At the beginning of this year’s legislative session, Americans for Prosperity – Tennessee set an ambitious agenda. We wanted to ensure our justice system treats Tennesseans more fairly, provide access to quality education for every kid, and create more opportunities for work.
2019 was more successful than we could have imagined! We saw policy wins on multiple fronts that are going to make Tennessee a stronger and more welcoming state.
Here’s a look at everything you helped us accomplish this year:
Criminal justice reform
The Tennessee Legislature unanimously passed a driver’s license restoration bill, allowing Tennesseans with unpaid fines and fees to work out a payment plan so they’re still able to drive to work and school with a restricted license.
Gov. Bill Lee and the legislature supported removing state fees for expungements. This legislation gives true second chances to those who’ve paid their debt to society and want a fresh start.
The legislature also moved to examine arrest practices in the state. HB 715 would clarify writing citations in lieu of arrests for certain charges, to keep families together and save taxpayers millions.
AFP thanked lawmakers for their work to restore voting rights to Tennesseans who’ve completed their sentences. Voting is one of our most basic rights, and Tennessee is getting out in front of a national movement to restore that right to those with criminal histories who’ve paid their debt to society.
Tennessee took a positive step in the right direction when the legislature passed an education savings account bill which that will provide students from select counties the opportunity to innovate and customize their education. The legislation received a shout-out from President Donald Trump, and AFP-TN remains engaged to ensure more Tennessee families are able to exercise their educational freedom.
Both the state House and Senate passed rollbacks to the state’s professional privilege tax. The bill equates to a $22 million tax cut and saves workers hundreds of dollars.
The legislature repealed the state’s amusement taxes. This extra tax on small gyms and fitness facilities cost business owners and costumers and was a prime example of government picking winners and losers.
More accountability is also on the way thanks to passage of the Fair Accountability and Clarity in Tax Subsidies Act. The FACTS Act ensures that clawback provisions are enforced for capital grant projects.
Hair braiders have more opportunity to work after passage of a licensing repeal bill. These burdensome regulations kept many from earning a decent wage and entering an industry they loved.
Tennessee is set up for more prosperity, growth and success after this legislative session! Thank you to every volunteer who made phone calls, sent emails and joined us at the Capitol to make their voices heard.
We’ll have plenty more work to do, so stay informed about what’s going on in Tennessee on Facebook and Twitter!