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Senate District 01

2021
Steve Southerland
Republican

Steve Southerland

Family and Personal:
Sen. Southerland is married with one child and works as a mortgage broker.

Memberships:
He is a member of Financial Services Standing Committee of the National Conference on State Legislatures, Buffalo Trail Baptist Church, Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, and the National Rifle Association.

615.741.3851

sen.steve.southerland@capitol.tn.gov

Senator Steve Southerland (R): District 1, Chair, Energy, Agriculture and Natural Resources, is a rather soft-spoken and gentle leader. Senator Southerland has endorsed three TLRC chosen bills with his co-sponsorship:

SB318/HB18 – Hensley/Griffey – Real Constitutional Carry. This bill would be totally compliant with the second amendment of the U.S. Constitution (placed behind the budget in the house and deferred in the senate). A slightly less compliant bill (SB765/HB786) passed.

SB1335/HB0928 – Hensley/S. Campbell – 2nd Amendment Sanctuary Act: voids for Tennessee any Federal laws or policies that violate the 2nd Amendment (passed with amendment that weakens).

SJR2 – Kelsey – Puts Right-to-Work into our Tennessee constitution, making it much more difficult to rescind (passed).

Senator Southerland lost points because of this bill he supported that 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.

We don’t know the reason he did not vote at all on SB0783 but, unlike most of his fellow senators, he did not lose points on that one:

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).

Media stories on the subject:
Boyd Sports to Profit from Events Held at Taxpayer-Funded Stadium – Tennessee Star

Member of Senate Committee Considering Legislation for Randy Boyd’s Taxpayer-Funded Baseball Stadium is Employee of Law Firm That Could Benefit From Bill’s Passage – Tennessee Star

Five Sponsors of Bill Enabling Randy Boyd’s Taxpayer-Funded Baseball Stadium Received More Than $90,000 in Campaign Funds from Individuals with Ties to the Project – Tennessee Star

TLRC opposed those bills on fairness, constitutional, and fiscal-responsibility principles. Senator Southerland sponsored twenty-three bills, five of which passed into law, none of which TLRC scored. To access, go here.

We do not need more laws; we need better laws, and enforcement of the laws already on the books. The grassroots are looking for courage in our legislators: courage to stand up for constitutional principles over pressure from leadership and paid lobbyists. Senator Southerland could show a little more courage and fidelity to our US and TN constitutions. He represents a very conservative district and should reflect their values.

We are at a crisis point and now is the time to stand for the people instead of special interests, the wealthy, and well-connected, and against those who assume power through corruption and coercion. If we do not, we could very well lose our republic and our liberties.

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Vote Score

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Average Senate Vote Score
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Leadership Grade

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