Tennessee Representative Joe Pitts
“#SayDyslexia” Bill passes House and Senate committees
Nashville, TN – Several bills sponsored by Tennessee State Representative Joe Pitts (D-Clarksville) moved along in committees last week. This is a general update on the bills and events on the Hill from last week.
House Bill 1410/Senate Bill 1484 – (Senator Mark Green (R-Clarksville) is scheduled for the final House Local Government Sub Committee on March 30th. This legislation will repeal the “Save our Property Tax Relief” legislation, Public Chapter 481, which passed last year. Public Chapter 481 made changes to the disabled veterans, senior citizens and disabled citizen property tax relief program.“This legislation joins 6 other pieces of legislation that makes changes to the law made by Public Chapter 481,” said State Rep. Joe Pitts (D-Clarksville). “The bill I am sponsoring is the only bill that totally repeals Public Chapter 481.” “As I stated before, “A promise made should be a promise kept,” Pitts said.
I call on all veterans, senior citizens and disabled citizens to help us repeal last year’s mistake. Please attend the Local Government Sub Committee next Wednesday, March 30th at 1:00pm in room 30 of the Legislative Plaza. If you are unable to attend, please call the members of the Local Government Sub Committee and ask them to support this legislation. Open the link http://www.capitol.tn.gov/house/committees/sub-local.html. Click on each picture for the member’s phone numbers.
House Bill 1802/Senate Bill 1759 (Sen. Mark Green, R-Clarksville) rescheduled for March 30th. Currently, if a soldier that is married and living off base they get their basic salary, plus a basic housing allowance, and a basic subsistence allowance, i.e. food stamps, while they are stationed at home. When the soldier deploys to combat or training, the basic subsistence allowance is taken away, thereby leaving their families without food stamps. Once the soldier returns home, the allowance is returned to the family.
This legislation will restrict the Tennessee Department of Health from using the basic subsistence allowance in calculating income for the purpose of determining eligibility for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). This legislation passed the House Health Sub-Committee this week and will be heard in the House Health Committee on Wednesday, March 30th. “This is the right thing to do for our soldiers and their families,” said Rep. Pitts. “The bill passed the Sub-Committee with no questions and Chairman of the Sub-Committee, Rep Ryan Williams (R-Cookeville) stated that he felt this was a good piece of legislation,” Pitts said.
House Bill 1699/Senate Bill 1626 will clarify that state employees can take four courses per academic year, at no cost, at any state college or university. Current law restricts the employee to one per term and the bill will offer more flexibility to the student. “I am grateful to APSU graduate Brandy Foust for bringing this matter to my attention,” said Pitts. “Thanks also to Senator Paul Bailey (R-Cookeville) for carrying the bill in the Senate.” The bill was passed on the House Floor on March 21st and will be sent to the Governor soon. A link to the bill can be found here: http://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/109/Bill/HB1699.pdf
House Bill 2616/Senate Bill 2635 The #SayDyslexia bill passed both the House and Senate Education Committees this week. The bill will address early screening and intervention for the students with attributes of dyslexia. An estimated 1 in 5, or more than 200,000 school students have some characteristics of dyslexia and the proposal will help educators identify the students and offer help in overcoming the difficulties caused by dyslexia. Great thanks to 4th grader Ryann Smith for her courage for once again testifying before the Tennessee General Assembly. She did an outstanding job at the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday, March 23rd. It is time to “Say Dyslexia” in Tennessee. This bill was assigned to the House Government Operations Committee and will be heard on March 29th.
If you have questions about the above or other issues of concern, please call me at 615.741.2043, or email me at email@example.com