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FROM CAPITOL HILL IN NASHVILLE --- TENNESSEE TODAY
Tennessee House of Representatives

Representative L. Don Ridgeway  


Debbie Denning, Administrative Assistant, 615-741-6900  

February 24, 2000


 

HOUSE DEMOCRATS MOVE A STEP CLOSER TO BUDGET PLAN

 

 

April 7, 2000 STATE OF TENNESSEE TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLY HOUSE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS TENNESSEE TODAY Weekly Wrap….May 5, 2000


CONTACT: Janna Fite, Press Secretary, (615) 741-6620
HOUSE DEMOCRATS MOVE A STEP CLOSER TO BUDGET PLAN
(NASHVILLE) -- House Democrats this week discussed options and specific ideas for balancing the state's budget during an extensive caucus meeting on Wednesday. Presentations and discussions centered around budget cuts across the board and a reduction in government spending. Members also placed an emphasis on health care and the desire to give pay raises to teachers and state employees. "We are finally starting to move," said House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh (D-Covington). "A number of options are on the table right now, but we have a starting point. We're looking at cuts to proposed improvements and base programs first…then we'll decide on any additional revenue sources. " Naifeh added that the possibility of raising the state sales tax appears weak, while options such as freezing growth on state shared taxes, and a one-percent tax on gross receipts are gaining some ground. Both Naifeh and Caucus Chair Randy Rinks (D-Savannah) called on members to come up with alternate proposals during the two-week recess. The caucus also listened to a detailed presentation by State Treasurer Steve Adams. CHILD CARE DISCUSSIONS CONTINUE A Memphis mother whose daughter died in a day care van was among those that testified this week to a subcommittee looking at childcare reform in Tennessee. Tamika Williams spoke to legislators about the dire need for improvements and safety measures in the system. She was one of two dozen members of the group "Citizens for Child Care Reform Now" who joined Rep. Carol Chumney (D-Memphis) and others to support new child care legislation. "We are finally getting closer to a day-care package that will include necessary measures," said Rep. Chumney, prime sponsor of an administration bill (HB 3035) on child care reform, along with Rep. Page Walley (R-Toone). "Background checks and licensing are just some examples of what will make the system safer and more accountable for children." The Health and Human Resources Subcommittee will continue to discuss the issue next week. Senator Roy Herron (D-Dresden) is the lead sponsor of the bill in the Senate. Other proposed changes include lowering the teacher-to-infant or toddler ratio in day care centers, and tightening requirements for personnel. IN OTHER ACTION…. - HB 3009 (SB 3081) passed this week in the full House Finance Committee. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Robb Robinson (D-Madison), will allow law enforcement officers to stop motorists and issue citations for violating Tennessee's seat belt law without first witnessing a separate violation. - HB 3066 (SB 2665) sponsored by Rep. Doug Jackson (D-Dickson), was also approved by the House Budget Subcommittee this week. The legislation creates a Class A misdemeanor offense for anyone driving on a suspended or revoked license for vehicular homicide, vehicular assault or DUI who refuses to take a blood alcohol test when stopped by law enforcement .
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