The Tennessee legislature is entering its final few days of this session and several major committees have either shut down or on their final calendars. Over the past few days, the following actions have taken place:
1. $3 Billion Infrastructure Plan. On March 30, 2023 the Senate and House passed the $3 Billion Infrastructure Plan. Highlights of the plan include fees on electric vehicles to offset the foregone fuel tax revenue, as well as the establishment of public-private partnerships to construct “choice lanes.” Choice lanes allow drivers to proceed in certain lanes on the interstate for a fee, such as is commonly seen in states such as Georgia and Florida. While some critics call the lanes “toll roads,” which is something Tennessee has never pursued, proponents argue that it simply gives motorists a choice of traveling a less congested express lane for a fee, while the remaining lanes remain free as they always have.
2. Three-Year License Plate. The House passed HB675 with a unanimous floor vote. This will allow rental car companies who currently have two-year license plates to obtain three-year license plates. This has been done as a result of vehicles remaining in fleets for a longer period of time because of the pandemic and supply chain issues.
3. Towing Statutes. On March 30, 2023 the House and Senate passed HB87/SB1337 which is this year’s revisions to the towing statutes in Tennessee. The towing statutes in Tennessee are antiquated as they were first enacted in 1938. This legislation was drafted with input from rental car companies, insurance companies and the Towing Association. Among other things, this legislation will streamline notification by allowing towing companies to send notifications by overnight mail such as UPS and FedEx. It clarifies that rental companies include motor vehicle rental companies and requires that notifications under public tows are applicable to private tows, which requires use of the TIES system to identify and notify owners of vehicles. There are other changes that are enacted in an attempt to modernize the statute, as well.
Please remember the TTA Day on the Hill is April 5, 2023 and we hope to see you there. Also, TTA will host its popular reception with bourbon and cigars at 4:30 pm that same day at Adams and Reese, 1600 West End Avenue, Suite 1400, Nashville Tennessee and we hope you will find time to attend that, as well.