The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) rated the 110th Tennessee General Assembly on Wednesday, just few days after Tennessee’s legislative body adjourned for the year.
“The Tennessee Legislature is now adjourned, but NFIB/TN worked hard to protect the state’s small business owners right until the end. In late April, just before adjournment, hundreds of NFIB/TN members made calls and emails about House Bill 2310. This bill contained a harmful provision that would have authorized the state to hire third parties to conduct sales and use tax audits. However, thanks to your activism, NFIB/TN convinced lawmakers that the state should always conduct these proceedings rather than farm them out to vendors who would have access to confidential taxpayer information,” the NFIB said in a statement, adding:
Here’s a roundup of the other key state victories achieved for your small business over the past two years during the 110th General Assembly, none of which could be achieved without your support—thank you for raising your voices!
Labor Reform (SB 262)
This bill preempts any local governments from establishing predictive or restrictive scheduling laws on businesses. NFIB/TN supported it, and it passed the House 67-24-1 and the Senate 29-3.
Regulatory Reform (SB 1194, SB 1371, HB 1143, HB 362)
SB 1194 removes the requirement to be licensed to shampoo hair, in the vein of the Right to Earn a Living Act. NFIB/TN supported it, and it passed the House 84-5 and the Senate 26-0.
SB 1371 ensures consistent application of air permits, which is consistent with the legislative intent of state’s regulatory program. NFIB/TN supported it, and it passed the House 69-23-2 and the Senate 26-3-2.
HB 1143 clarifies inclusionary zoning language prohibiting local governments from below-market rental pricing, while preserving the use of voluntary incentives for affordable housing initiatives. NFIB/TN supported it, and it passed the House 72-21-1 and the Senate 21-6.
HB 362 provides state legislative review of NPDES permits regulating a local government entity’s municipal separate stormwater system. NFIB/TN supported it, and it passed the House 78-7 and the Senate 28-2.
Licensing Reform (SB 2465)
This bill provides certain protections and an appeals process for applicants with a criminal background to obtain a professional license, certificate, or registration, in the vein of the Right to Earn a Living Act. NFIB/TN supported it, and it passed the House 90-0 and the Senate 32-0.
While there were numerous important victories this session, there were some disappointments as well. Unfortunately, a few important efforts to level the playing field for small businesses stalled at the end of session. However, NFIB/TN will renew efforts next year to eliminate the discriminatory professional privilege tax on 22 professions, as well as repeal the discriminatory amusement tax on small fitness centers.