Martin, Watson Give Legislative Updates To Friends Of Hixson

  • Sunday, June 23, 2024
From left to right are Steve Underwood, manager of Hixson Home Depot; Arch Trimble IV, Meeting Sponsor - Arch About TN; Greg Taylor, Friends of Hixson president; State Rep. Patsy Hazelwood; State Rep. Greg Martin; State Senator Bo Watson, and Michael Kirk, Kiwanis Club board member.
From left to right are Steve Underwood, manager of Hixson Home Depot; Arch Trimble IV, Meeting Sponsor - Arch About TN; Greg Taylor, Friends of Hixson president; State Rep. Patsy Hazelwood; State Rep. Greg Martin; State Senator Bo Watson, and Michael Kirk, Kiwanis Club board member.

District 26 State Rep. Greg Martin and District 11 State Senator Bo Watson provided a comprehensive legislative recap at the weekly Friends of Hixson Coffee Meeting at Clear Creek Church of Christ.

Rep. Martin spoke about the school choice debate around the state. He said there are excellent options for parents with magnet and charter schools like Chattanooga Preparatory School and Ivy Academy, and he supports parents in having the ability to decide what educational path is best for their children.

He said the recent TISA state education funding changes resulted in an additional $261 million in K-12 funds, all without a tax increase.

The legislature funded the largest investment in rural health in Tennessee history and provided over $17 million for additional state troopers to increase public safety, he stated.

Senator Watson, who chairs the Finance, Ways and Means Committee, said the state of Tennessee is in "incredible shape financially" and recently passed a $400 million tax cut by simplifying the franchise tax, cementing the state's status as one of the most business-friendly and small business-minded states in America.

This returned over $1.5 billion to Tennessee taxpayers while simplifying the tax code, Senator Watson said.

He said, "This is a testament to our community's resilience and the effective management of our financial resources."

The state’s Rainy Day Fund is currently over $2.15 billion.

Senator Watson, along with District 27 State Rep. Patsy Hazlewood, who was in attendance, sponsored the Chris Wright Act, named for a Chattanooga businessman who was murdered downtown last year. This Act increases penalties for the third and subsequent domestic assault conviction from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class E felony and upgraded offense classification for certain misdemeanor offenses to a Class E felony upon the sixth or subsequent offense.

Senator Watson reminded the attendees that Rep. Hazlewood is the chair of the Finance Committee for the House, providing Hamilton County with the chairman of both the Senate and House Finance Committees.

The FOH Community Coffee Meetings are always free and open to the public, and all are welcome to attend.

Visit friendsofhixson.org for information on upcoming meetings.

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