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Tennessee State Representative Joe Pitts Files Several Important Pieces of Legislation

 

Written by Joe Pitts
Tennessee State Representative

Tennessee State Representative - District 67Nashville, TN – Tennessee State Representative Joe Pitts (D-Clarksville) has sponsored fifteen bills (the limit is 15) this legislative session and over the next few weeks we will send out a series of updates explaining the proposals and providing an update on their progress in the system.

Property Tax Relief for Veterans, Disabled and Elderly Homeowners – House Bill 20/Senate Bill 23 (Sen. Mark Green (R-Clarksville) is our attempt to undo the changes made to this program in 2015 by the passage of the “Save the Tax Relief Act”, sponsored by Rep. John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge).

Tennessee State Representative Joe Pitts

Tennessee State Representative Joe Pitts

We were successful last year to undo some of the changes but the one component that was not corrected is market value of the home.

In 2015, the market value was lowered from $175,000 for veterans to $100,000 and for the disabled and elderly from $25,000 to $23,500. This legislation, if passed will raise the market value of the home back to the limit it was in 2014.

“I am hopeful the Tennessee General Assembly realizes we needlessly complicated and derailed a successful program in 2015,” said Pitts. “Given the current budget surplus, we should turn the clock back on this mistake and enact this change.”.

Hiring Preferences for Veterans – House Bill 165/Senate Bill 209 (Sen. Mark Green (R-Clarksville) was brought to us by the U.S. Department of Defense. Many companies would like to give special consideration for hiring veterans because of their unique skill sets, proven work ethic, and reliability, but may be hesitate to do so out of concern of being sued under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

However, Title VII, Section 11 of the Civil Rights Act contains a carve-out that exempts veterans’ preference processes that are authorized by state statue. “This legislation was killed last year by the Consumer and Human Resources Sub Committee by a voice vote,” stated Rep. Pitts. “I feel that our veterans have earned this preference and I intend to work very hard for its passage this year,” Pitts said.

DUI Memorial Sign Program – House Bill 21/Senate Bill 17 (Sen. Kerry Roberts (R-Springfield) was requested by a lady in Scott County who had applied for a memorial sign in honor of her deceased daughter, Shadow “Shada” Brooke Lowe who was killed by a drunk driver and was denied the sign because the legislation I passed last year (Tyler Head Memorial sign bill) required the drunk driver to have been convicted of DUI.

In her situation, the drunk driver was killed in the same wreck so therefore there was no conviction. This legislation known as the Shadow “Shada” Brooke Lowe will allow for families of victims of drunk drivers where the drunk driver was also killed to be able to have a sign erected in their family members honor.

5th Annual Tyler Jackson Head Memorial 5K fun/run walk

On Saturday, February 4th, 2017, the 5th Annual Tyler Jackson Head Memorial 5K fun/run walk will take place at Travis Price Park in Springfield. Registration starts at 8:00am or you can register by e-mailing Chuck Head at OR Gina L. Head at

The run starts at 9:00am and the entry fee is $15.00 per runner/walker.

Proceeds will go to benefit the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America and the Tyler J. Head APSU scholarship fund for Agriculture students.

January was Radon Action Month

Radon is a radioactive gas that can accumulate in homes without adequate ventilation and can cause lung cancer. The only way to know if your home has high level of radon is to test! You can obtain a Free Radon test kit by calling 1.800.232.1139 or visit www.tn.gov/environment


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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