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.

Stop The Refugee Invasion

Article Four, Section Four could it be our best chance to halt the invasion.  It is the intent of the U.S federal government to force many states to accept U.N. declared Muslim refugees. This is being done despite the majority request that no new Muslim refugees be allowed to relocate here. Could they not be considered an invader… if they’re not welcome? If so, why wouldn’t ... (click for more)

Climate Change Or Change The Climate

Is it "Climate Change", or "Change the Climate"?  We are being told that we can change the climate. If so, let's all really believe, close our eyes very tightly, click our heels together and from now until eternity, it will be sunny and seventy-five degrees.  Bob Bogart (click for more)

City Council Votes To Allow 7-Story Apartment Complex By Southside Historic District, But Ground Floor Must Be Commercial

The City Council voted in favor of the seven-story building on Cowart Street at Tuesday night’s council meeting. However, Councilman Chris Anderson passed an amendment for the ground floor of the building to be used as commercial space rather than residential, as originally intended by Belle Investment Company. A full house gathered at the meeting to hear the verdict for ... (click for more)

Flood Warning Issued For Some Area Creeks; TVA Dams Spilling High Volumes Of Water

A flood warning has been issued for some area creeks, including South Chickamauga Creek in Hamilton County, West Chickamauga Creek near Fort Oglethorpe and Lookout Creek that runs from Trenton, Ga., to Lookout Valley. TVA dams are spilling high volumes of water with the Tennessee River Valley receiving 3-5 inches of rain over the last few days and up to two more inches are ... (click for more)

Jones Leads Walker Valley Past Baylor, 67-50

The Baylor Red Raiders played their first basketball game of the season on Tuesday night in the friendly confines of Jimmy Duke Arena, but they came out on the short end of a 67-50 verdict against the Walker Valley Mustangs. With only two days of practice under their belts involving everyone including football players, there are still a bunch of unanswered questions, but on a ... (click for more)

Vol AD Hart Says Bowl Talks Have "Accelerated"

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart, football coach Butch Jones and men’s basketball coach Rick Barnes took part in a press conference on Tuesday. Athletic director Dave Hart, football coach Butch Jones and men’s basketball coach Rick Barnes took part in the question and answer session. Here are the edited highlights involving Hart and Jones. ... (click for more)