Family and Personal:
Rep. Gillespie is a consultant for Nonprofit Development.
He is a member of The Phoenix Club and the Grant Professional Association.
Rep. John Gillespie is new in 2021, replacing Jim Coley. He serves as a member on the Children and Family Affairs Subcommittee, Civil Justice Committee, Education Administration Committee, Finance, Ways, and Means Committee, and the Higher Education Subcommittee.
A Memphis Republican who replaced the esteemed Jim Coley who retired last year. Rep. Gillespie is new this year and shows some promise but may need some conservative guidance. His vote score of 94% is just below mid-point. His C leadership grade has much to do with his inexperience, which we expect to improve in good time. Confidence and tenacity are weaknesses that we expect that to improve through experience.
He may, however, need a constitution refresher course. While he co-sponsored two good education bills–HB0580, the late-session response to the Critical Race Theory threat, and another bill giving teachers a path to remove unruly and incorrigible students–he supported four bills that TLRC judged unconstitutional or objectionable on other principles:
• A bill requiring insurers to cover infertility treatments
• Special tax exemptions for the film and video industry
• A resolution to honor Dr. William J. Barber II, a man who is on record demanding congressional lawmakers end the filibuster and pass “voting rights” legislation (HR 1) antithetical to the constitution and the imperative that election laws are determined by sole authority of state legislatures.
• A bill that will provide a multi-million-dollar state funding grant for a proposed minor league baseball stadium for the Tennessee Smokies, a double-A team which is owned by University of Tennessee President Randy Boyd.
• He voted against a constitutional bill that would have held the Department of Education and state colleges and universities accountable to the US and Tennessee Constitutions and settled law. HB0576 by John Ragan would have required those institutions to promulgate rules rather than policies. Rules must come before the Joint Government Operations Committee for ruling on constitutionality and conformity to settled law. The JGOC is an elected body. This gives the people a say rather than having bureaucrats and academics making policy without oversight.
We hope to meet and engage with Rep. Gillespie in 2022 and expect a cordial, productive relationship.
Limits county health officer's quarantine powers. Prohibits government requiring COVID inoculation.
Protects female athletes by disallowing biological males, irrespective of gender identification, from competing in girls and women's sports.
Transparency bill: comptroller audits of entities not open to public scrutiny
Increased penalties for rioters from out of state ("Aggravated" rioter)