State Senator Janice Bowling Talks Priorities: Abortion Remains Burial and Fiber to Premises for Rural Communities

State Senator Janice Bowling Talks Priorities: Abortion Remains Burial and Fiber to Premises for Rural Communities


Live from Music Row Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed (TN-16) Senator Janice Bowling to the newsmakers line to discuss her priorities in the current session with common-sense bills that she’s passed and continues to work towards.

Leahy: We are joined now on our newsmaker line by our good friend, State Senator Janice Bowling from Tullahoma. Good morning, Senator Bowling.

Bowling: Good morning, Michael. How are you in Nashville?

Leahy: Well, we’re delighted that we have this time to chat with you. Very busy time in the Tennessee General Assembly. You’ve been pretty busy at it as well. Tell us what your priorities are and how they’re doing so far.

Bowling: Well, I’ve had several priorities with this session, and one was to get the bill passed that allows for the burial of the human remains of a child after an abortion. And that sounds like, my goodness, what were they doing prior to now? But that legislation has passed out of committee very handily. And hopefully we will get that on the floor and that will be passed in Tennessee. There had been no regulatory oversight for that. And even though we had regulatory oversight for veterinarians on what to do with animals, we had nothing for the human remains, even abortion.

Leahy: That sounds like common sense legislation to me, Senator Bowling.

Bowling: It really was common decency, common sense. I think it was Supreme Court Justice Thomas and his talk with the majority when it was approved by the U.S. Supreme Court that he said the insane thing is that we would have to be even discussing that this would take place and would be appropriate to take place.

Leahy: I agree with Justice Thomas. I almost always agree with him.

Bowling: So do I. I really admire him so much. And then another bill that I’ve carried now for multiple years, Michael, is the expansion of fiber to the premises in Tennessee, particularly in rural Tennessee. Fiber to the premises. And at one time I said high-speed Internet. But then you get into discussions with all of the providers about what constitutes high-speed Internet.

And they were trying to say 10 megs down and three megs up. Well, you need symmetrical these days. You’ve got to have upload and download speeds. The only thing that really gives you symmetry is fiber. So rather than trying to argue the points that 10 megs down and three megs up is more like a tom tom drum or kerosene lantern that you waive in the window it’s really not appropriate for 21st century needs.

I just left off anything that said broadband and went straight to fiber to the premises because, with that, you can stream videos. You can do voice over Internet. You will have more than adequate bandwidth and speed for everything. And it’s really 80 percent of your cost is going to be in the installation of the product. So go ahead and put in what’s future proof. You don’t need radio waves in rural Tennessee. Hills, hollers, trees, and weather, those things all interrupt. Plus they’re not secure. So that was one thing. And I did get four votes in committee this year.

Leahy: So you keep making progress on that. Senator Bowling, you know what this reminds me of? This reminds me of the Rural Electrification Act in the 1930s.

Bowling: 1937. You are exactly correct. And what some of my colleagues say incorrectly, in my opinion, is that you’re trying to interfere with the free market. Well, I would submit to you that when a company has regulatory protection and has tax subsidies, which is what the legacy providers, as they call them have and they’ve gotten the benefits of universal tax since the 1990s.

About five years ago, one of the largest providers had received over nine billion dollars of tax subsidy in order to expand broadband into rural America. And one of the providers gets $500,000. a month from Tennesseeans to expand the product. And we are still without it.

Leahy: What is the state of that in the status of fiber to the premises in rural Tennessee right now?

Bowling: Well, right now, the sad tragedy is that if you have electricity anywhere in Tennessee, you have fiber running in front of your home because TVA requires SCADA systems and those are internal auditings if you will. They determine if there’s an outage. Where is it? It’s an internal ability to know exactly where you are online, where you’re not, and many other facets of the provision of electricity.

Now, Chattanooga got a grant back when Obama was President, and fortunately, they used it successfully. They created the SCADA system for Chattanooga, and they then expanded that into fiber to the premises. And we all know what has happened in Chattanooga since that happened. Someone complained about the source of the original grant. And my theory on that is, I don’t like for the government to pay for things, but once they roast that hog, I want to make sure that my people, my constituents, get as many ribs as they can.

Leahy: (Laughs) I’ve not heard that phrase, but where did you pick up that phrase? That’s a good one.

Bowling: That is a Janice. I have lots of phrases.

Leahy: Do you? I love that phrase. That’s very good.

Bowling: But it’s very common sense. And on my mountain, within my district and the rural seven counties, they have a lot of sayings that I have picked up on, such as plain talk which is easily understood. And when you talk plainly it is. Everyone knows exactly what’s being discussed, and you don’t need to flower things up. Sometimes you just need to give the truth, the plain truth, and nothing but the truth. And they also say if there’s a problem, there’s a solution. If there is no solution, there is no problem. Think about it.

Leahy: Well, I think also, your ability to craft a phrase may come from your long experience as a teacher. You were a teacher. And now you represent the Tullahoma and the surrounding counties in the state Senate.

Bowling: Yes. As a matter of fact, I taught when my husband was in graduate school, then he went into the Air Force and we went to California, and we began our family…

Listen to the second hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.







All Star Panelist Crom Carmichael and Senator Mark Pody Discuss Tennessee General Assembly Agenda and Vaccination Exemption

All Star Panelist Crom Carmichael and Senator Mark Pody Discuss Tennessee General Assembly Agenda and Vaccination Exemption


Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael and Senator Mark Pody (TN-17) to the studio to discuss the Tennessee General Assembly’s remaining agenda and upcoming vaccination bill which advocates for governmental exemption status.

Leahy: In studio the original all-star panelist, Crom Carmichael, and State Senator Mark Pody from Wilson County. Senator Pody, what’s on the agenda for the remaining month of the Tennessee General Assembly?

Pody: Well, to start with today is a big day because we have a vaccination bill that is going to be heard in the health committee.

Leahy: Now, when you say vaccination bill, tell us what that bill is and does.

Pody: Alright. So what that bill is going to do and is being carried by Senator Janice Bowling Aad it’s going to say that if you have a religious exemption or if you have a conscience that says you don’t want to get that vaccination, you cannot be forced by the government to take that vaccination.

Leahy: Now, that seems to me like a common sense and individual liberty bill. This bill died, didn’t it and then it came back?

Pody: Yes. A similar bill died, and there was one that I was actually carrying earlier this year and it died in the House. So we had the votes in the Senate to pass the bill, but it died in the House. And we currently have this exemption right now in the state of Tennessee. However, if the governor calls an emergency, then that exemption goes away.

And for whatever reason, just because we call it an emergency does not mean that our constitutional rights or religious freedoms should be stepped on. And that’s what this bill does. It’s going to say even underneath an emergency, that we have the right to say we don’t want that vaccination.

Leahy: What are the prospects of it passing the health committee in the House today?

Pody: I think it’s a pretty good chance right now. I talked to the chairman of that committee, and he is for it and he’s on board with it. And I know Joey Hensley is on that committee, and he’s going to be for it. So I think we have a good shot. But there’s going to be a rally down there at the Capitol today with Gary Humble and Tennessee Stands.

Leahy: He was in studio here with Ben Cunningham on Wednesday when I was out of town in Tallahassee putting together The Florida Capital Star deal.

Carmichael: You know, what’s interesting about that bill is that I think you said that government does not have the right to do that.

Pody: Yes.

Carmichael: If you watch what the Biden administration is trying to do with this so-called health card passport, he says they’re working with private industry. So what they’ve done is they’ve kind of looked at the way that if you’re protected by Section 230, then corporations are able to do the bidding of the Democrat Party by canceling and demonetizing people who disagree with progressive policies.

So rather than have the federal government try to pass a national bill on a COVID passport, they’re working with big companies to try to get those companies to force it. So it’s the private sector. So what the Senator is saying here is the government won’t be able to do it. But it sounds like that under your bill, a large private company or private employer could impose a restriction on everyone who doesn’t carry a COVID passport.

Pody: That’s correct.

Carmichael: Whether over a religious exemption or not, they would still have to carry the passport, which means they have to go have the vaccine.

Pody: That’s correct. Now, this bill is only focused on government. There is another bill that’s coming that would actually address the private industry as well. But that’s not the one that’s up to date. This is the one that’s coming today. And we’re working through that. The other issue that’s coming up is money. We’re going to be passing the budget in April, and we have money in Tennessee. Tennessee is a well-run state, one of the best in the entire nation. Unlike the federal government, we only spend the money we have. We don’t go into debt. We are one the lowest debt in the nation.

Leahy: Crom, you might want to weigh on this.

Carmichael: Well, what’s interesting is this because the Senator is right. We are a very well run state. We’re a very low tax state. We have no income tax. We have no estate tax. We don’t even have a tax now on interest in dividends. And the people on the left said if you eliminate those taxes, you’ll lose your revenue.

Leahy: They were wrong.

Carmichael: They were wrong. Because when you eliminate those taxes, you become more attractive to people to move to your state who create wealth. The states with the highest income taxes are the ones that run the biggest deficits. The corollary is just as clear as it can be. California and New York are terribly run states with huge deficits, as is Illinois. Please, go ahead.

Pody: I got to tell you, the people that are moving here out of those kinds of states because of their tax problems are coming here. We just don’t want them to bring their same politics here because they’re going to turn us into that kind of taxing state.

Carmichael: If there’s any extra money, have it to fund an educational program for newly minted Tennesseeans. (Laughter)

Leahy: That’s actually not a joke, because, as it turns out, there’s an idea called The Welcome Wagon.

Carmichael: I love it.

Leahy: Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit has put this out. There’s some teeth behind it. And State Senator Pody, we’re going to bring this to you when it is fully developed in the next couple of weeks.

Pody: I look forward to it.

Carmichael: I love that. That’s right.

Leahy: We’re in the business of finding out ideas that Crom will love. (Laughter)

Listen to the full third hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.








State Senator Janice Bowling Talks Priorities: Abortion Remains Burial and Fiber to Premises for Rural Communities

Tennessee State Senator Janice Bowling Talks About Her Bills Addressing Vaccine Mandates and Medical Cannabis


Live from Music Row Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed (TN-16) Senator Janice Bowling to the newsmakers line to discuss her proposed legislation regarding Covid-19 vaccine mandates and medical cannabis.

Leahy: And joining us now on our newsmaker line by our good friend from Tullahoma, State  Senator, Janice Bowling. Senator Bowling welcome to the Tennessee Star Report.

Bowling: Michael Patrick, thank you so much. Thank you for inviting me. I look forward to our discussions today.

Leahy: Well, you know, I think the last time we met was at a Tea Party event down here, too. I don’t remember the name of the place. There was a great barbecue place I think down in Tullahoma and you were the featured speaker and did a great job there.

Bowling: Well, thank you so much. I believe that would have been Praters Barbecue.

Leahy: Exactly! What a great place that was. It was a fun event.

Bowling: It was a fun event. He’s a great guy. He lives in Warren County. And in my district Patrick when I was elected eight years ago all of my courthouses were Democrat. A lot of people don’t realize that. And now two of them actually Republican. Two of them are purple if you will. Others would come to change into the Republican Party if we would allow them to run as Republicans because these are old-time southern Democrats that are pro-gun, pro-God, pro-life, and pro-less government. And they’ve recognized that the party left them a long time ago.

Leahy: A long time ago. Now the regular session of the Tennessee General Assembly resumes a week from tomorrow. You have some legislation there. I guess the theme would be around healthcare and freedom of choice. You’ve got two or three bills about the vaccine. Tell us about what bills there are?

Bowling: The vaccine bills are really straightforward. They’re just saying that there can be no mandate and that people have the liberty to determine what they want to put in their bodies and what they don’t want to put in their body. Some facts of this ‘vaccine’ are really more of a therapy. It does not meet the classic definition of vaccine which would be a part of a dead card and attenuated part in some way of a viral pathogen that they would then put in your body.

So that it would stimulate your body to create your immune system to create antigens to fight that pathogen. So this is more of a Messenger RNA. It’s the first time ever that a synthetic Messenger RNA would be put into the body. And then it would and they’re still not sure because they never tested it. But my point is whether you think it’s fantastic or whether you want to not take it and you would prefer to continue doing what you’re doing with maybe taking Ivermectin or a Vitamin D3 of 3,000 national units a day. Zinc and Vitamin C things that are good treatments for prophylactics against getting Covid-19.

Leahy: So your bill specifically would prohibit that. I guess one of them would prohibit employers from requiring that as a condition of employment you take the vaccine?

Bowling: That’s exactly right. It protects the condition of employment, the mandate to take it, and then there are also some other things that I’m looking at that would involve discrimination against people who choose to take it or not take it. And so a discrimination would be a direct or indirect act or practice of exclusive, distinction, restriction, segregation limitation refusal denial, or other actions practiced and of differentiation on people who have chosen not to take the vaccine versus the general public. Maybe those who have or have not taken it. And I think it’s kind of funny to, well not funny, but absurd that they would be inquiring into your private medical information in order to discriminate against you.

Leahy: What are the prospects of that bill the particular one I guess we’ll start off with that is not making it mandatory where employers can’t make it mandatory that you take it as a condition of employment getting passed? What committee does is it in? Do you have a House co-sponsor? What are its prospects for passage?

Bowling: That House seat is the House co-sponsor and the prospects I think are very good. I was interviewed with a different reporter a few days ago and she commented, well, no one’s doing this. And I said exactly and that’s why we want to codify the reality of right now. This is a simple bill that shouldn’t be controversial. It should be something that we would never take a private personal medical decision to be used as a condition for employment.

And as to whether or not you can use public transportation or go to an event as to whether or not you’ve had this vaccine. And as I’ve said earlier, it’s really more of a therapy than immunization in the classic sense. So I think there are already people who are getting Covid-19 after having both shots. A congressman recently I think received both shots, and then he has acquired Covid-19. But it’s not a frightening thing because there are Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin and other very good treatments.

I think our problem initially was that we believe the Communist Chinese Party and their prescribed treatment which was ventilators. And once we determined in America that that really would be a last resort, not a first choice, people began to look and see other methods of treatment. And Hydroxychloroquine was just announced the week before last by the American Medical Association to be the treatment of choice. Amazing isn’t that?

Leahy: Yeah, it really is a different from what you heard at the beginning of this back in March of 2020. Now what kind of opposition does this bill have how vigorous is the opposition and what’s their argument against it?

Bowling: As of this point we have only been up there for organization. Then we were up there for the special session. And last week I had to go up for some government ops meetings that I was chairing. So next Monday when we get back into our regular session and we have until Thursday close of business next week to file all of our bills. Then we will start really hearing more things that people are going to support. Things that people going to oppose because I have some gun carry bills that some people oppose. And I guess if there weren’t some people opposing it I would worry about it.

Leahy: Good point. So Senator Bowling here’s another bill that I’ve seen that you’re interested in putting forward. And since you’ve got a strong conservative record, and I think you’ve been proposing this for some time people might think well, this is not necessarily conservative. But I think you probably have a response to that. So you’re going to I think introduce again a bill to make medical cannabis legal. Do I have that right?

Bowling: We certainly do. And you certainly have the history of that right as well. I am conservative. I’m very conservative. And I was so opposed to medical cannabis until I studied the facts and eliminated the urban legends. And, why I studied the fact, goes back to legislation I carried in 2015 and got it passed.

The repeal of the Intractable Pain Act of 2001. Our General Assembly in 2001 at the behaves of purview pharmaceutical passed legislation that gave the legal standing for these pill mills. It said if the patient has pain they shall be given this wonder drug that has no side effects and no addictions whatever. And the wonder drug was OxyContin. And you know the rest of the story.

Leahy: Yeah, not a pretty picture of what happened thereafter with addiction around the state and around rural areas everywhere.

Bowling: Especially in rural areas. And I went to a joint meeting of many District Attorneys and they were charting it and plotting it directly from that action in 2001 by the General Assembly. Now, they were well-intentioned but they had been given misinformation. and when we got that repealed in 2015, unfortunately, the administration at that time came back with some legislation that re-codified the distribution and the dispensing, and the prescribing of OxyContin.

I don’t think we should mandate in a legislative form any particular drug. But if we want to make it legal for the patients and the doctor to make a medical decision of what’s best for that patient, then there should be options out there not just opioids. And essentially right now, we’re losing over 2,000 Tennesseans a year to opioid addiction and that doesn’t count the people whose lives have been ruined and the families and the communities who’ve been left with the tremendous void due to the loss of someone who got addicted because it had been prescribed and dispensed for medical purposes. (Inaudible talk)

Leahy: State Senator Janice Bowling thank you. Will you come back so we can have more time to go into all these issues?

Bowling: Oh – this issue is an issue to my heart. I would really be grateful if I can come back.

Listen to the second hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.