Balanced Budget Bills Advance
In her latest update from the Capitol, State Director Candace Daly reports on the progress of two small-business bills and the gamesmanship going on in each chamber.
We were able to get House Bill 392 and House Joint Resolution 8 out of Committee and sent to the floor for further debate. These bills address the national movement to try and get Congress to balance its budget, 1st Substitute House Bill 392 passed with 54 to 18, with three absent. It was sent to the Senate for further consideration.
There were a few subtle changes in the substitute bill. Clearly tying the hands of the delegates to the subject of balanced budget only and changing the penalty for not abiding by that to a third degree felony. HJR 8 is now sitting on the House board 33 down waiting to be debated. It will be much harder to get this bill out of the House but we have been working hard at contacting all of the 75 members of the House of Representatives.
Q&A on a balanced budget constitutional amendment, courtesy of the Tennessee Legislature.
Tangible Personal Property
NFIB also testified in the House Business and Labor Committee in favor of trying to get the Tangible Personal Property tax to be less onerous. Rep. Jim Nielson had two measures, House Bill 391 and House Joint Resolution 2, which combined tried to get the tangible personal property tax to go away all together.
Representative Nielson’s bills laid out a very aggressive path and Legislators worried that there might be too many consequences if these bills passed as drafted. The legislation was sent for further study by the Business and Labor Committee this summer. It will be fun to work on that with the committee this coming interim to see how much further we can go to make this easier and simpler for small business.
Session Close to Ending
Four days left till the session ends at midnight on March13. Things have been very different this year, and you really needed to be on the hill watching what was happening every day to stay on top of all the changes and games that are happening.
It is not unusual that the House and the Senate get frustrated and punish the other body in many ways. Sometimes they hold bills in Rules and other committees. Committee chairmen place bills strategically on agendas so that bills they don’t want heard might need to be moved to a later agenda if the committee runs out of time. The House may move slow and work slow on Senate bills if they think the Senate has not passed enough House bills, and the Senate might do the same thing to the House.
Previous 2014 Legislative Reports
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