Greetings Fabulous Folks of the Fortieth!
We are off and running and back in the saddle again in Nashville! Session is rockin’ n rollin’. Here is what’s happening this week at the Capitol. Blessings!
Republican Leaders Honor Fallen Officer Spencer Bristol
This week in Nashville, House Republican leaders honored the life and legacy of Hendersonville Master Patrol Officer Spencer Bristol by introducing the Spencer Bristol Act. Officer Bristol was killed in the line of duty on Dec. 30, 2019 pursuing a fleeing suspect following a crash and high-speed car chase that began in Hendersonville and ended on Interstate 65 in Goodlettsville.
The Spencer Bristol Act holds criminals accountable by significantly increasing penalties for evading arrest when a law enforcement officer is injured or dies during a pursuit involving a fleeing suspect.
Currently, evading arrest is a Class D felony punishable by not less than two years and not more than 12 years in prison. This initiative enhances that penalty to a Class A offense, punishable by 15-60 years in prison.
Additionally, the Spencer Bristol Act increases penalties for causing serious bodily injury to a law enforcement officer during a pursuit from a Class D felony to a Class C felony. I proudly stand with the brave men and women who protect and serve our communities, and we will continue to fight for them throughout the 2020 legislative session.
Lawmakers Join Governor for Pro-Life Announcement
Members of the House Republican Caucus joined Governor Bill Lee on Thursday for a significant pro-life announcement designed to enhance Tennessee’s status as a national leader on this important issue. During the announcement, the governor unveiled components of a comprehensive proposal that includes a prohibition of an abortion when a fetal heartbeat exists.
Lee’s proposal would also build upon successes in other states while incorporating innovative approaches to enhance existing law, and I am eager to learn more about what is included in the governor’s initiative.
Tennessee is a strong pro-life state, and our leaders remain committed to protecting our most innocent and serving as a powerful voice for our unborn. I proudly stand for life!
House Republicans Pursue Tax Cut Legislation This Year
House Republicans this year will prioritize legislation that provides additional tax cuts for hardworking Tennesseans. These cuts include legislation designed to create a Food Tax Holiday for 2020 across the state through House Bill 1697. This initiative would exempt the retail sale of food and food ingredients from a 4 percent sales tax for the months of June and July. However, local taxes – up to 2.75 percent – would still be collected by cities and counties.
Because most Tennessee students are out of school in June and July, this will help families better provide food for their children during summer months, especially those who rely on free and reduced lunches throughout the school year.
Republicans are also considering reductions in the corporate tax, which currently sits at 6.5 percent — one of the highest rates in the entire southeast region. This burdensome tax penalizes businesses by taxing their net earnings. By reducing it, additional revenue should allow our businesses to reinvest and potentially expand operations, which could create new jobs.
I mentioned the Food Tax Holiday bill on my Top Topic Two Minute Talk video on Facebook last week. I am very excited to support this!
It is always a pleasure to serve and work for you!
Terri Lynn Weaver