Weekly Update

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As the 112th General Assembly of the Tennessee Legislature came to an end yesterday, I just wanted to give a quick rundown of how Memphis fared this year with some of our top priorities—legislative and one-time state funds.


Truth in Sentencing—For too long, violent crime has plagued our city. I am very happy this legislation passed because it will help keep violent criminals off our streets. But this is only one part of the puzzle. I am also very thankful for the $100 million in the Governor’s budget for crime intervention and rehabilitation. There must be severe consequences for violent behavior, but we must also provide opportunities for those individuals who want to choose a better path in life.


Public Safety Employee Residency—While I know there are people on both sides of the residency discussion, this legislation will help our community. Your Memphis Police Department, along with law enforcement agencies nationwide, are all looking for ways to shore up their ranks. This important legislation will allow us to do that.


EMS LegislationI have mentioned our Healthcare Navigator program in this space before, but as a reminder, the Healthcare Navigator program is run by our Memphis Fire Department Emergency Medical Services and provides 911 patients with the right response through patient-centered care.


Many patients who previously wanted transport to a hospital are now safely and effectively treated at the scene by EMS professionals and navigated to resources that are more appropriate for their needs.


Prior to the passing of this legislation, TennCare only reimbursed 911 EMS providers when they transport a patient by ambulance to a hospital. Senate Bill 2319 and House Bill 2840 will change this by saving the State of Tennessee money, and will free up ambulance hospital transport for patients who truly need it.


Another strong highlight on this legislation—it actually saves the state nearly $3 million a year.


One-time Funding Requests—This year, the City of Memphis had four one-time funding requests from state government—the Harbor Docks project, Leftwich Tennis Center, the Brooks Museum, and the Wolf River Greenway. Thanks to Governor Lee and the Legislature, we are receiving funding for three out of the four asks--$20 million for Harbor Docks, $2.5 for Leftwich Tennis Center, and $2.5 million for the Brooks Museum.


Another highlight from this year’s session—this past Wednesday, Representative Barbara Cooper was honored by the legislature for being the oldest Democrat serving in any state legislature in the Country.



(picture courtesy of the Tennessee House Democratic Caucus)


Congratulations, Ms. Cooper!


Thanks to Governor Lee, Lt. Governor McNally, Speaker Sexton, and our State Legislators for the work they do for our state each year.


Shout-out for doing things well: Since coming to the mayor’s office, we’ve put a heavy focus on hiring the best people and giving them the tools to improve city services and better serve our community. Below are just a few examples of city leaders getting national attention for their work.


Alexis Pugh (director of Memphis Animal Services) attended and presented last week at the Humane Society of the United States Animal Care Expo. More than 2,000 industry professionals attended the conference.


While there, Alexis presented during two sessions—one on how we effectively manage our new pet resource center (from the fielding of requests to the case management work and how we leverage technology to accomplish it) and the second on tools and tactics to combat harassment and bullying in the industry.


Next week, John Zeanah (director of Planning and Development) is attending the National Planning Conference in San Diego where he will make a presentation on Missing Middle Housing to 5,000-6,000 planning professionals from across North America.


Also next week, Alex Smith (Chief Human Resources Officer) is presenting the Chief Human Resources Officer of the Year award at the HRO Today Awards Gala on May 2, 2022 after winning that same award last year.


Alexis, John and Alex—Thanks for all you do for our city!


It’s that time of year: If you live on Snowden (Watkins to Claybrook), Street Maintenance Crews are paving.




And Milling is continuing on Tutwiler (Faxon to Dickinson St.)




The watchlist: Slated to be finished in November of this year, our Memphis Sports and Event Center is already receiving national attention as a sports venue to watch in SportsTravel magazine. Follow the progress at theMSEC.com




Game Six: Be sure to watch the game tonight at 8pm to support the Grizz! Tonight, is game six, and it sure would be nice not to have a game seven.


Just to get you pumped, here’s Ja Morant’s poster dunk from Tuesday night’s game. I can’t wait to see what they do tonight!


Go Grizz!




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