Turner’s district includes Lakewood, Donelson, Old Hickory and parts of East Nashville, but it’s his work as House Democratic Caucus chair — and his refusal to play in the dirt with many of his colleagues — that earns him our nod.
The House honored Turner for his heroic rescue efforts (along with his fellow firefighters’) during May’s floods. Tennessee Conservation Voters gave the three-term representative its highest rating for his record on environmental issues. Turner also sponsored a bipartisan bill that streamlines the process of transferring credits from two-year colleges to four-year universities. That bill had nearly unanimous support in the General Assembly. And during budget negotiations, Turner stood up for funding the state’s infant mortality program, which was left intact in the final budget.
Importantly, Turner has also stood up against the highly charged partisan rhetoric that tends to obscure legislative progress. Specifically, Turner openly criticized the Health Freedom Act, a preposterous bit of bluster from the Republican Party’s right wing that did nothing but state a disagreement with federal health care reform law.
It was a waste of time, especially given the problems Tennessee faces at home, and Turner was right to call it out.