State Rep. John Mark Windle (D-Livingston), who pulled the surprise move to adjourn last week at the House Transportation Subcommittee before a fair chance was given to vote on the Hawk Plan, the alternative to the governor’s gas tax increase plan that reallocates sales tax revenue, is at it again.
“Windle filed five amendments to Hawk’s legislation Monday after being rebuffed last week by Weaver. Windle, of Livingston, is introducing measures to remove sales taxes on baby formula, milk, bread and baby diapers. Yet another amendment would provide a 10-year franchise tax exemption on manufacturing plants that open or expand in economically distressed counties,” the Memphis Daily News reported.
Windle’s latest exercise in legislative skullduggery came two days before the House Transportation Subcommittee is scheduled to reconsider both the Hawk Plan and Gov. Haslam’s IMPROVE Act on Wednesday.
Subcommittee chairman State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver (R-Lancaster) is a strong opponent of the governor’s proposal.
“My district knows it. I’m opposed because my district is opposed to it,” Weaver told the Daily News.
But Windle has aligned himself with three Republican allies of Gov. Haslam on the Transportation Subcommittee who are determined to prevent the Hawk Plan from surviving the committee: State. Rep. Barry Doss (R- Leoma), who also serves as the Chairman of the full Transportation Committeee, State Rep. David Alexander (R-Winchester), and State Rep. Sam Whitson (R-Franklin).
Those four, along with State Rep. Barbara Cooper (D-Memphis), in a well orchestrated legislative maneuver, voted to in favor of Windle’s sudden motion to adjourn at last Wednesday’s meeting of the Transportation Subcommittee.
Only Subcommittee chair Weaver, State Rep. Courtney Rogers (R-Goodlettsville), and State Rep. Jerry Sexton (R-Bean Station) voted against the adjournment of the committee, so the motion to adjourn passed.
Supporters of the governor’s gas tax increase plan have had the entire week to plan additional legislative tricks, such as the one deployed by Windle on Monday, to derail the Hawk Plan.
But supporters of the Hawk Plan are preparing their own counter measures.
On Wednesday morning, Americans for Prosperity will hold a rally at Legislative Plaza to oppose the governor’s gas tax increase proposal. The Transportation Subcommittee will reconvene at 1 p.m. that day, and gas tax increase opponents are likely to be in full force to make their opposition clear to all members of the subcommittee.