Via Pith, a compromise has taken banning center lanes off of the table, but Mayor Karl Dean's signature bus rapid transit project will still need approval from the General Assembly if it has any form of dedicated lane.
As for the final legislation pertaining to The Amp, Turner said it's bad, but better than the original Senate language that would have effectively killed the project as it's currently proposed.
"I'm not comfortable with the deal, no, because I think we're stepping in — we've set a precedent here," he said. "And I think it's going to get very burdensome for the state to have to do this if we starting having to approve individual projects across the state like that. It's worked fine the way we do it. They say this is a new type of project, of course that's not what this is about, this is a political thing. This is the best thing for Metro Nashville, best thing we could've done. It's the compromise we ended up with."
Mike Schatzlein, president and CEO of Saint Thomas Health Services and chair of the Amp Coalition, had the following to say this afternoon:
“We are satisfied with the outcome in the General Assembly today. This bill clearly defines approval levels of local and state participation in the transit project process. We look forward to our continued involvement in planning for Middle Tennessee’s urgent and growing transit needs. The Amp Coalition will stay committed to educating the community and region about the benefits of The Amp as the first step in a Middle Tennessee transit strategy.”
Well, now, here's a sticky wicket.
A release from House Dems:
The Tennessee House has passed HB2029 by Rep. Andy Holt (R-Dresden) on a vote of 58-37. While the sponsor said the bill and the resulting new classification of vandalism was geared towards stopping flash mobs, in fact, it places vandalism in the form of pollution in this new class, and makes it punishable only as a misdemeanor, no matter the monetary amount of property damage done as a result of pollution.
“Because the Republican leadership has focused on shutting down debate rather than writing good laws, we’ve just passed legislation that could have dramatically damaging consequences,” said Rep. Mike Stewart. “House Bill 2029 is a gift to all corporate polluters who want to cut corners, destroy our environment, and pollute Tennessee farm land in order to make a few extra bucks.”
In order to address the problem, Rep. Stewart introduced an amendment to HB1687 that would have fixed the problem created with the passage of the bill by deleting the language in Rep. Holt’s bill as it relates to pollution.
“By voting against my amendment, the House confirmed my suspicions that this was a Trojan horse bill designed to help corporate polluters,” said Rep. Stewart. “I hope the Governor will take a strong look at HB2029 and veto it for all the property owners who could be harmed by these actions.”
The Businesses for Tennessee Prosperity (for what it's worth, in the subject line of the email, it was spelled "Tennesse") — "an organization of business groups across Tennessee" — don't like the PARCC delay:
While we thank the General Assembly for its reaffirmation of Tennessee’s common core state standards, we are disappointed in an additional year’s delay for new assessments. The PARRC test is specifically designed to measure student mastery of these more rigorous standards. A one-year testing delay means that it will be 2016 before teachers, parents and taxpayers know how our students are measuring up to Tennessee’s new standards. As representatives of Tennessee’s business community, we believe that legislators must not waver in their commitment to accountability. We ask that all education stakeholders recommit themselves toward ensuring districts have the necessary technology infrastructure and teacher questions are adequately addressed during this extra year of preparation.
- BRASWELL, ROBERT
- GARRETT, JOHNNY C EXECUTOR; GARRETT, JOHNNY C IV EXECUTOR; GARRETT, ANN BIGGER ESTATE; GARRETT, TIMOTHY M EXECUTOR
- GARRETT, TIMOTHY M EXECUTOR; GARRETT, ANN BIGGER ESTATE; GARRETT, JOHNNY C EXECUTOR; GARRETT, JOHNNY C IV EXECUTOR
- GARRETT, JOHNNY C IV EXECUTOR; GARRETT, JOHNNY C EXECUTOR; GARRETT, ANN BIGGER ESTATE; GARRETT, TIMOTHY M EXECUTOR