NFIB

Sponsor denounces ‘misinformation’ on property assessment bill, withdraws measure from vote

Sen. Kerry Roberts blasted opponents of his bill to change property assessment appeals in comments on the Senate floor, but the Springfield Republican then withdrew the measure from a scheduled vote before the General Assembly goes into recess amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Business groups like the state Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independence Business had taken issue with effort to ram the bill through while the Capitol complex has been closed to lobbyists and advocates.

“For the past 24 hours there’s been tremendous amount of misinformation sent to members about this bill, claiming it would result in a tax increase,” Roberts said. “I want every member in this body to know exactly what they’re voting for, so I’m going to make a motion in a minute to send it back to Calendar, because I do anticipate we’re going to be back in session a little bit later in the year..

“As an inactive certified public accountant, I can tell you this is a very complicated issue, but there’s also a very good explanation and a very good reason for this,” he said. “And I want to have the opportunity to talk to each and every one of you, so when you cast your vote, you will fully understand that this issue is trying to solve.”

Report: Hill pressed ‘kill lists’ on committee chairmen

Rep. Mark White (R-Memphis), right, and Sen. Jack Johnson (R-Franklin) attend an NFIB event in Nashville on Feb. 19, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Rep. Matthew Hill, a Jonesborough Republican who wants to succeed resigning Glen Casada as House speaker, pressed “kill lists” on committee chairman to try to control the flow of legislation through the chamber this year, the Daily MemphianSam Stockard reports.

Education Chairman Mark White (R-Memphis) says Hill would give him a list of bills that House leadership wanted to “survive” or “not survive” in his committee.

Hill “handed those to me, yeah. I don’t know where it came from there,” White told the publication. Hill would explain “leadership said these bills are not good for us,” he said.

“I’m not saying that’s right or wrong. I’m saying that did happen,” White said, adding that most of the instructions would be delivered during pre-meetings run by Hill and not attended by the general public.

Hill in a statement didn’t deny the existence of “kill lists.”

“The Speaker’s office would examine legislation in order to determine whether it was beneficial or harmful to Tennessee. While some of these initiatives were deemed harmful and were ultimately defeated in their respective committees, other advanced,” Hill told the Daily Memphian.

White said he declined to try to influence the votes of his colleagues.

“I left that up to each individual member, and I would judge each bill on its own merit,” he said.

Read the full report here.