Written by Joe Pitts
Tennessee State Representative
Nashville, TN – Property Tax Relief for disabled Veterans, disabled persons and elderly low-income homeowners House Bill 1496/Senate Bill 1675 (Sen. Mark Green, R-Clarksville) passed in the House Finance, Ways, and Means Sub Committee this week and is scheduled for the House Finance, Ways, and Means Full committee on Tuesday, February 27th, 2018.
This legislation corrects a rule change made in October, 2017 which would have caused individuals to lose their eligibility for tax relief if the veteran, low-income elderly, and disabled person if admitted to a nursing home for an indeterminate amount of time.
“I am hopeful we will see this bill pass and the tax relief programs will be left intact and alone in the future,” said Pitts.
Credit Report Freeze – House Bill 1486/Senate Bill 2470 (Sen. Kerry Roberts, R-Springfield) has cleared two committee hurdles this week and will be heard on the House Floor on Monday, February 26th. The bill will allow Tennesseans to place, temporarily lift or permanently remove a credit freeze with a credit reporting agency without charge.
“It currently costs $7.50 for these services, and as personal identities continue to be at risk, protecting yourself from online credit issues should not be a profit center for credit reporting agencies,” said Pitts.
Limiting New Statewide Assessments – HB 1855 (Rep. Tim Rudd, R-Murfreesboro) and SB 1806 (Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro) passed the House Education Instruction and Programs Subcommittee this week. This legislation will prohibit the Tennessee Department of Education and the State Board of Education from mandating any statewide assessments for any grades or subjects beyond those required as of the 2016-2017 thru the 2021-2022 school years.
“I voted in favor of this legislation. I believe our credibility is undermined every time we fail to deliver test results on time, and find the results are rife with errors. Until we meet that standard, we need to pause on adding more testing,” Pitts said. “Further, I loathe moratoriums but there is no other option.”
This legislation will be heard in the Education Instruction and Programs Full committee next week and the Senate Education committee on February 28th, 2018.
Montgomery County Veterans Coalition to hold fundraiser
Montgomery County Veterans Coalition is having their the very first Fundraising Dinner on Saturday, March 24th, 2018 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm at APSU Morgan Center Ballroom in Clarksville, TN.
Starting at 3:00pm professional photographer, Josh Vaughn, will be available to take dramatic artistic portraits $20.00 for the first photo with 50% going to the Coalition. An example of one is attached.
Silent auction items can be view as of 3:30pm (items to be announced, but there is a Predators hockey puck autographed by Mike Fisher last year)
Please consider supporting the Coalition. The cost for attending is $30.00 per person or $300.00 to sponsor a table. Table sponsors and donors $250.00 or more will have their names added to the program.
Our speaker is CSM Chris Fields, Army (Ret), Coalition member and Operation Restored Warrior Coordinator and Senior Facilitator. You may remember Chris from the movies Hornets’ Nest and No Greater Love. If you have not heard of Chris speak before you will not want to miss this opportunity.
Feb. 25th to Mar. 3rd is Tennessee’s Severe Weather Awareness Week
Tennessee’s Severe Weather Awareness Week is February 25th, to March 3rd, 2018, and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) and Tennessee’s National Weather Service (NWS) offices are using this week to promote preparedness to Tennesseans.
TEMA & NWS will host a Facebook Live event at 2:30pm, Central, on Monday, February 26th, 2018, to help Tennesseans understand the hazards and threats of severe weather. The NWS in Nashville will host the Facebook Live event at www.facebook.com/NWSNashville with TEMA posting the event simultaneously at www.facebook.com/TNDisasterInfo.
NWS Awareness and Education Events
NWS offices in Nashville, Memphis, Morristown, and Huntsville, AL will also hold a series of education and training events, using each day of Severe Weather Awareness Week to focus on a different severe weather threat. Information on Tennessee Severe Weather Week activities is available at www.weather.gov/ohx/swaw2018
“Now is the time to think about what your actions will be in the event severe weather including tornadoes and floods impacts you,” said Krissy Hurley, warning coordination meteorologist at NWS Nashville. “Our last few severe weather seasons have been relatively quiet, so we definitely don’t want Tennesseans to become complacent thinking that severe weather won’t happen to them. It’s not if severe weather will strike; it’s merely a matter of when.”
In the next legislative update, we will share more of the legislation sponsored by Rep. Pitts and other members of the Tennessee General Assembly, and provide weekly updates about the progress of these issues.