Dale Allen and Clay Byrd, Adams & Reese Legislative Update

This month an increasing number of lawmakers, lobbyists, and staff scattered the halls of Cordell Hull despite an unusually slow start to the 2020 legislative session  Most stakeholders at the legislature focused on scheduling  meetings with lawmakers to line up sponsors and co-sponsors for legislation.  Legislative activity at the committee level remained relatively light with respect to the consideration of legislation, but most committees met for organizational purposes with short calendars.  Indeed, only a handful of committees considered legislation this month, with most lawmakers focused on filing bills in advance of bill filing deadlines in the House and Senate, February 5th and 6th, respectively.

This month, we also worked with the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the Tennessee Department of Safety on a legislative matter dealing with the drop deck length distance from the king pin to rear of the trailer.  Representative Dan Howell (R-Cleveland) and Senator Paul Bailey (R-Sparta), the Chairmen of the Transportation Committees in the House and Senate, respectively, agreed to file a “caption bill” on behalf of the TTA in the event that we need to pursue legislation on the matter.  As of now, TDOT and the TDOS appear to support our efforts to clarify existing law, if needed.  We will continue to work with all interested stakeholders to represent the interests of the TTA on this issue.

Governor Lee’s second State of the State address will occur next Monday, February 3, 2020. The Governor’s speech will announce the administration’s legislative priorities for the remainder of session and shortly thereafter, the Governor will release his budget to the General Assembly.  Expect the pace of session to increase significantly in the month of February as lawmakers continue to target a mid-April adjournment, a goal predicated upon the busy 2020 election year ahead.  We will continue to look through filed bills and keep you up to date. As always, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about any particular piece of legislation.  As always, it is pleasure to represent you at the Tennessee General Assembly.