Rep. Floyd: Capitol Hill Review

Thursday, February 14, 2013 - by Rep. Richard Floyd
Department of Economic & Community Development Gives Positive State Outlook

During House budget hearings this week, Commissioner of Economic and Community Development Bill Hagerty presented lawmakers with a positive overview of  the success Tennessee has had over the last several months in creating an environment statewide where businesses have the opportunity to grow and thrive.

Since the election of Governor Haslam, Hagerty announced, nearly 80,000 new jobs have been created in Tennessee.
In addition, large employers such as Nissan and Volkswagen have already announced future expansions in the state.

With the guidance and support of the legislature, the Department believes the next several years will show even greater strides towards making Tennessee the most successful job-recruiting engine in the entire Southeast.

“While I wish the weather were better outside,” Hagerty stated, “I think overall things are shining here in Tennessee.”

Crime Prevention Bills Score First Legislative Victory

Republican lawmakers on the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee this week passed a series of bills which continue the push for crime prevention in Tennessee. 

Building on the success Republicans had during the 2011-2012 legislative session to cut down on crime across the state, this new crime prevention package addresses issues related to crimes against children, criminal gang offenses, and human organ trafficking.

In total, fifteen bills have been filed, including:

House Bill 520, which changes the offense of promoting prostitution of a minor from a Class E felony to a Class A felony – a move which will greatly increase the punishment for such crimes;

House Bill 131, which increases penalties for gang members who commit trafficking for commercial sex acts;

And House Bill 357, which adds to the law books a new offense for the trafficking of human organs.

Governor Haslam Requests Disaster Recovery Assistance

On Monday, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam formally requested assistance from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to help individuals and businesses in Henderson, Carroll, Chester, Decatur, Hardin and Madison Counties recover from wind, tornado and flooding damages that occurred on January 29, 2013.

The assistance, if approved by the SBA, will come in the form of low-interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses, and non-profit organizations seeking to repair or replace real estate, personal property, equipment, or business assets that were damaged or destroyed during the January storm.

MADD Partners with Lawmakers to Advocate for Ignition Interlock Legislation

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) joined with legislators this week to call for the advancement of House Bill 353, a piece of legislation which would update state law to require the installation of ignition interlock devices for all future convicted drunk drivers in Tennessee.

Interlock devices are small pieces of equipment attached to the steering wheel of a car with a tube that the driver must breathe into in order to allow the ignition to start.  The newest ignition interlock technology makes it easier for courts to require DUI offenders to utilize the device, including cameras to ensure that the person tested is the correct driver.  

Currently, 17 states require interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers.



A Toll Bridge Is Needed From Soddy Daisy To Ooltewah

I am writing about the critical need for a new bridge from the Soddy Daisy, Hixson, Middle Valley, Lakesite area across the Tennessee River to the Harrison, Ooltewah, Snow Hill area. I know there has been talk in the past, and this need has indeed grown even more severe.   When I bought my house in Soddy Daisy in the fall of 2012, I was astounded to find out that the only ... (click for more)

Pass The Tennessee Wilderness Act

I was recently drawn to a piece by Samantha Lynn urging Congress to protect the Cherokee National Forest as wilderness. I wanted to echo Samantha’s sentiments in regards to the Tennessee Wilderness Act.  I grew up in upstate New York backpacking the Adirondacks. Like many others, I was attracted to Chattanooga by its incredible outdoor opportunities including the Cherokee ... (click for more)

Avocet Hospitality Group Acquires The Read House; Multi-Million-Dollar Renovation Planned For The Historic Chattanooga Property

Historic Read House Associates, LLC, a subsidiary of Avocet Hospitality Group (AHG), on Wednesday announced the acquisition of The Read House in downtown Chattanooga. The seller, Read House Investors, LP , has owned the property since 1994 and entered a sale agreement with AHG in May. Hodges Ward Elliott represented and advised the seller in the transaction. The 242-room ... (click for more)

Judge Says Dyer, Brennan Can Obtain Loans From Friends And Families After Affidavits Are Filed

Federal Judge Travis McDonough ruled Wednesday that two Chattanooga men who were charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with defrauding a large number of investors can obtain loans from friends and family to pay attorneys and for living expenses. However, he said details of the loans must be spelled out in affidavits that he and the SEC must approve. The loans to Doug ... (click for more)

Streaking Ooltewah Withstands Walker Valley Challenge

Ooltewah coach Elaine Peigen expected a tough volleyball match on Wednesday at Walker Valley. Her Lady Owls got just that. After winning the first two sets, Ooltewah came up short in the next two and held on for a 3-2 District 5-3A showdown in Cleveland to remain unbeaten in league play. The Lady Owls have now won at least 46 consecutive district matches dating to 2012. ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Sweeps Red Bank For 12th Volleyball Win

The Red Bank Lionettes and the Hixson Lady Wildcats both played non-district volleyball matches at home Wednesday and both lost, Red Bank getting swept by Signal Mountain and Hixson by Soddy Daisy. Signal Mountain rolled to its 12th win against three losses, winning easily by scores of 25-15, 25-13 and 25-7. Aubrie Johnson had 11 kills while Nicole Terfloth had 13 digs and ... (click for more)