Here is your Legislative Update and Action Alert from Tennessee Conservation Voters

Legislative Update and Action Alert

A couple weeks in and the General Assembly is starting to hit its stride! Some major issues are shaping up this year. The Tennessee Mining Association is making moves to return regulation to the state.  Property Assessed Clean Energy is a top legislative priority for several groups. There is a bill that will affect Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP), which are often used to try and limit conservation watchdog efforts.

This week TCV and many others are focused on the issue of transportation funding. Since about a fifth of all energy used in the state is used in transportation, this is important to get right ( citation).

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Most experienced watchers say that this promises to be another short legislative session so we all need to be prepared to act quickly.
Tennessee IMPROVE Act

SB1221/HB534, otherwise known as the IMPROVE Act, will be up in the House Transportation Subcommittee this Wednesday. This is what is known as a caption bill, so you won't find much detail in the bill. The amendment has over 90 pages of detail, find it here.

Responsible transportation policy is a perennial priority of Tennessee Conservation Voters. Though some analysis is still out we have reached the conclusion that this is not the bill we would have written, but this or something like it needs to pass. It is our state's best chance for responsible transit choices moving forward.



 Tennessee needs this bill to pass as a matter of good government and to promote responsible transportation choices.
  • We have not increased the gas tax for almost thirty years, and it is not tied to inflation or to costs. Therefore it has lost about half of its purchasing power while the growing population needs it to do more!
  • We must solve our transportation funding issue. Raiding the rainy day fund or hoping for a surplus is not a responsible strategy to deal with a recurring cost.
  • We know from fairly recent history that when the state's revenues don't keep up with expenses, they look to parks and other conservation cornerstones to make cuts.
And crucially,
  • We should allow our citizens to decide if they want to fund mass transit improvements for themselves! This plan allows for local governments to hold referenda on that issue.
Action Needed!

Will you commit to being part of the solution?

Already, the governor's IMPROVE Act is in serious trouble. Many give it a fifty/fifty shot at best. Please contact members of the House Transportation Subcommittee and tell them that you support the governor's plan.

House Transportation Subcommittee members

As always, contact your legislators about any issue you care about!
(PS, please let us know that you contacted a legislator. We want to keep track of who has been contacted so we know who to focus on.)
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