Petition Closed
Petitioning Rep. Mike Turner and 39 others
This petition will be delivered to:
Rep. Mike Turner
Rep. Joe Carr
Lt. Gov. Ramsey
Speaker Harwell
Sen. Campfield
Rep. Shipley
Rep. Dennis
Rep. Evans
Rep. Jones
Rep. Stewart
Sen. Henry
Sen. Finney
Rep. Casada
Rep. Fitzhugh
Rep. Halford
Rep. Hardaway
Rep. Curtis Johnson
Rep. McCormick
Rep. Johnnie Turner
Rep. Matheney
Rep. Ragan
Sen. Beavers
Sen. Bell
Sen. Bowling
Sen. Burks
Sen. Crowe
Sen. Dickerson
Sen. Ford
Sen. Gardenhire
Sen. Green
Sen. Gresham
Sen. Haile
Gov. Haslam
Sen. Harper
Sen. Hensley
Sen. Johnson
Sen. Kelsey
Sen. Ketron
Sen. Kyle
Rep. Gloria Johnson

Governor Haslam and TN General Assembly: Stop the "Starve Our Children" Bill

4,816
Supporters

We must make it clear to Governor Haslam and the Tennessee General Assembly that we, as citizens of Tennessee, will not stand for the passing of the "Starve our Children" bill (HB 0261/SB 0132). Under this proposed legislation (introduced by Senator Stacey Campfield and sponsored in the House by Rep. Vance Dennis), welfare recipients would face a loss of benefits if their children showed poor academic performance. There are many unanswered questions: including how these factors (benefits and grades) would be tied to one another, or how the children's performance would be assessed.

Children living in poverty often lack many of the resources they need to succeed in school, including adequate shelter, school supplies, computer and Internet access, access to tutoring, and nutritious meals. Each of these factors, on their own or combined, would inhibit a child's ability to maintain satisfactory progress in school. Further reducing the income entering this child's home would exacerbate the problem to the point that the child would not be able to progress enough to restore the TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) payment in full.

Will you sign on to this letter to the Tennessee General Assembly? Each time someone signs and comments on the petition, Governor Haslam, Lt. Governor Ramsey, Speaker Harwell, and the targeted General Assembly members will receive an email with the comment and an update on the number of signatures, Thus, sign, COMMENT, and SHARE this petition! They'll also receive periodic updates with the number of signatures and the petition status.

This is your chance to be heard. Share widely and please get everyone you know to sign this letter. Also, if you happen to be a member of the clergy, please leave a comment with your name and religious organization. Anyone, anywhere who cares about the welfare of children is welcome to sign and comment. Thank you so much!


Letter to
Rep. Mike Turner
Rep. Joe Carr
Lt. Gov. Ramsey
and 37 others
Speaker Harwell
Sen. Campfield
Rep. Shipley
Rep. Dennis
Rep. Evans
Rep. Jones
Rep. Stewart
Sen. Henry
Sen. Finney
Rep. Casada
Rep. Fitzhugh
Rep. Halford
Rep. Hardaway
Rep. Curtis Johnson
Rep. McCormick
Rep. Johnnie Turner
Rep. Matheney
Rep. Ragan
Sen. Beavers
Sen. Bell
Sen. Bowling
Sen. Burks
Sen. Crowe
Sen. Dickerson
Sen. Ford
Sen. Gardenhire
Sen. Green
Sen. Gresham
Sen. Haile
Gov. Haslam
Sen. Harper
Sen. Hensley
Sen. Johnson
Sen. Kelsey
Sen. Ketron
Sen. Kyle
Rep. Gloria Johnson
We, the undersigned, are writing to express our deep concern and great disappointment with HB 0261/SB 0132, which would require "the reduction of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) payments for parents or caretakers of TANF recipients whose children fail to maintain satisfactory progress in school."

Children living in poverty often lack many of the resources they need to succeed in school, including adequate shelter, school supplies, computer and Internet access, access to tutoring, and nutritious meals. Each of these factors, on their own or combined, would inhibit a child's ability to maintain satisfactory progress in school. Further reducing the income entering this child's home would exacerbate the problem to the point that the child would not be able to progress enough to restore the TANF payment in full.

In the Gospel of Matthew, we are told of the special place children have in the kingdom of God and how they are welcomed without condition into the presence of Jesus: "Let the little children come to me, and DO NOT HINDER THEM, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (Matthew 19:14, NIV).

Further, Jesus mandates that we care or the "least of these," the poor, the sick, and the hungry (Matthew 25:31-46). Jesus places no stipulation on this care, nor does he urge the faithful to temporarily reduce their care for those in need based on their success or failure in worldly things. Jesus is very clear that nations and their leaders will be judged on whether or not they adequately provided assistance to those in need. If you choose to pass HB 0261/SB 0132 into law, how do you think your actions will be judged?

Now is the time for our Tennessee General Assembly to answer God’s call. Please vote AGAINST this bill and in favor of Jesus's mandate to care for those in need. It is not only the right thing to do, it's the moral and faithful thing to do.