charge, we have always been a “pay as you go” state known for paying cash for our roads and having the lowest taxes and lowest debt of any state in the nation.  Until last week, we were at record highs for growth and expansion in Tennessee. With our national reputation for being pro-business and pro-opportunity, we have attracted some of the youngest and brightest minds from across the country to choose Tennessee as their new home.

Businesses have flocked here like never before, and as a result, state coffers are filled.  With more than $1 billion in our state savings account, we were ready for a storm.  The storm is here, and we are prepared.

Your state government has been hard at work and taking immediate action.  In three days, we have cut more than $1 billion from the state budget and have prioritized what will be essential to running our state should this pandemic last longer than anticipated.

With an already generously funded rainy day fund, this proposed provisional budget will also invest an additional $300 million in that fund to make sure we are well capitalized.  Tennessee is prepared and government will continue to provide the necessary resources that our citizens will need as we weather this storm.

Upon passing a conservative provisional budget, the Tennessee General Assembly will adjourn for at least eight weeks so that we do not endanger the staff and so many state employees who will need to be home with their families during the peak of the infection rate.  This will allow our health care system the time it needs to make sure we can treat as many of the elderly and immunocompromised of our citizens over a manageable period of time.  The name of the game is not to flood the system.

At the end of this period, your state government will get immediately back to work on the legislative session that began in January.  There is much work to be done.  Gov. Bill Lee’s priorities of criminal justice reform, new literacy standards for Tennessee school children, and an increase and emphasis on our mental health and substance abuse problem will all be back on the table when we reconvene.

On March 16, the General Assembly was briefed by medical experts about the virus.  During this briefing, one of the experts shared a quote by Michael O. Leavitt, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under President George W. Bush that I think is important for us all to consider.  He said: “Everything we do before a pandemic will seem alarmist.  Everything we do after a pandemic will seem inadequate.  This is the dilemma we face, but it should not stop us from doing what we can to prepare.  We need to reach out to everyone with words that inform, but not inflame. We need to encourage everyone to prepare, but not panic.”

Tennessee is prepared with solid fiscal policy and conservative management, and we need our citizens to be prepared with adherence to CDC guidelines on social distancing and personal health and well care.

On the other side of this, we will emerge stronger and more prepared for what lies ahead.

Michael Curcio represents the 69th House District which includes Hickman and part of Maury and Dickson counties. He serves as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. He is also a member of the Joint Fiscal Review Committee, Calendar and Rules Committee, Naming Designating and Private Acts Committee, the Civil Justice Subcommittee, Criminal Justice Subcommittee, Children and Families Subcommittee, and the Constitutional Protections and Sentencing Subcommittee.

State Rep. Michael Curcio proposes drug-free zone reform

February 28, 2020

House Bill 2517 saves $18 million in taxpayer dollars

Nashville, Tenn. – State Rep. Michael Curcio has proposed legislation that would reform Tennessee’s drug-free zones and free up approximately $18 million that could be used for public safety and rehabilitation.

House Bill 2517 would shrink drug-free zones from 1,000 to 500 feet and allow judges to use discretion to waive mandatory zone sentencing enhancements. The bill ensures the punishment fits the crime when children and communities are endangered but doesn’t paint nonviolent addicts with the same brush.

In reaction to the war on drugs in the 1980s, many well-intentioned laws creating drug-free school zones spread nationwide that triggered automatic, mandatory penalties for drug convictions, said Curcio, who serves as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

“Unfortunately, this policy did not accomplish the outcomes the legislature intended when they were adopted in Tennessee,” Curcio said. “The end-result has been that we’ve taken our judges’ ability to use discretion for appropriate sentencing, increased our prison population and have been largely ineffective at reducing crimes near schools.”

Drug-free zones include public or private elementary, middle, secondary schools, child care agencies, public libraries, recreational centers and parks.

The special protection of a drug-free area loses meaning when offenders don’t know they’re in a zone or the crime occurs when children aren’t present.

Current law requires an offender in possession of a half-gram of cocaine in a drug-free zone to serve a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison for a first-time, nonviolent offense.  By comparison, a second-degree murder conviction carries a minimum sentence of 15 years, but with an opportunity for release after 13 years.

Curcio’s bill gives judges discretion to apply more appropriate sentencing for varying factors and circumstances.

“A judge should be able to weigh whether an offender deserves a stronger sentence because they were very clearly near a school purposefully involving children in their crime verses applying leniency for someone found in possession of a small amount of drugs during a routine traffic stop at a time when there couldn’t possibly be children on school premises,” Curcio said.

By shrinking drug-free zones and applying more appropriate sentences, House Bill 2517 creates a savings of more than $18 million that can be reinvested in resources to make justice more efficient in Tennessee.

“Rather than continuing to spend money on a practice we know is not working, we can put every bit of that savings toward resources for prevention, rehabilitation and law enforcement. Right-sizing the drug-free zone statute is the right reform at the right time,” Curcio said.

For more on House Bill 2517, go here.

Michael Curcio represents the 69th House District which in includes Hickman and part of Maury and Dickson counties. He serves as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. He is also a member of the Joint Fiscal Review Committee, Calendar and Rules Committee, Naming Designating and Private Acts Committee, the Civil Justice Subcommittee, Criminal Justice Subcommittee, Children and Families Subcommittee, and the Constitutional Protections and Sentencing Subcommittee. 

 

 

Chairman Curcio Introduces Legislation Implementing Balanced Community Oversight Board Guidelines

February 5, 2019

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — State Representative Michael Curcio (R-Dickson) today introduced legislation aimed at creating balance within community oversight boards across Tennessee.

Backed by Republican leadership, this legislation balances both the interests of our citizens to voice their opinion while also protecting the fundamental rights of officers and their families from malicious or politically focused persecution.

Community oversight boards have existed since the 1950s, and there are presently no guidelines outlined in Tennessee state law that defines how they are created, who can serve on them, and what their specific function is. This measure provides much needed structure to all current and future community oversight boards in Tennessee, which is critical to their overall success, as well as overall safety in Tennessee.

“I am pleased to introduce this legislation that creates an all-inclusive approach to enhance transparency within our police departments, while also ensuring everyone is treated respectfully and justly during any review of misconduct involving our law enforcement members,” said Representative Curcio. “This legislation mirrors best practices observed by the National Institute for Justice and will help create a balanced solution that benefits all involved.”

“As Republican leaders, we support our brave men and women in uniform who risk their lives and make tremendous sacrifices as they serve their communities,” said members of House Republican Leadership. “We also remain committed to protecting the voice of our citizens and understand the importance of holding law enforcement to a higher standard of conduct. Not only does this legislation address the critical need for transparency, but it is a fair solution to all.”

BACKGROUND

  • This legislation places guardrails on community oversight boards statewide in three significant ways:

o   Removes subpoena power.

o   Requires reporting to the General Assembly.

o   Limits the board to registered voters from the jurisdiction for which it serves.

  • The board will not restrict or limit its membership based upon demographics, economic status, or employment history.
  • Any document provided to the board by agencies shall be treated as confidential and shall not be released to the public.
  • There are mechanisms currently in place to provide oversight of our law enforcement (e.g., TBI, DA, and Comptroller), but this bill acknowledges support of citizen boards while implementing best practices.

Speaker Casada Names Representative Michael Curcio Chairman Of The House Judiciary Committee

January 11, 2019

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada (R-Thompson’s Station) today named State Representative Michael Curcio (R-Dickson) Chairman of the newly created House Judiciary Committee.

He previously served as Vice-Chairman of the House Criminal Justice Committee during the 110th Tennessee General Assembly.

The 26-person House Judiciary Committee will be responsible for all criminal and civil laws; judicial proceedings; executors, administrators, wills, divorce, and other family matters; all proceedings related to the courts, and law enforcement issues.

“Representative Curcio has a remarkable record of legislative excellence during his time serving his community as a member of our General Assembly,” said Speaker Casada. “His knowledge and expertise in these important areas will benefit the entire House as well as our great state. I know he will be an effective leader of this important committee.”

“I am honored that Speaker Casada has appointed me to serve as Chairman of the distinguished House Judiciary Committee,” said Representative Curcio. “Tennessee has made incredible progress in improving the safety and well-being of its citizens and their communities in recent years. I know my colleagues and I are committed to creating new solutions to some of the complex issues that still remain in these important areas both this year and in the years ahead.”

State Representative Michael Curcio Elected To Serve On Fiscal Review Committee

November 30, 2018

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — State Representative Michael Curcio (R-Dickson) has been elected by his colleagues in the House Republican Caucus to serve as a member of the Fiscal Review Committee.

The function of this committee is to conduct a continuing review of items such as revenue collections, budget requests, the recommended executive budget, appropriations, work programs, allotments, reserves, impoundments, the state debt, as well as the condition of various state funds.

Additionally, Fiscal Review is responsible for preparing fiscal notes for all general bills and resolutions introduced in the General Assembly that have a financial impact on state or local government. Members also review all audits prepared by the Comptroller of the Treasury and conduct public hearings on significant repeat audit findings.

“I am grateful for the support and trust my colleagues have placed in me to serve as a member of this important committee,” said Representative Curcio. “Tennessee is a national model for fiscal responsibility; I know my colleagues and I will work tirelessly to ensure our state remains fiscally sound in the years ahead.”

The 111th General Assembly convenes on January 8, 2019. All members will be sworn into office at noon.

Representative Curcio, Senator Hensley Announce Archives Development Grant For Maury County

October 9, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — State Representative Michael Curcio (R-Dickson) and State Senator Joey Hensley (R-Hohenwald)said today that they have been informed by Secretary of State Tre Hargett that the Maury County Archives will receive an archives development grant.  The $4,800 grant will be used for digitization training utilizing a consultant, and digitization of a sampling of prioritized records for the preservation, arrangement, and description of historic records.

“This investment in our local archives is tremendous news for the citizens of Maury County,” said Representative Curcio. “These funds will enable our facility to modernize their process of protecting important historical documents and information so future generations will be able to learn about our impressive history.”

“The preservation of Maury County’s proud history is an important cause and we were pleased to have supported the application for this grant,” added Senator Hensley. “This funding will help better protect our important historical information and improve access for citizens.  I congratulate our local officials for their work on helping secure these funds and thank Secretary Hargett for recognizing the need.”

Michael Curcio serves as Vice-Chairman of the House Criminal Justice Committee. He is also a member of the House Insurance & Banking Committee, as well as the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee. Curcio lives in Dickson and represents House District 69, which includes Hickman County, as well as parts of Dickson and Maury Counties. He can be reached by email atRep.Michael.Curcio@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-3513.

Joey Hensley serves as 2nd Vice-Chair of the Senate Finance, Ways, & Means Committee. He is also 2nd Vice-Chair of the Senate Health & Welfare Committee, as well as a member of the Senate Education Committee. Hensley lives in Hohenwald and represents Senate District 28, which includes Giles, Lawrence, Lewis, Maury, Perry and Wayne Counties. He can be reached by email at Sen.Joey.Hensley@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-3100.

Representative Michael Curcio Named Legislator Of The Year By American Council Of Engineering Companies Of Tennessee

October 2, 2018

(NASHVILLE) — State Representative Michael Curcio (R-Dickson) has been named Legislator of the Year by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Tennessee.

Curcio recently received the honor at the annual Tennessee Engineers’ Conference, held in Franklin, Tennessee.

This award — presented by the statewide organization of more than 110 engineering companies that employ more than 4,000 citizens and contributes approximately $350 million annually to the state’s economy — thanks Curcio for his outstanding leadership and advocacy on behalf of our engineers.

“It is a remarkable honor to receive this prestigious award from Tennessee’s engineers,” said Representative Curcio. “I am humbled that they chose to recognize me, and I will continue to support this important industry by backing initiatives that encourage job growth and enable engineering-related businesses to continue to thrive in cities and towns across our state.”

For more information about ACEC of Tennessee, please click here.

Michael Curcio serves as Vice-Chairman of the House Criminal Justice Committee. He is also a member of the House Insurance & Banking Committee, as well as the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee. Curcio lives in Dickson and Represents House District 69, which includes Hickman County, as well as parts of Dickson and Maury Counties. He can be reached by email at:Rep.Michael.Curcio@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-3513.

Representative Curcio’s SAFE Act Already Producing Positive Impact For Tennesseans Battling Addiction

July 31, 2018

(NASHVILLE) — A measure sponsored by State Representative Michael Curcio (R-Dickson) during the 2018 legislative session is already producing a positive impact on Tennesseans who are battling addiction.

As part of the ongoing efforts of Representative Curcio and House Republicans to address Tennessee’s opioid and drug crisis,House Bill 1929 — known as the Stopping Addiction & Fostering Excellence (SAFE) Act — ensures that patients who utilize recovery houses in Tennessee receive high quality care that empowers them to overcome their struggles with addiction. The measure passed almost unanimously in both the House and Senate Chambers back in April and was signed into law by Governor Haslam in early May.

Since its creation, there has been a dramatic increase in sober living facilities across the state applying for membership with the Tennessee Alliance of Recovery Residences (TNARR). This nonprofit organization was established to evaluate and monitor the quality of care in the rapidly growing field of addiction recovery related services across Tennessee. The TNARR is known and recognized for endorsing best practices related to the operation of these types of facilities.

Additionally, many of Middle Tennessee’s most reputable treatment providers have begun solely referring patients to TNARR-certified recovery residences. This guarantees they will receive high quality care from facilities that are focused on implementing a more customized and targeted treatment plan to better assist them in their recovery efforts.

“It is exciting and rewarding for me to see the positive impact that the SAFE Act is already having on our residents who desire help in their battle with addiction,” said Representative Curcio. “I know this initiative will lay a foundation for responsible sober living laws across our state that will help more Tennesseans end their cycle of addiction by utilizing services that provide the best care possible.”

Tennessee’s opioid epidemic claimed the lives of more than 1,600 Tennesseans in 2016 alone.  Each day in our state, at least three people die from opioid-related overdoses. This is more than Tennessee’s daily number of traffic fatalities.

For more information about House Bill 1929, please click here.

Michael Curcio serves as Vice-Chairman of the House Criminal Justice Committee. He is also a member of the House Insurance & Banking Committee, as well as the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee. Curcio lives in Dickson and Represents House District 69, which includes Hickman County, as well as parts of Dickson and Maury Counties. He can be reached by email at:Rep.Michael.Curcio@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-3513.

State Representative Mary Littleton and State Representative Michael Curcio Encourage Residents To Utilize Annual Sales Tax Holiday

July 24, 2018

(NASHVILLE) — With the beginning of a new school year right around the corner, State Representative Mary Littleton (R-Dickson) and State Representative Michael Curcio (R-Dickson) are encouraging the families who live in Cheatham, Dickson, Hickman, and Maury Counties to utilize the state’s annual sales tax holiday to save on items such as clothing, school and art supplies, as well as computer purchases.

The state’s annual Tax Free Weekend is set for July 27-July 29. It begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 27 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, July 29. This holiday was established by the Tennessee General Assembly in 2006 and has been held every year since; tax-free purchases include clothing valued at $100 or less, school or art supplies costing $100 or less, and computers priced at $1,500 or less.

“Our annual sales tax holiday is another way we are helping the citizens of our community meet the growing needs of their families while also saving more of their hard-earned money,” said Representative Littleton. “This event also supports our local businesses and sparks the economy right here in our region.”

“The cost of school supplies can truly restrict a family’s budget,” said Representative Curcio. “I believe this Tax Free Weekend will give our families a little more financial flexibility while enabling them to get their children ready for what we hope is another successful school year.”

Since 2011, House Republicans have cut more than $800 million in taxes in an effort to put more money back into the pockets of hardworking citizens. These include completely phasing out the inheritance tax, eliminating the gift tax, raising the exemption level on the Hall tax and scheduling its complete phase out over the next 2.5 years, reducing the sales tax on groceries by almost 30 percent, reducing taxes on Tennessee’s manufacturers in order to recruit new industry to our state, and lowering the amount of property tax owed by veterans, the disabled, and the elderly.

For more information about the state’s annual Tax Free Weekend, please visit: https://www.tn.gov/revenue/taxes/sales-and-use-tax/sales-tax-holiday.html

Michael Curcio serves as Vice-Chairman of the House Criminal Justice Committee. He is also a member of the House Insurance & Banking Committee, as well as the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee. Curcio lives in Dickson and Represents House District 69, which includes Hickman County, as well as parts of Dickson and Maury Counties. He can be reached by email at: Rep.Michael.Curcio@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-3513.

Mary Littleton is a member of the House State Government Committee and Subcommittee, as well as the House Criminal Justice Committee. Littleton lives in Dickson and represents House District 78, which includes Cheatham and part of Dickson Counties. She can be reached by email at: Rep.Mary.Littleton@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-7477.