Haslam may let COD bill pass without signature

Heeding pressure from the hospitality industry, Gov. Bill Haslam may leave his signature off a bill forcing bars and restaurants to pay wholesalers for alcohol upon delivery, sources say.

Interest groups have been quietly lobbying the governor against the bill after Rep. Curry Todd, R-Collierville, tacked the language onto legislation in the final days of the legislative session that would expand the state’s winery laws.

Small business groups and the hospitality industry are urging the governor to veto the measure, arguing the change would create financial hardship for bars, restaurants and hotels. The state’s wholesaler’s association contends the change would simplify logistics for companies that now deliver alcohol and have to wait 10 days before they get paid. Although, not all agree.

“They are going to have to write checks more often. They will most likely only order what they need for a night which will put an unbelievable burden on my warehouse and my delivery driver,” wrote Jeanne Boone, CEO of Nashville-based BooneDocks Distribution, about her restaurant customers. “Think of what it would do to my company if I had to start running a truck to every restaurant in town that I work with five days a week.”

And while the law will force hotels, restaurants and bars to pay immediately, liquor stores will still have the 10-day grace period. 

Haslam has until May 24 to sign or veto HB2027/SB2415. If he takes no action, the bill will become law without the symbolic gesture of his endorsement.

Now in his fourth year of weighing bills passed by the legislature, Haslam has vetoed two pieces of legislation and let one into law without his signature during this term.

May 22, 2014 5:30 AM

Haslam: Ramsey's campaign against Democratic justices could hurt 'Yes on 2'

Gov. Bill Haslam says Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey's push to oust three Supreme Court justices in August could "muddy the waters" on the constitutional amendment question up in November, but says he won't get involved on either side of that campaign.

May 8, 2014 7:49 AM

Gov: No plans ‘right now’ to overhaul fuel taxes

Transportation commissioner suggested switching to usage fees
Apr 29, 2014 1:06 PM

UAW walks away from NLRB challenge

Via Blake Farmer at WPLN, the UAW has dropped its National Labor Relations Board challenge over the organizing vote at the Chattanooga plant, calling the process flawed.

Casteel calls the National Labor Relations Board review a “toothless tiger.” He points to one other time the UAW was able to get a new election that way. It took six years.

SEE ALSO: Coverage from the Times Free Press and ThinkProgress

Apr 21, 2014 8:18 AM

Hall tax repeal dies in committee

Green said amendment would have adversely affected local tax bases
Apr 17, 2014 6:42 AM

Haslam signs into law ending forced annexations

Via Sher, the law requires cities annex by consent of a landowner or through referendum votes approved by a majority of the landowners to be annexed.

Apr 16, 2014 2:48 PM

House passes Haslam's community college program

Despite concern the governor’s plan to guarantee two years of free community college will put too much pressure on community colleges, draw students from four-year schools and create a state-level entitlement program, the House endorsed the plan 87-8.

Approved by the Senate 30-1 on Monday, the General Assembly will next send the last dollar scholarship program to the governor for his signature.

The governor has spent the last year stressing emphasis on higher education in an effort to lift the number of Tennesseans with post secondary degrees from 32 percent now to 55 percent in 2025.

Although the legislation passed easily in both chambers, four-year institutions are worried the program will funnel graduating high schoolers into community colleges and away from four-year schools but have agreed to support the legislation.

No votes on the bill came from Republican Rep. Joe Carr of Lascassas, Glen Casada of Franklin, Jeremy Durham of Franklin, Andy Holt of Dresden, Judd Matheny of Tullahoma, Cameron Sexton of Crossville, Billy Spivey of Lewisburg, and Rick Womick of Rockvale. 

Apr 15, 2014 9:46 PM

Charter authorizer bill passes House, goes to Haslam

The House gave final approval to House Speaker Beth Harwell’s push to let the state Board of Education OK charter schools reject by local school boards. The bill’s passage on a 61-28 vote Monday comes a year and a half after Metro Schools went to blows with the state for refusing to welcome a charter school favored by state and city leaders.

Harwell scolded Democrats who went off topic on given amendments and tried to re-debate the bill, a measure the House passed 62-30 last year.

After holding the bill hostage last year in part of a political battle between the two chambers, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey slow walked the bill again this year to spur movement for a school voucher program.

The bill next heads to the governor’s desk. A close ally of House Speaker Harwell, Gov. Bill Haslam has said the change would help avoid the clash between state and local government. Earlier in his term, he cast doubt over taking authority away from local school boards. He is expected to sign it.

Apr 14, 2014 4:54 PM

Here's what the Legislature will resolve before leaving this week

From student testing to ag gag to vouchers, there's a lot left on the General Assembly's plate
Apr 14, 2014 5:00 AM

Haslam wants VW to stick with the vote

A check of authorization cards the UAW claimed it gathered prior to the vote to unionize at Volkswagen can be "influenced in a lot of different ways" and not necessarily portray how employees feel, Gov. Bill Haslam said Tuesday. More on what he thinks of talk that the car company might let the UAW in anyway.

Apr 8, 2014 10:20 AM