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40th District Rep Hale Set For Town Hall Forums In Dekalb, Jackson Counties

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
40th District Rep Hale Set For Town Hall Forums In Dekalb, Jackson Counties

40th District Representative Michael Hale will hold the third of four town hall meetings Tuesday night, as he visits with constituents in Dekalb County.

Hale said the tour gives him the chance to update residents about the work going on in Nashville. He said the most common question so far has been the financial stability of the state.

The tour also gives him the chance to hear issues that locals would like the legislature to address.

“If there’s issues that we need to be looking at as we move into session in January, I wanted to be able to have these now to be able to work towards legislation,” Hale said. “Or even if it’s not a bill that we need to pass, if there’s just a conversation we need to have to accomplish something that makes life better for our folks in the 40th District, then we start having those conversations. And if it’s a law that needs to be changed, if there’s something that needs to be amended or whatever, then we work towards that.”

Hale said his legislative assistant attends the meetings, helping to work individual issues through the proper channels of state government.

The Tuesday night session begins at 6:30pm at the DeKalb County Community Complex in Smithville. The final event takes place Thursday September 21 in Jackson County. That Town Hall begins at 6pm at Timeless Events on Main.

The first two sessions gave Hale the chance to hear from residents in Cannon and Smith Counties. He said the forums provide a chance for those on both sides of issues to ask questions and express views. For example, Hale heard from some Smith County residents Monday who wanted to toughen the state’s red flag laws.

“But then I had people in Cannon County that applauded the fact that we stood up and fought for and defended second amendment rights, which we’re going to continue to,” Hale said. “So the same question came up but one was just totally against any kind of guns.”

In Cannon County, Hale said he heard from several transgender residents concerned about issues being discussed by state leaders. Monday night’s Smith County gathering also featured questions and updates on broadband expansion.

Hale said he believes in getting local feedback and reaction to what’s being considered in Nashville. He said that goes beyond just talking to city and county leaders.

“If it’s in a certain profession, I’ll reach out to those professionals in our area or they have lobbyists that is their voice at the capitol and that we talk to,” Hale said. “And so I’ll go to them, ‘hey, how is this going to affect you? Are you good with this? What do we need?’ During special session I reached out to our judges. There was a bill that I didn’t feel comfortable with as the way it was. So I reached out to three of the judges real quickly, sent them a text, and they had some issues.”

Hale said he would like to have the meetings once every six months. But he added, residents should know they can call him at any time.


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