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Gas Tax Increase Approved by Tennessee House

 

Written by Joe Pitts
Tennessee State Representative

Tennessee State Representative - District 67Nashville, TN – The IMPROVE Act,  Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam’s proposal to fund critical infrastructure projects and offer local government the option to fund transportation needs passed the House of Representatives on Wednesday. 

The more than six hour debate saw House members carefully and thoroughly consider dozens of amendments and counter proposals to the IMPROVE Act.  At the end of the debate, the bill cleared the House by a narrow margin.

“I have been out front and very public about my disappointment in our State government’s neglect, in recent years, to address our over-burdened roads, highways and dangerous bridges with a responsible funding plan.”

Tennessee State Representative Joe Pitts

Tennessee State Representative Joe Pitts

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Tennessee Legislation seeks to curb Opioid Abuse by Identifying High Risk Prescribers

 

Written by Curtis Johnson
Tennessee State Representative

Tennessee State Representative - District 68Nashville, TN – The House Finance, Ways and Means Subcommittee will consider legislation next week requiring the Tennessee Department of Health (DOH) to identify individuals who are in the top 20 percent of prescribers of opioids in the state.  After being identified and notified of the high volume opioid prescriber status, this legislation requires the prescribers to comply with certain requirements.

The legislation aims to address Tennessee’s status as second in the nation in abuse of opiates.

Under current law, the DOH monitors the 100 highest volume opioid prescribers in Tennessee.  HB 1207  calls for DOH, in addition, to look at prescribers who are at high-risk based on clinical criteria, such as overdoses or dangerous drug combinations.

Tennessee State Representative Curtis Johnson

Tennessee State Representative Curtis Johnson

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Shadow “Shada” Brooke Lowe bill passes the House, Tennessee Reconnect Act on House Floor

 

Written by Joe Pitts
Tennessee State Representative

Tennessee State Representative - District 67Nashville, TN – On Monday April 10th, I was honored to recognize Mr. Gordon Wayne Miller on the occasion of his retirement. Mr. Miller is the current executive director of the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents (TOSS). Prior to coming to TOSS, he enjoyed a 27 year career at Lenoir City Schools.

HB 500 sponsored by Tennessee State Representative Joe Pitts, has passed the Full Senate and Full House and is on its way to the Governor for his signature. This legislation was requested by members of the Board of Osteopathic Examination to increase members’ per diem reimbursement for their meetings.

These volunteers spend precious time away from their medical practice, seeing patients, to provide guidance and oversight of Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine.

Tennessee State Representative Joe Pitts

Tennessee State Representative Joe Pitts

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Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act heads to Governor

 

Written by Curtis Johnson
Tennessee State Representative

Tennessee State Representative - District 68Nashville, TN – Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam praised the passage of the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act, the governor’s legislation to increase broadband access to Tennessee’s unserved citizens.

The House of Representatives passed HB 529/SB 1215 by a vote of 93-4, and it now heads to the governor’s desk for signature. The Senate passed the legislation 31-0 on April 3rd. Tennessee currently ranks 29th in the U.S. for broadband access, with 34 percent of rural Tennessee residents lacking access at recognized minimum standards.

Tennessee State Representative Curtis Johnson

Tennessee State Representative Curtis Johnson

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Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act Heads to Governor Bill Haslam

 

Second piece of Haslam’s NextTennessee legislative agenda approved by Tennessee General Assembly

Tennessee State GovernmentNashville, TN – Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam praised the passage of the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act, the governor’s legislation to increase broadband access to Tennessee’s unserved citizens.

The House of Representatives passed HB 529/SB 1215 93-4, and it now heads to the governor’s desk for signature. The Senate passed the legislation 31-0 on April 3rd.

Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act passes House of Representatives.

Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act passes House of Representatives.

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Veterans, Low Income Elderly and Disabled Property Tax Relief Bill Advances

 

Written by Joe Pitts
Tennessee State Representative

Tennessee State Representative - District 67Nashville, TN – House Bill 20/Senate Bill 23 sponsored by Rep. Joe Pitts (D-Clarksville) and Senator Mark Green (R-Clarksville) passed the Local Government Sub and Full committees.

“There were four competing proposals to provide property tax relief for disabled veterans, low income senior citizens and permanently disabled citizens, and I teamed up with Rep. John Forgety (R-Athens), a retired US Army First Sergeant, to help push House Bill 20 out of the Local Government Committee,” Pitts said.

Tennessee State Representative Joe Pitts

Tennessee State Representative Joe Pitts

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Legislation to Protect Elderly and Vulnerable Adults from Financial Exploitation Being Considered

 

Written by Curtis Johnson
Tennessee State Representative

State of TennesseeNashville, TN – Two major bills to protect elderly and vulnerable adults from financial exploitation are moving through House Committees.  House Bill 304 will be heard in the House Government Operations Committee this week, and House Bill 1064 is the House Calendar and Rules Committee.  

This legislation gives securities officials and financial institutions the tools they need to help detect and prevent financial exploitation of those age 65 and older and vulnerable adults with diminished capacity.

Tennessee State Representative Curtis Johnson

Tennessee State Representative Curtis Johnson

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Veterans, Low Income Elderly and Disabled Property Tax Relief Bill to be Heard this week

 

Written by Joe Pitts
Tennessee State Representative

Tennessee State Representative - District 67Nashville, TN – House Bill 20/Senate Bill 23 sponsored by Tennessee State Representative Joe Pitts (D-Clarksville) and Senator Mark Green (R-Clarksville) is scheduled to be heard in the Local Government subcommittee on Tuesday, April 4th at 3:00pm.

“I have filed an amendment to the bill which would mirror the legislation the Governor has put in his IMPROVE ACT with one exception. The Governor only raised the Veterans property assessed value on their homes to $135,000 which is still below the original amount of $175,000,” said Representative Pitts.

Tennessee State Representative Joe Pitts

Tennessee State Representative Joe Pitts

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Big Week for Austin Peay State University

 

Written by Curtis Johnson
Tennessee State Representative

Tennessee State Representative - District 68Nashville, TN – House Joint Resolution 158 passed last week to honor Austin Peay State University’s upcoming 90th anniversary. Founded April 26th, 1927, the namesake of Governor Austin Peay has continuously grown over the decades, and been particularly friendly towards veterans and active duty personnel stationed at Fort Campbell.

The university has undergone a major shift this week as its newfound independent board met for the first time with Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam present. Under Governor Haslam, Austin Peay and most other four year institutions in Tennessee have been released from the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Austin Peay State University Campus. (APSU)

Austin Peay State University Campus. (APSU)

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Veterans Hiring Measure Passes the Tennessee House of Representatives

 

Written by Joe Pitts
Tennessee State Representative

Tennessee State Representative - District 67Nashville, TN – Hiring Preferences for Veterans – House Bill 165/Senate Bill 209 (Senator Mark Green, R-Clarksville) passed the Senate and House of Representatives and was sent to the Governor for his signature on March 20th.

To paraphrase an old saying, the second time is the charm, or something like that.  House Bill 165 and Senate bill 209 recently passed the House and Senate after the second attempt. The proposal would enable private employers to create hiring preferences for veterans, their spouses, and surviving spouses of deceased veterans without running afoul of provisions in the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibiting hiring discrimination among other areas.

Tennessee State Representative Joe Pitts

Tennessee State Representative Joe Pitts

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