“There’s no greater challenge and there is no greater honor than to be in public service.” – Condoleezza Rice
This week should be the last week of the Legislative Session for this year. We have been working on the proposed budget for most of the year and we have an agreement with all parties. The next step is for the House and the Senate to approve it on Wednesday and Thursday. The only legislation we are mandated to pass is a balanced budget bill, which prevents us from spending more than we take.
A new proposal going through the Legislature could give small businesses a big break on their corporate tax bill. The $407-million proposal reforms the corporate income tax, franchise tax and the business tax. The bill would exempt the first $50,000 in net revenue for thousands of businesses. It also exempts up to a $500,000 of business property from franchise tax liability. Tennessee Works Tax Reform Act could be the largest tax cut in state history.
I have received some information from the Comptroller’s office about the growth of Tennessee.
- Tennessee now has a population of over 7 million
- Tennessee was the 7th fastest-growing state from 2020-2022
- Tennessee is now the 15th most populous state (surpassing Massachusetts)
- Over 140,553 new Tennessee residents from 2020-2022
- Rutherford County was the 43rd fastest-growing county in the country, which grew by 19,138 people
The House passed a resolution honoring the Metro-Nashville Police Department along with officers Rex Engelbert and Michael Collazo who took down the active shooter at the Covenant School. We also presented a resolution recognizing the Nashville Fire and Emergency Communications Department’s critical role in facilitating a quick response.
House Bill 1181 is known as the Tennessee Information Protection Act, which requires large technology companies like Google, Instagram, and TikTok to fully disclose to consumers what information is being collected about them through their online activities. These large-online platforms will be required to notify users what personal information will be collected and how they intend to use it. Tennesseans will also be able to opt out of the selling of their personal information to third parties without discrimination.
House Bill 1070 will prevent state and local agencies in Tennessee from purchasing new drones that are prohibited under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019. Those include drones that are made in China, Russia, or other adversarial countries. This legislation makes sure that the local agencies are using the same standards to best use technology to help first responders do their jobs while protecting the privacy of U.S. citizens.
The General Assembly has passed legislation that will increase judicial oversight of bond amounts for some of the most serious criminal cases. House Bill 830 allows only a criminal, circuit court, or general sessions judge to set a bond for cases involving a Class A or Class B felony, aggravated assault, aggravated assault against a first responder, or felony domestic assault.
The House on Thursday passed the omnibus license plate bill, sponsored by State Rep. Dan Howell which adds “In God we Trust” to all license plates in Tennessee. Currently, Tennesseeans can opt-in to have our country’s motto on their plate. This bill changes the law to an opt-out option.
This should be the last Letter to the District for the 2023 Legislative Session. It has been an honor to represent the people of District 62 for the last 14 years. While we may not be in Session, you can still call or email my office for assistance. My office number is 615.741.6824 and my email address is [email protected].