The first half of the 108th General Assembly wrapped up late on Friday afternoon, completing its workload in record breaking time. “I do think there was a lot accomplished,” said Republican Gov. Bill Haslam. Many in the legislature credit the willingness of State Legislators to stay late and work together with Tennessee’s successful session versus the gridlock in Washington, DC and the federal gridlock.
Rep. Mark Pody (R- Lebanon) was one of the legislators pleased by balanced budget that was passed. The budget included tax cuts of over 43 million dollars. The tax cuts included a reduction in sales taxes on food that will help all Tennesseans. Pody, who is a strong fiscal conservative, also applauded the reduction of the Hall Tax.
“Many of our seniors have scrimped and saved to put some money aside for retirement and the Hall tax has been penalizing them,” shared Pody.
In addition to the lower taxes and the balanced budget, the legislators also set aside $100 million to rebuild the rainy day fund. Education was also a big winner this session. Many local schools will see money for information technology upgrades at K-12 schools. The state fully funded the BEP program at $4 billion as well as focused on higher education. Several public colleges across the state will see money for capital outlay and maintenance projects.
In conclusion, businesses saw an easing of regulations that hinder growth. Workers Compensation received an over haul that will again make Tennessee a place where private companies want to invest.
“This year we passed fewer laws and took many old and antiquated laws off the books. We did it in record time and have adjourned earlier than any time in over 20 years,” avowed Pody.