Rep. Mike Carter’s Newsroom

Representative Carter’s Bill Moving Tennessee Away From Mandatory Emissions Testing Passes

April 17, 2018

HB 1782 cosponsored by Speaker Harwell and Hamilton County Legislative Delegation

(NASHVILLE) – An initiative sponsored by State Representative Mike Carter (R-Ooltewah) and cosponsored by Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville), State Representative Marc Gravitt (R-East Ridge), State Representative Patsy Hazlewood (R-Signal Mountain), State Representative Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga), and State Representative JoAnne Favors (R-Chattanooga) requiring counties to take all necessary steps to end mandatory vehicle emissions testing in Tennessee has passed in the House chamber.

House Bill 1782 — approved by a 96-0 vote tally by House members Monday night — would apply to citizens of Hamilton, Davidson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson Counties where vehicle emissions testing is still required prior to vehicle registration or renewal.

The 1990 Federal Clean Air Act required the state to develop more restrictive regulations to control air pollution from mobile sources in counties which were not meeting the Federal Standards for air quality.

Currently, testing is done on vehicles with a model year of 1975 and newer if they are powered by a gasoline or diesel engine and weigh up to 10,500 lbs.  Over 1.5 million vehicles went through emissions testing in Tennessee last year in the six counties where it is required.

The idea for House Bill 1782 resulted from a conversation between Representative Carter and a constituent last year who voiced her concerns about the burdensome costs of testing on her family. Once the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation (TDEC) released a report last August revealing that all 95 Tennessee counties met federal air quality health standards, it became clear to Representative Carter that mandatory testing was no longer needed.

“The idea that we have to choose between clean air and this costly, burdensome practice impacting Tennessee’s working families is a false choice, and I reject it,” said Representative Carter. “Vehicle emissions testing has outlived its usefulness, and House Bill 1782 moves Tennessee away from it. This measure will have a life-changing impact on our working families while also maintaining total air quality. I look forward to its passage in the Senate, and I know it is in great hands with Senator Bo Watson leading the efforts in order for it to clear its final legislative hurdle.”

“Our citizens who can least afford to participate in this obsolete form of testing are being unfairly penalized,” added Speaker Harwell.  “I am proud to have cosponsored legislation that will enable them  to save more of their hard-earned money and won’t harm air quality in cities and towns across the state.”

House Bill 1782 now awaits passage in the Senate. For more information about this initiative, click here.

State Representatives Carter, Gravitt, Hazlewood, McCormick, Department of Education Announce Critical Growth Funds

February 20, 2018

(NASHVILLE) — State Representative Mike Carter (R-Ooltewah), State Representative Marc Gravitt (R-East Ridge), State Representative Patsy Hazlewood (R-Signal Mountain), State Representative Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga), and the Tennessee Department of Education today announced that Hamilton County Schools have received district growth funding to support education initiatives in the Chattanooga area.

Specifically, Hamilton County Schools received $654,000.

This funding is a direct result of a Republican-led effort by Tennessee General Assembly members to not only fully fund education in Tennessee but also provide $18 million to cover school district growth as part of Governor Bill Haslam’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget.

These significant investments will allow many of our state’s school districts with soaring populations to maintain proper student to teacher ratios so that they can continue offering quality education for our next generation of leaders.

“With this investment, schools will be able to add resources as they add students. This will ensure that our students continue to get a quality education throughout Tennessee,” said Representative Hazlewood.

“As leaders of our community, the Hamilton County Delegation is pleased that our local schools are receiving this vital funding. We will continue to fight for additional resources in order to ensure that our teachers and students have the tools they need to succeed,” said Representative Carter.

“As we prepare our young people for successful futures, it is vital that we keep up with the costs that come with expanding student bodies,” said Representative Gravitt. “My hope is that this funding will achieve just that.”

“We look forward at the state level to continue to partner with and support our students in Hamilton County and the entire state,” said Representative McCormick.

The inclusion of growth funding as part of the budget has been so well received by parents, education officials, and teachers that the governor has added an additional $18 million in growth funding as part of his Fiscal Year 2019 budget.

Patsy Hazlewood serves as a member of the House Business and Utilities Committee, the House Finance, Ways and Means Committee, the House Ethics Committee, as well as the House Finance Ways and Means Subcommittee. Hazlewood lives in Signal Mountain and represents House District 27, which includes part of Hamilton County. She can be reached by email at Rep.Patsy.Hazlewood@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-2746.

Mike Carter serves as the Chairman of the House Civil Justice Subcommittee. He also serves as a member on the House Civil Justice Committee, the House Finance, Ways and Means Committee, and the House Ethics Committee. Carter lives in Ooltewah and represents House District 29, which includes part of Hamilton County. He can be reached by email at Rep.Mike.Carter@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-3025.

Marc Gravitt serves as a member of House Business and Utilities Committee, the House Local Government Committee, and the House Business and Utilities Subcommittee. Gravitt lives in East Ridge and represents House District 30, which includes part of Hamilton County. He can be reached by email at Rep.Marc.Gravitt@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-1934.

Gerald McCormick serves as the Chairman of the House Finance, Ways and Means Subcommittee. He also serves as a member on the House Business and Utilities Committee, as well as the House Finance, Ways and Means Committee. McCormick lives in Chattanooga and represents House District 26, which includes part of Hamilton County. He can be reached by email at Rep.Gerald.McCormick@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-2548.

Representative Mike Carter Introduces Legislation Ending Mandatory Emissions Testing

February 8, 2018

HB 1782 receives unanimous support from Chattanooga Legislative Delegation

(NASHVILLE) – State Representative Mike Carter (R-Ooltewah), State Senator Bo Watson (R-Hixson), and State Senator Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga) today introduced legislation that would end mandatory emissions testing for vehicles in Tennessee.

House Bill 1782 — which is receiving unanimous support from members of the Chattanooga Legislative Delegation, as well as Tennessee General Assembly members — would apply to the hardworking men, women, and families of Hamilton, Davidson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson Counties where vehicle emissions testing is still required prior to vehicle registration or renewal.

The 1990 Federal Clean Air Act required the state to develop more restrictive regulations to control air pollution from mobile sources in counties which were not meeting the Federal Standards for air quality.

Currently, testing is done on vehicles with a model year of 1975 and newer if they are powered by a gasoline or diesel engine and weigh up to 10,500 lbs.  Over 1.5 million vehicles went through emissions testing in Tennessee last year in the six counties where it is required.

The idea for House Bill 1782 resulted from a conversation between Representative Carter and a constituent last year who voiced her concerns about the burdensome costs of testing on her family. Once the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation (TDEC) released a report last August revealing that all 95 Tennessee counties met federal air quality health standards, it became clear to Representative Carter that mandatory testing was no longer needed.

“The idea that we have to choose between clean air and placing costly, burdensome regulations on Tennessee’s working families is a false choice, and I reject it,” said Representative Carter.  “Vehicle emissions testing is a perfect example of a well-intentioned government program with harmful, unintended consequences for Tennessee’s middle class. Frankly, it has outlived its usefulness. I’ll be happy to see it go.”

“Vehicle owners in these counties should not be penalized as the standards have been met,” said Senator Watson.  “Emission testing is not only time-consuming but has costs attached, which are especially hard on low-income families.  This legislation would relieve this burdensome regulation for citizens in these six counties.”

“The people who can least afford it are being penalized,” added Sen. Gardenhire.  “Most of our automobile pollution has been from truckers and cars passing through Hamilton County, which we have no control over.  We are hopeful that we have the support to pass the bill this year.”

House Bill 1782 will go before the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee for consideration.

For more information about this initiative, click here.