State Rep. and Middle Tennessee State University economics professor Charlie Baum is running for re-election to the Tennessee House of Representatives in the 37th District.
“I will continue to work to promote efficient government, keep taxes low, improve public education, and make our neighborhoods safer,” Baum said. “My career as an economist has taught me that we encourage job growth and help small businesses when taxes are low and the size of government is limited.”
First elected in 2018, Baum serves the 37th Tennessee House District, which includes portions of Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Walter Hill and Rutherford County north of Murfreesboro. He is Vice Chair of the House Finance, Ways, and Means Committee.
Baum has worked to phase out the Hall Income Tax and eliminate wasteful spending while increasing the state’s Rainy-Day Fund and maintaining a AAA bond rating. His work helped lead Tennessee to be ranked No. 1 in fiscal responsibility by U.S. News and World Report magazine in both 2019 and 2020 and No. 3 in 2021.
“As an elected official, I am committed to being accessible and transparent. I have been extremely honored to serve my constituents in the Tennessee State House, and I am proud to have developed a reputation for being a fiscal conservative who opposes tax increases, wasteful spending, and excessive government regulation,” Baum said.
Dr. Maria King and Charles Baum discuss the importance of financial, economic literacy and talk about what we can expect during MTSU’s Financial Literacy week in April at MTSU
Baum has taught labor economics at MTSU since 1999 and served as department chair from 2008-2014. His research on employment trends, wages, labor force participation rates, and employment benefits has been cited by Bloomberg BusinessWeek, U.S. News and World Report, and the New York Times.
Baum reports that the state is in a strong financial position.
“I am pleased to have helped draft our state’s $52.8 billion balanced budget. This budget includes no tax increases. We increased funding for education, health care, and transportation infrastructure, while providing a historic $300 million in tax cuts.”
He pledges to continue focusing on creating jobs and cutting taxes by passing responsible budgets and providing good management that keeps Tennessee a low-tax state.
For education, Baum has supported adding $1 billion in state funding through a new student-based funding formula. He also helped provide state funding for learning-loss camps, tutoring, literacy initiatives, bridge camps and summer school to help students after COVID disruptions.
Baum reports that he is using conservative economic principles to improve health care in Tennessee.
“I am working to remove market barriers that prevent new health care providers from entering a community to offer new services,” Baum said, explaining that removing barriers blocking market entry, such as CON regulations, will increase the supply of providers and lower costs for patients.
Baum co-sponsored legislation to increase access to health care for patients across Tennessee through telehealth services.
He is working to prevent surprise medical billing by co-sponsoring legislation that would require patients to be informed and approve before they are moved out of network for care.
He supported Tennessee’s Truth in Sentencing Act, which requires offenders of the most violent crimes to serve 100 percent of their sentences. Baum also voted for legislation ensuring crime victims and their families know exactly how much time an offender will serve at the time of sentencing.
Baum and his wife, Kelly, have three children, who attend or graduated from the Siegel schools in Murfreesboro. The Baums are active members of First United Methodist Church in Murfreesboro.