Written by Joe Pitts
Tennessee State Representative
Nashville, 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.“I know Rep Forgety to be a man of great honor, love of country and integrity, and our partnership enabled House Bill 20 to clear both the Local Government subcommittee and full committee in a single week. The other bills were not approved,” stated Pitts.
“This fight to restore this program to pre-2015 levels, when the Tennessee General Assembly made unnecessary changes to the three programs, is far from over. I look forward to seeing passage of our bill, or some measure to keep our promise to these three groups of citizens,” Pitts said.
Local Government Committee Chairman Tim Wirgau (R-Buchanon) amended HB20 to mirror language in the Governor’s IMPROVE Act.
Other bills of note, HB 500 sponsored by Rep. Pitts, has passed the Senate and after working with the Governor to provide the funding, passed the House Finance Committee and will be heard on the House Floor on Monday, April 10th.
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.
House Bill 166/Senate Bill 156
House Bill 166/Senate Bill 156 sponsored by Rep. Joe Pitts (D-Clarksville) and (Sen. Mark Green (R-Clarksville) would delete the 90-day limit a retired teacher, who is a member of the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS), can be employed as a substitute teacher and continue to draw retirement allowance. This legislation was brought to us by a retired teacher.
“The knowledge and experience of our retired teachers should be used by local school systems when a substitute teacher is needed,” Pitts said. The bill passed the House unanimously and should be heard on the Senate Floor next week.
House Bill 21/Senate Bill 17
House Bill 21/Senate Bill 17, sponsored by Rep. Joe Pitts (D-Clarksville) and Sen. Kerry Roberts (R-Springfield) passed the Senate and the House Finance Full Committee and should be heard on the House Floor on Monday, April 10th. The Governor has agreed to provide the funding ($150.00) for this legislation.
This legislation will allow families of victims of impaired drivers, where the impaired driver was also killed, to have a sign erected in memory of the family member.
House Bill 19/Senate Bill 152
House Bill 19/Senate Bill 152, sponsored by Rep. Joe Pitts (D-Clarksville) would allow motorcycle dealers, for a one-time event, to sell their merchandise at an off-site business location. Current law prohibits this activity. This legislation passed the Transportation Full Committee and will be heard in the Finance Sub Committee next week.
Dunbar Cave State Park
Swan Lake Dam repair update
We were notified this week by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation that bids to repair the Swan Lake Dam at Dunbar Cave State Park were opened this week and the low bid was under budget. The department anticipates construction to begin before summer.
“This was very welcome news and I look forward for the Dam’s repairs to be completed,” said Pitts. “Dunbar Cave State Park is a community treasure, and an asset of our state, and the eyesore resulting from the drained lake will soon be restored to its pristine condition.”