House Finance Ways and Means Committee Votes to Break The Copeland Cap

Tennessee Star

At the final stop before the full House makes its first of three votes on Governor Haslam’s 2017-18 $37 billion state budget, the Finance, Ways & Means Committee finalized the bills required to move the budget on, including HB 514, which Chairman Charles Sargent (R-Franklin) referred to as the “indexing bill” or Copeland Cap.

The Copeland Cap is the 1978 amendment to Article II, Section 24 of the Tennessee constitution that states,  “In no year shall the rate of growth of appropriations from state tax revenues exceed the estimated rate of growth of the state’s economy as determined by law.”

The amendment was named for its author, former state Representative David Copeland of Ooltewah.

As reported by The Tennessee Star, with the growth of state revenues, lawmakers were expected to have to break the Copeland Cap.

That was confirmed Wednesday, when Chairman Sargent presented the bill to the committee, saying, “Revenues have grown and collections in the 16 budget that was not recognized in 16.  That money has been placed over into the 17-18 budget.  So we have to recognized that we went over.  We went over by 2.85 over and above the Copeland Cap.”

No further details were provided as to the dollar value of the overage or the per capita income levels that the Copeland Cap is based on.

The meeting was presided over by subcommittee chairman Rep. Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga), so that Sargent could present the bills.  McCormick asked if there were any comments or questions.  Seeing none, a voice vote was taken and the bill was passed on to the Calendar & Rules Committee to be scheduled along with all other bills for a House floor vote Thursday.

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3 Thoughts to “House Finance Ways and Means Committee Votes to Break The Copeland Cap”

  1. Ruth Wilson

    So the legislative minds, dream up a new fangled way to violate The Tennessee Constitution and call this “a trust fund”????? Sounds to me like a deception to deceive we, the people, into thinking that the Elected Ones are not violating their Sacred Oath of Office before Almighty God and God will “wink” at their Lying??? Well, He sees all they do in the dark and Almighty God will hold them accountable for their Lies and deceptions. They all know that the Copeland Cap is in the Tennessee Constitution and they either respect their Oath of Office or they are guilty of Violating their Oath of Office. They will give an account to God for what they do in this vote.
    For God & Country

  2. […] Appealing to his House colleagues to pass his amendment, Fitzhugh said that approving the block grant funds that would be held in a trust fund would help get around the Copeland Cap problem. […]

  3. Cannoneer2

    I posted it on April 30, 1PM. Copeland. Schmopeland.