House District 38


Kelly Keisling

Family and Personal:
Rep. Keisling is married with three children, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. He is also president of Keisling Insurance.

He is a member of the House Energy Task Force, Macon, Clay, Pickett, Fentress, and Scott Counties Chamber of Commerce, National Rifle Association, CMT/ABATE, Tennessee State Employee Association, Smith County GOP, OOIDA, Macon County Republican Party, Vision 20/20, Professional Insurance Agents of Tennessee, Insurors of Tennessee, National Federation of Independant Business, American Legislative Exchange Council Relay for Life, and Friends of Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery.

Councils and Boards:
He is chair of the House Insurance and Banking Subcommittee. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Children’s Center of the Cumberlands.



Rep. Kelly Keisling: (R) Chair, State Government Committee, Member, Calendar and Rules Committee, Corrections Subcommittee, Departments and Agencies Subcommittee, Public Service Subcommittee, Transportation Committee, and the Joint Fiscal Review Committee. He is well informed and prepared as chairman and is particularly nice to all: members of his State Government committee, bill sponsors, and guests offering testimony. When a voice vote was questionable, Keisling called for a roll-call vote. That is what should always happen but rarely does. We love Chairman Keisling’s consistent good humor.

Many of the bills presented in his State Government Committee were not discussed or questioned. We can only assume that was because the members were already familiar with the bills because they were passed in the house in 2020 but not taken up or completed in the senate. It would be more instructive to those watching, in person and on video, if at least enough discussion was provided to inform the viewers of the intent and purpose of each bill.

Chairman Keisling is one of our champions, supporting twenty-five of the TLRC positions on chosen bills with only two dissents, earning him a 96% vote score. He co-sponsored 4 of our favored bills:

SR0023 – Rudd – Resolution creating a bi-cameral panel to research the recall of Judge Ellen Hobbs Lyle (failed in House Civil Justice subcommittee).

A media story on the subject

SB0187/HB0013 – Bowling/Hulsey – Prohibits forced vaccines within state and local government entities. It does not prohibit private business from requiring vaccines for employment (passed with weakening amendments).

SB0828/HB1181 – Rudd / Bowling – Fetal remains must be disposed of by burial or cremation, making it prohibitive to harvest or sell fetal body parts (passed).

SB1534/HB0966 – Carringer /Roberts – Elections: prohibits private or corporate funding for state and local elections, eliminating the possible influencing of the process in favor of one candidate or party over the others (passed).

Keisling has high leadership qualities, earning a commendable ten out of ten on constitutional fidelity. His only two errant votes were supporting the following bills which TLRC opposed:

SB0736/HB0141 – Johnson/Lamberth (a Governor’s bill with which we take issue) – Special tax exemption for the film and video industry which was supported by a large majority of the General Assembly (passed). TLRC does not support special carve-outs for cherry-picked industries. The government should not be picking winners and losers

SB0783/HB1204 – Massey/Zachary – Authorizes a special sales and use tax allocation to finance Randy Boyd’s Baseball stadium in Knoxville at the expense of Tennessee taxpayers. Boyd is a mega millionaire (passed).

Keisling sponsored seventeen bills this year, with seven passing into law:

HB187 specifies that a local governmental entity is immune from liability for any cause of action or claim for damages arising out of a person’s participation in a private appropriately licensed substance abuse treatment program approved by the court as an alternative facility.

HB402 expands the definitions of Class I off-highway vehicles and all-terrain vehicles to include those off-highway vehicles with a total dry weight up to 3,500 pounds; clarifies that the width of such vehicles must be measured from the outside of the tire rim to the outside of the tire rim.

HB408 replaces one county elected commissioner position on the board of commissioners for the Citizens Gas Utility District of Scott and Morgan counties with an at-large commissioner position, with such change to coincide with the district’s August 2025 election.

HB718 enacts the “Safe Seniors Act of 2021”.

HB719 designates ambulance service as an essential service, directs all county governing bodies to make provisions to ensure that at least one licensed ambulance service is available within their county, authorizes municipal governing bodies to make provisions for ambulance service within the boundaries of a municipality, and authorizes the governing body of any county or city to adopt and enforce reasonable regulations to control the provision of private or nonprofit ambulance service.

HB1042 revises provision governing allocation of sales and use tax revenue to certain commercial development districts in economically distressed counties by clarifying that a county bordering three such distressed counties for purposes of the allocation must have bordered at least three such counties in three fiscal years since fiscal year 2016-2017, if certain requirements met.

HB1618 Lafayette – Subject to local approval, reduces the time that a person must have resided in the city, from two years to one year, to be eligible to serve as mayor or on the council; revises the relatives who may not be hired by the city due to a familial relationship with the mayor or a council member; removes the office of superintendent of streets.

Chairman Keisling could improve his leadership grade by sponsoring and co-sponsoring more freedom-friendly bills.


Vote Score


Lifetime Score


Average House Vote Score
Leadership Grade

Related Bills

Pre-K - 2: Revises Teacher evaluation, eliminates the portfolio growth model for pre-K and K

Vote Result: Committee Only

Gives LEAs the option of administering TCAP assessments on paper.

Vote Result: Failed

Sports participation to be determined by biological sex/gender.

Vote Result: Pass House Only

Creates new banks of items (questions) for assessments in order to allow current tests items to be revealed after administration.

Vote Result: Passed

Dealing with foreign influence in higher education

Vote Result: Pass House Only

Allows direct agreements between patients and healthcare providers

Vote Result: Passed

Military experience qualifies to obtain occupation license and adds appeal process.

Vote Result: Pass House Only

Strengthens law concerning the promulgating of new rules by government agencies.

Vote Result: Pass House Only

Audit results permitted to be released pre-conclusion.

Vote Result: Pass House Only

Discipline help for teachers.

Vote Result: Pass House Only

Limits authority of wildlife resource officers to search/seize on private property, land, buildings, or vehicles.

Vote Result: Passed