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Property Tax Relief Bill Advances

 

Tennessee State Representative Joe Pitts

#SayDyslexia bill passes the Senate

Tennessee State Representative - District 67Nashville, 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) cleared the House Local Full Committee this week and is now scheduled for the Finance Sub Committee on Tuesday, April 12th.  This legislation will repeal the “Save our Property Tax Relief” legislation, Public Chapter 481, which passed last year.

Representative Joe Pitts welcomes Clarksville teachers to the State Capitol on March 29th.  (L to R: Back Row) Maria Uffleman (TEA Uniserv), Robert Maglaughlin, P.T. Miller, Ray Szczepaniak, Becky Adames, State Representative Joe Pitts. (L to R: Front Row) Emily Clay, Wendy Gerhart, Karen Maglaughlin, Becky Jackman.

Representative Joe Pitts welcomes Clarksville teachers to the State Capitol on March 29th. (L to R: Back Row) Maria Uffleman (TEA Uniserv), Robert Maglaughlin, P.T. Miller, Ray Szczepaniak, Becky Adames, State Representative Joe Pitts. (L to R: Front Row) Emily Clay, Wendy Gerhart, Karen Maglaughlin, Becky Jackman.

Public Chapter 481 made changes to the disabled veterans, senior citizens and disabled citizen property tax relief program.

House Bill 1410 and Senate Bill 1484 by Sen. Mark Green (R-Clarksville) is the only legislation still in process that would totally repeal Public Chapter 481 passed last year.

“Veterans organizations from across the state, and especially Montgomery County, as well as Montgomery County Trustee Brenda Radford, have all been instrumental in keeping our legislation alive and moving,” said Pitts. “In a year where the State of Tennessee has over 800 million dollars in excess funds, our disabled veterans, low income elderly and disabled citizens deserve their property tax relief be totally restored.  I do want to publicly thank Rep. David Shepard (D-Dickson), Rep. Micah VanHuss (R – Gray) and Rep. Andy Holt (R-Dresden) for their insistence the committee hear and vote for our legislation.  As I stated before, a promise made should be a promise kept.”

All citizens of our state are encouraged to help in this effort.  Please call the Finance Sub Committee members by right clicking on the following hyperlink and choosing the open hyperlink tab, then when the site opens, click on the picture and the phone information is on the left side of the page www.capitol.tn.gov/house/committees/sub-finance.html

The Senate Finance Committee should also be call.  You can find their phone numbers by right clicking on the following hyperlink, choosing the open hyperlink tab, then when the site opens, click on the picture and the phone information is on the left side of the page www.capitol.tn.gov/senate/committees/finance.html

Also, please call the Governor’s office at 615.741.2001 and ask him to fund House Bill 1410 and Senate Bill 1484.  Calling the members of both the House Finance Sub and the Senate Finance Committee as well as the Governor is extremely important for the legislation to have a chance of passing.

House Bill 1802/Senate Bill 1759 (Sen. Mark Green, R-Clarksville) passed the Finance Sub Committee and is scheduled for the full committee on April 12th.  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, to the extent allowed by Federal law, in calculating income for the purpose of determining eligibility for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

“This is the right thing to do for our soldiers and their families,” said Rep. Pitts.  “This bill has already passed the Senate Floor,” Pitts said.

House Bill 2616/Senate Bill 2635 The #SayDyslexia bill passed the Senate Floor 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 “put behind the budget” in the Finance, Ways, and Means subcommittee this week and I am hopeful the Tennessee General Assembly will fund this important legislation.

2016-17 Budget nears vote:  The $34.78 billion state budget will be presented to the House of Representatives next week, as the legislative session winds down. Higher education and pre-K through 12 public education are priorities, along with public safety improvements.  A more thorough analysis will be provided in next week’s update.

If you have questions about the above or other issues of concern, please call me at 615.741.2043, or email me at


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