Representative David Byrd: District 71 Capitol Hill Update
June 25, 2020
Tennessee General Assembly Passes $39.45 Billion Budget
This week in Nashville, both the House and Senate approved a $39.45 billion budget that
addresses the unexpected revenue shortfalls caused by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic in
Tennessee. The Fiscal Year (FY) 2020-2021 budget reduces the size of government through
common sense reductions and cuts totaling $1.5 billion over a two-year period in efforts to address historic revenue losses. The budget finalizes the elimination of the Hall Income Tax and does not raise taxes on Tennesseans.
The new state spending plan invests $350 million into Tennessee’s savings account (Rainy Day Fund), bringing the total to $1.45 billion. The budget also fully funds the Basic Education Program (BEP), covering both growth and inflation with a $50.3 million investment. It includes $10.6 million for health insurance and retirement for teachers and principals. The FY 2020-2021 budget supports higher education with a $50 million investment in new facilities. The budget also focuses on boosting consumer and business confidence through the creation of a $25 million sales tax holiday, which will take place over two weekends in late July and early August 2020.
Other key allocations include a $210 million grant program for all Tennessee cities and counties.
These funds have no restrictions and will be used to address unique needs that are best determined by local and county leaders. Approximately $15 million will be used to support economic and community development through broadband accessibility grants.
Finally, the FY 2020-2021 budget invests $19 million to strengthen the state’s health care safety network and $7.5 million in new funding will create a children’s behavioral safety network.
Tennessee’s new budget supports citizens across all three grand divisions of our state as they continue to recover from these extraordinary circumstances. Under conservative leadership, the Volunteer State will remain the best place in the entire nation to live, work, raise a family, and retire.
Lawmakers Pass Historic Pro-life Legislation
Lawmakers this week also passed historic pro-life legislation that bans abortion procedures after a fetal heartbeat is detected or around six weeks. House Bill 2263 passed by a 68-17 vote tally Thursday morning. The legislation includes a ladder provision that enacts bans at various other gestation intervals up to 24 weeks. These provisions would take effect if the courts struck down the six-week ban or any other component of this measure. House Bill 2263 requires doctors to conduct an ultrasound, show images to an expectant mother and inform her about her baby’s development.
An amendment added to the bill also requires abortion facilities where 50 or more procedures are performed a year to post signage informing patients their chemical abortion procedure is reversible. Patients would also receive the same notification prior to and after the first dose of a two dose abortion-inducing drug treatment has been administered. Tennessee is a strong pro-life state, and this historic measure and others demonstrate our continued commitment to fight for our unborn.
As always, I am truly humbled and honored to be your voice on Capitol Hill. If there is ever any issue I can assist with, please reach out to my office by calling 615-741-2190 or emailing me at [email protected].