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The Loop
A look at the Tennessee Legislature
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Greetings! It is always a pleasure to serve the “folks of the 40th,” and equally bring some good news.This week, we received an in-depth report that revealed our beloved state is in a historically strong financial position.The comptroller emphasized several positive indicators of the state’s fiscal affairs, such as:* The state budget is balanced on a recurring basis;* Tennessee has one of the lowest debt ratios in the nation;* The state’s retirement plan is sound;* Tennessee’s unemployment trust fund is solvent; That being said, it is crucial that we stay the course and remain diligent.The comptroller discussed challenges that lie ahead, calling for us to embrace wisdom so as to have ample reserves to take care of present priorities.Important to note, implementing fiscal responsibility will allow tax reductions to occur.That simply defines what real stimulus is--fewer taxes equal more money in your pocket. HB3266, that allows teachers and other school officials to participate in a student-led religious activity, will now go to the Senate after it passed unanimously in the House on Thursday, 93-0.This will, hopefully, protect our right of expression of faith.Now after football games, when the Fellowship of Christian Athletes kneel in the middle of the field, coaches will no longer have to walk away as long as prayers are initiated by the students.Hats off to those young Tennesseans who watched from the House Gallery during this vote.HB2380 is a simple, no-nonsense housekeeping bill I carried through committees that will be heard on the House Floor Monday.Though not a monumental piece of legislation, it is a common sense bill that will save the state over $500,000.When you continue to cut expenses in government and do government better, you save taxpayers money; therefore, you can eliminate taxes, such as the inheritance (death) tax and the gift tax.