Currently, as I understand it, the Tennessee General Assembly is studying an act to keep Tennessee in the Eastern Daylight Time zone year-round. On first blush, this change sounded good to me. I don't mind going to work in the dark, but I don't like to come home in the dark, and the proposed change would appeal to me. On further consideration, this does not appear to be a good idea. If my observations are correct, these are some things that would happen. For one thing, East Tennessee during the winter months would be in a time zone all to itself. We might be in the same zone as Bermuda or perhaps Labrador but nowhere else in the U.S. When we wanted to go to Rossville, Ga., we would change time zones. West Tennessee and Middle Tennessee would be on the same time as the Eastern Standard Time zone. Northeast Alabama would be even worse. They would be two hours different from us. Then there is the problem of airline schedules. I hope before it is possibly considered for passage that someone in the legislature would call a halt to this proposal.
I am a citizen of Chattanooga and have been for over 16 years. I work in the human resources field, and I have seen first-hand how before Obamacare parents could no longer cover their 18-plus-year-old children. Thanks to Obamacare, young people are no longer under the heavy burden of medical bills they cannot afford. It is giving the next generation the chance to establish themselves and get on their feet.
In the days ahead, members of the state legislature will vote on bills that set policy on electronic cigarettes and exempt them from state smoke-free workplace regulations. I'm concerned because there's simply not been enough research done on these new products to know whether or not they cause a health threat to the user or those around the user. The Tennessee Department of Health recently released a public health advisory urging caution on their use. Until we know it's safe, the vapor from these devices should be treated like secondhand smoke from cigarettes and cigars. Please join me by telling Sen. Bo Watson that you want e-cigarettes treated like tobacco products and maintain the strength of Tennessee's smoke-free workplace laws. Legislators should vote no on these bills until we know more about how they will affect our health and the health of our families.
I am writing to support the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion in Tennessee. So many Tennesseans do not have health insurance and cannot take their loved ones to the doctor when needed. As Americans we need to take advantage of the wonderful opportunity for a better life for ourselves and our families.
IRENE W. DOWDELL