By Pat Marsh, State Representative
As long as our government is administered for the good of the people, and is regulated by their will; as long as it secures to us the rights of persons and of property, liberty of conscience and of the press, it will be worth defending. ~ Andrew Jackson
It has been another long and busy week here at the State Legislature. The proposed new bills are starting their move through our committee system. The House Clerk announced this morning that we had around 540 bills already come through his office and we still have one more week to get bills on file.
I was very glad to find out that the city of Fayetteville received two water and wastewater construction loans. The loans and principal forgiveness total amounts to around $5 million in improvements for Fayetteville’s water and sewer Rehabilitation Projects. This is wonderful news for Fayetteville and Lincoln County and should really help the county continue to grow.
I recently found out that the Department of Transportation has done a traffic and safety study in Lincoln County on HWY 231/431 at Lincoln Road and will be putting a traffic light in that section of the road. Also, they are starting a safety audit/ study on Highway 110 and on the Bypass in front of Goodman Manufacturing.
It was good to see the Tennessee Emergency Medical Technicians all around the Legislature this week. I got to visit with Chad Graham of Bedford County and John Fitzsimmons from Lincoln County. These fellows do a great job for all of us and were up here to make sure we keep the funding up and pass no legislation that hinders their work.
The Tennessee Press Association had a nice reception this week and there were Press and Newspaper owners and editors from all over Tennessee. I had a good visit with Hugh Jones with the Shelbyville Times Gazette and also with many of his friends. The Tennessee Bankers Association had a great reception on Wednesday evening. I got to see many local bankers from Bedford and Lincoln Counties and even got to go out and eat with Scott Cocanougher from First Community Bank of Shelbyville and my banking brother, Bill, from Lewisburg.
I would like to let you know about some bills of interest that are coming up in the Legislature:
“The Repealer Bill” is proposed legislation that would designate a person in the Secretary of State’s Office to be charged with going through past legislation and cleaning up the laws that are antiquated, useless, don’t apply or are no longer needed. The Repealer would get input from citizens from all over the state regarding useless laws. He would then make a list and give them to the Governor’s office or to the Legislature to do away with. I really like the idea and hope we are able to carry through with this bill.
The “guns in trunks” bill is also starting through the committee system and many ideas are floating that could help this bill become better for all concerned parties.
There is a bill being introduced called the “Fairness in Ticketing Act”. This bill is trying to help clean up the many problems that are happening when you buy a ticket to an event over the internet. Many concerts/ events are basically sold out even before the tickets ever go on sale at the venue. And then when you do find a ticket, it has been marked up 200-300%. This proposed bill will say that if a website sells a ticket, they must actually have the ticket in hand and must provide the seat location or number. This part alone should help keep most sites honest because they must really have the tickets they are promoting.
Finally, I would like to tell you about Senator Tracy’s bill that puts many limits on Welfare debit cards. We have found out that cards were used to buy beer and liquor and many other items that the cards were not intended to be used to purchase. We are trying to save the taxpayers money while still providing help to those that really need it.
We really do have a great group of legislators here in the Tennessee Legislature and we are working together, most of the time, to promote our great state and to do the some great things. We are at the top of the rankings in many areas including:
● Barron’s Magazine named us the 3rd best-managed state in the country
● CNBC ranks us 4th in the country for transportation and infrastructure
● CNBC ranks us 2nd in cost of living
● Tennessee is ranked 4th in charitable giving
● Ranked among the lowest when it comes to state and local tax burden
● Ranked among the lowest when it comes to debt per capita
I believe that many of these things are possible in Tennessee because we cross party lines to do what is right for the people: we exercise fiscal restraint, we cut back our budget, we save money for the future in our rainy day fund, we cut taxes for all Tennesseans, and unlike Washington, we don’t spend money that we don’t have. Going forward, we will continue to work hard in order to make Tennessee an even better place to live, work, and raise a family.
Please feel free to stop by my office or give me a call if you have any questions or concerns. I have moved offices and am now located in room 19A of the War Memorial Building. Please come see me when you are in Nashville. You can reach me at (615) 741-6824 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am honored to represent the people of the 62nd district!