Lawrence Miller, candidate for Tennessee House of Representatives, District 26, said that he supports the Tennessee First Act.
"As a candidate for the Tennessee House of Representatives District 26, I know that putting Tennesseans back to work is my top priority," said Dr. Miller. "I want to see the words 'Made in Tennessee' again, instead of shipping good American jobs with good American benefits to countries with cheap labor and no benefits. That isn’t free trade – it’s a rip off.
"Rebuilding jobs and the local economy in Hamilton County starts with two simple principles: common sense and accountability.
"First, we should empower innovative, home-grown businesses. In the Chattanooga area, we have a great spirit of entrepreneurship, but we can do much more.
"Let's give Tennessee businesses the first crack at state and local contracts so our tax dollars create jobs here — not overseas or south of the border. Buying and using products and services that orginate in Tennesseans make common snes. This is a responsible way to grow the state economy.
"But opportunity should never come without accountability, so we must also hold companies that receive tax credits from the state accountable for creating the jobs they promise. Failure to deliver should mean taking back our tax dollars provided those companies.
"I support legislation similar to the Tennessee First Act, first introduced by Rep. Craig Fitzhugh (D-Ripley) in 2011. This bill, which received absolutely no support from the House majority, would give preference to in-state businesses who submit bids for public contracts. Many states and local governments use some form of contracting bid preferences, sometimes called Reciprocal Preference Laws, to support local businesses that have competitive bids within a certain percentage of the lowest bids.
"The Tennessee First Act is a common sense approach and could easily be implemented to better Tennessee businesses in an open and transparent fashion. No back-room deals, no secret meetings, and no “no-bid” deals. This would bring transparency and accountability and provide a simple boost to the businesses we want to see become successful. After all, it are the small and local businesses that create the real jobs and help to build our middle class."