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Lawmakers Prepare to Discuss & Debate the Budget This Week

Alyssa Hansen
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Even though we indicated in our most recent recap that there likely wouldn't be an update sent out due to the holiday weekend, we decided that there was too much important information to share to go a full two weeks without a summary of where things stand at the legislature.

The biggest issue that we'll be watching this week is the official start of the discussion on the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. As a reminder, if nothing else, this is the one task that lawmakers are constitutionally obligated to complete every year.

Both chambers are scheduled to start debating the budget as early as tomorrow (Tuesday), meaning that it could be on the floor of the House and Senate by the end of this week or early next week.

At this point, we strongly expect that lawmakers could adjourn sine die at some point next week. While we'd love it if they wrapped up their work sooner, there are still too many items left on the agenda to expect an adjournment by the end of this week.

In fact, one of those items will be heard in the House Finance, Ways & Means Subcommittee and the Senate Finance, Ways & Means Committee in the coming days.

Last week and over the course of the legislative session, we've briefly discussed SB 2383/HB 2397, which requires that contracts for the construction, maintenance, etc. of public buildings contain a provision that the iron and steel used for the project be made in the United States. Or, in other words, the legislation requires that some taxpayer-funded projects use products that are "Made in America" whenever possible.

Reinvesting Tennessee's tax dollars back into our state's workers and businesses is good for the economy AND supports products made right here at home.

Please take a few minutes to send a quick note to your legislators and ask them to support HB 2397/SB 2383. The message is pre-written and will be sent directly to your respective lawmakers; all you have to do is enter your address.

Thank you for taking action to support good jobs and American workers!

As we prepare to enter what is likely to be the final days of the 112th Tennessee General Assembly, please continue to keep a close eye on our social media channels for any updates or calls to action that are needed.

A Brief Look at Some of the Additional Legislation That We're Watching This Week

-SB 2204/HB 2659: A sneaky caption bill, this is yet another dig at the strong working relationship between Ford and the UAW. The House version seeks to prohibit organizations that contract with the Memphis Regional Megasite from giving any preference to union-friendly contractors AND requires them to report how much is spent on work performed by union members.
Note: This bill has passed both the House and Senate. However, as we've noted, the Senate's version is different than what the House passed. Last Thursday, the Senate did NOT agree to what the lower chamber passed, which is good news. This will likely go on a House "message" calendar at some point this week. As a reminder, if the two chambers can't resolve their differences between the two bills, the next step would be for the legislation to go to a conference committee.

-HB 2143/SB 2396: The caption to this legislation carries Governor Bill Lee's proposed overhaul of Tennessee's K-12 school funding formula. You can learn more about the legislation and take action against it by clicking here.Note: This bill will be heard in both chambers' Finance Committees this week.

-HB 2278/SB 2602: As announced earlier in session, this bill calls for a study to be conducted on the possibility of expanding railroad passenger service via Amtrak. 
Note: This bill has already passed the Senate.

-SB 2383/HB 2397: This piece of legislation requires that contracts for the construction, maintenance, etc. of public buildings contain a provision that the iron and steel used for the project be made in the United States. Click here to take action and tell your lawmakers to buy American!

-HB 2246/SB 2077: A piece of legislation that has made headlines in recent weeks, this would preempt local governments' ability to regulate the location of oil and gas pipelines.
Note: This bill has already passed the Senate.

-HB 1201/SB 1005: In light of the ongoing federal investigation into several lawmakers, this piece of legislation seeks to sharpen disclosure requirements and make additional ethics changes. 
Note: This bill has already passed the Senate with bipartisan support.

-SB 2766/HB 2829: Different from what passed both chambers early in session, this bill creates a program that incentivizes first responders to live within the boundaries of a local government.