Tennessee Officials Update State on Licensing Process for Professionals

The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance announced this week that its Division of Regulatory Boards licensed more than 129,000 professionals in fiscal year 2019 while decreasing the average processing time required for the approval of new applications for those seeking professional licensure.

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Nashville Court Dismisses Home-Based Business Lawsuit

  Nashville’s Chancery Court of Davidson County this week dismissed a lawsuit that a Grammy-winning producer and a hairstylist filed against the city’s regulations restricting home-based businesses. The Nashville-based free market think tank the Beacon Center of Tennessee assisted these two individuals, Lij Shaw and Pat Raynor. Beacon Vice President…

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New Tennessee Law Ruled Unconstitutional, Says Beacon Center Official

  A federal judge has halted enforcement of a new state law that state legislators passed earlier this year that forces online auctioneers to get a state license. This, according to Braden Boucek, vice president of legal affairs for the Nashville-based Beacon Center of Tennessee. Beacon is a free-market think…

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Other States Likely Monitoring Lawsuit Against Tennessee’s New ‘Online Auctioneer’ Law, Expert Says

  Legislators in other states likely want to duplicate a new Tennessee law that’s currently under a temporary restraining order, per a U.S. federal judge, said someone involved in the legal proceedings. As The Tennessee Star reported this week, U.S. District Court Judge Eli Richardson of the Middle District of…

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Beacon Center Tells 30 Largest Tennessee Cities It Will Call Them Out on July 4, 2020 on How Free Their Citizens Are

  Conservative think tank Beacon Center of Tennessee has placed the 30 largest Volunteer State cities on notice: On Independence Day 2020, it will call them out on how free their citizens are – or are not. The Beacon Center of Tennessee announced Tuesday it will release a City Freedom…

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Beacon Center of Tennessee Files Suit Over New Online Auctioneer Law

  The Nashville-based Beacon Center of Tennessee has filed suit against a new law that state legislators passed earlier this year that forces online auctioneers to get a state license. This, according to a press release Beacon officials released Thursday. The same press release said the state exempts big online…

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Bluff City Law to Film on Location in Memphis, Likely to Get Corporate Welfare

  The NBC drama Bluff City Law will reportedly film on location in Memphis, and it’s also presumed Tennessee officials will hand out corporate welfare in exchange. This, according to Monday’s Memphis Commercial Appeal. The show stars Jimmy Smits. But Tennessee taxpayers may lose out, said Ron Shultis, policy coordinator…

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Licensing Online Auctioneers Could Hurt Tennessee Economy, Expert Warns

Online auctioneers will suffer, as will Tennessee’s economy, if state officials require them to get a license, which certain members of the Tennessee General Assembly hope will happen this legislative session. This, according to an official with the Beacon Center of Tennessee, a Nashville-based free market think tank. As The…

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Tennessee General Assembly Bill Would Require Licensing for Online Auctions

A bill going through the Tennessee General Assembly would, for the first time, require a license for certain types of online auctions, according to a legal expert with the Nashville-based Beacon Center of Tennessee. Beacon’s Vice President of Legal Affairs told The Tennessee Star Thursday that people who do these…

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Governor Bill Lee’s Proposal for Education Savings Accounts Passes Its First Hurdle in Tennessee House Subcommittee

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – The bill that lays out the details of Governor Bill Lee’s proposal for Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) passed its first hurdle in the House Curriculum, Testing & Innovation Subcommittee. The 16-page amendment that “makes the bill” was presented by Speaker Pro Tem Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville), who is…

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Memphis Regional Megasite Reportedly Three Years Away

The Memphis Regional Megasite, which has already cost Tennessee taxpayers more than $140 million is reportedly three years away from completion, according to The Jackson Sun. Justin Owen, president of The Beacon Center of Tennessee, a Nashville-based free market think tank, previously called the megasite “an empty field of broken…

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Country Music Singer John Rich Gives His Take on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Country Music singer John Rich made some interesting observations this week about New York Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Green New Deal. “I think a lot of the sensible Democrats are scared to death of what she’s talking about because they all know that’s crazy talk,” Rich said on…

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Gov. Bill Lee Announces Criminal Justice Reform Proposal, May Include Free College Education for Felons in Prison

“Free” college education is all the rage, and now it appears that felons are joining in as Gov. Bill Lee proposes to use taxpayers’ money to pay their way to a degree. Lee’s plan could join other “free” education programs. In December Metro Nashville announced a program to spend millions…

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Tennessee Media Continues Drumbeat for Medicaid Expansion, Despite Dire Warnings from Elsewhere

Several of Tennessee’s mainstream media outlets seem to continue a drumbeat for Medicaid expansion in the state, even though some groups have long said it’s a bad idea. In the past several weeks Nashville Public Radio and The Daily Memphian, among others, have promoted the idea of expanding Medicaid in the…

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Forbes Calls Tennessee Part of a ‘Southern Taxpayer Safe Space’

Tennessee is one of four states with a governor that has taken state tax hikes off the table, according to a new article in Forbes. Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina are the other three states, according to Patrick Gleason, vice president of state affairs at Americans for Tax Reform. Gleason…

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Electrolux of Memphis, which Took More Than $100 Million in Corporate Welfare, Calls it Quits

Electrolux officials announced Thursday they are shutting down their Memphis plant sometime next year, even though they took more than $100 million in corporate welfare from the city, county, and state governments eight years ago. The Memphis Electrolux plant employs about 530 people, all of whom will likely lose their…

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During National School Choice Week, Speaker Pro Tem Bill Dunn Receives Award for School Choice Efforts

In celebration of National School Choice Week, Tennessee Federation for Children sponsored a Champions of Choice event at the state capitol to present Representative Bill Dunn with the 2019 Champion award. Standing beside Tennessee Speaker of the House Glen Casada (R-Franklin), Shaka Mitchell, Tennessee’s State Director of American Federation for…

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Report: Tennessee Lacks Transparency and Accountability in State Incentive Programs

Tennessee has too many confidential incentive deals, and taxpayers don’t know how much of their money goes to private companies or what return on investment they’re getting, according to a report released Thursday. The Beacon Center of Tennessee, a Nashville-based free market think tank, published the report. “To make matters…

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Latest Nashville Plan for Affordable Housing ‘A Double-Edged Sword,’ Metro Council Member Steve Glover Says

One day Nashville gives away a certain sum of economic incentives to major corporations to get them to come to the city. The next day, as part of one proposal Metro Council members will soon consider, the city would then have to hand out an equal sum of money for…

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Push Begins in Tennessee to Make Records Public on Who Gets Tax Credits

Three prominent organizations in Tennessee want state legislators to open the books and let the public know details about incentives the state gives away for economic development purposes, according to The Daily Memphian. Those three organizations are the Beacon Center of Tennessee, Americans for Prosperity – Tennessee, and the Tennessee…

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Megan Barry Earns Beacon Center of Tennessee Pork of the Year Prize

Former Nashville Mayor Megan Barry’s choice to spend nearly $175,000 in taxpayer money on an extra-marital tryst just earned her top billing in the Beacon Center of Tennessee’s 2018 Pork Report. Beacon, a Nashville-based free market think tank, releases a report detailing government waste, fraud, and abuse in Tennessee once…

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School Choice Provides Flexible Options That Fit Students’ Unique Needs, Beacon Center Says at Jackson Event

The Beacon Center on Monday hosted a meeting on school choice issues in the upcoming legislative session for 2019. Taylor Dawson, outreach coordinator for the Beacon Center, spoke about the organization’s legislative goals regarding school choice and the ways in which volunteers can help. The meeting was held at Brooks…

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Amazon’s $100 Million-Plus Tennessee Tax Incentives Deal ‘Unfair and Immoral,’ Beacon Center Says

The State of Tennessee’s and Metro Nashville’s $102 million taxpayer gift to Amazon is not a Prime deal, a public watchdog organization says. Amazon turned down Nashville for its coveted two new headquarters sites, called HQ2, but Nashville landed a $230 million operations center near downtown in the future Nashville…

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Beacon Center Questions How Education Dollars Get Spent

The state of Tennessee has misplaced priorities when it comes to how much money public school teachers get versus public school administrators, according to a new study the Beacon Center of Tennessee published this week. Beacon, a Nashville-based free market think tank, also reported fewer taxpayer dollars make their way…

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2018 Tennessee Pork of the Year Award Voting Gets Underway

The Beacon Center of Tennessee, a Nashville-based right-of-center think tank, this week announced finalists for its 2018 Tennessee Pork of the Year Award. The winner gets top billing in Beacon’s yearly Pork Report. The report catalogs the year’s worst instances of government waste, fraud, and abuse in Tennessee. As was…

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Report: Corporate Welfare in Tennessee Needs More Transparency

Tennessee officials hand out a good bit of corporate welfare, but they could do better to make sure the public knows how that money gets spent, according to a new state Comptrollers report. The report suggests several ways members of the Tennessee General Assembly can make matters better. As the…

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Expert: Tennessee Regulators are ‘Tammany Hall Hucksters’

Adam Jackson, Alarm Board

A Tennessee businessman said he couldn’t sell his state-of-the-art security software because members of a state board told him no. But those regulators, specifically the five-member Alarm Systems Contractors’ Board, said that’s not true, because they never made a final decision on the matter. But go over the video and…

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IKEA Corporate Welfare Documentary Earns Beacon Center of Tennessee Nomination for National Award

Beacon

Think tank Beacon Center of Tennessee is one of three finalists for a national award in the category of Best Issue Campaign. The Beacon Center was nominated for its award for a mini-documentary titled “Rigged: The Injustice of Corporate Welfare.” The Bob Williams Awards for Outstanding Policy Achievement celebrate state think…

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Tennessee Loses Out on New Security Technology Due to State Regulations

Adam Jackson

A Tennessee man who sold state-of-the-art technology that could have kept the state’s churches and schools more secure lost a substantial sum of money because state officials wouldn’t grant him the right to do business. This, according to members of the Beacon Center of Tennessee, a Nashville-based free market think…

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TV and Film Producers Who Cheat Tennessee Taxpayers Might Go to Jail

tv film production

A federal appeals court just ruled that states that hand out TV and film credits — as Tennessee does — can prosecute people who lie or mislead to get those corporate welfare benefits. Tennessee gave out millions of dollars in incentives to the fictionalized TV drama “Nashville” and more than…

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Tourist Heavy Nashville Development Might Get Money Meant for Blighted Areas

Nashville

A tax incentive normally designated for heavily blighted areas might go to a new development not in a poor and underserved part of Nashville but instead in and around one of the city’s most popular destinations. The developers behind the new office, retail, and residential development at the corner of…

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Think Tank: Tax Incentives Hurt Small Business Owners in Tennessee

small business

Tennessee’s economy would thrive even without local and state governments dishing out tax incentives to already wealthy corporations. What’s more, these tax incentives penalize Tennessee’s small business owners. This from the spokesman for the Nashville-based free market think tank The Beacon Center of Tennessee. “Simply put, corporate handouts benefit rich…

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Tennessee Taxpayers Gave $1 Billion in Corporate Welfare Last Year

Bernstein

You, the taxpayers of Tennessee, helped give away nearly $1 billion in tax credits to corporations who set up shop here last year. State law, as it turns out, forbids you from finding out exactly what kind of return you’re getting on your investment. In other words, even though the…

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Beacon Center Calls ‘Cut’ on Wasteful Tennessee Film, TV Subsidies Such as ‘Nashville’

film crew

The TV show “Nashville” may finally be ending, but taxpayers have been stuck with the tab for this and other “flops,” conservative think tank says in a new report. The Beacon Center of Tennessee released the “Calling Cut on Film Incentives” report Wednesday to decry the bad “investments” the state…

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Beacon Center Releases Alternative Transit Plan For Nashville With No Tax Increases

traffic jam

Conservative think tank Beacon Center of Tennessee has created a transit plan for Nashville that it says would serve all drivers in the near future while not raising taxes or requiring a referendum. The plan is available here. “Proponents of the Let’s Move Nashville light-rail plan argued that an alternative…

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Tennessee Loses Money Spending $17,500 Per Job to Lure 1,000 AllianceBernstein Employees to Nashville from New York City

Tennessee Capital building

A $17.5 million tax incentive from the state of Tennessee to lure 1,000 jobs to Nashville–$17,500 per job—came at the expense of taxpayers to lure well-paid corporate executives when they already were drawn to the state’s other features like a favorable tax structure, experts say. The Tennessee Department of Economic…

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Tennessee’s Zealous Barber Licensing Board Sued for ‘Irrelevant Requirements’

Elias Zarate

Those looking for a swifter path to becoming a barber in Tennessee just might find relief. The Tennessee Board of Cosmetology and Barbers Examiners is under fire for what twenty-five year-old Elias Zarate is calling “irrelevant requirements” associated with obtaining a Barber license – namely, a high school diploma. Born…

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Experts at Beacon Center’s ‘Off Track: What’s Wrong With Nashville’s Transit Plan & What We Should Do Instead’ Summit Slam Mayor Barry’s Scheme

NASHVILLE, Tennessee — The Beacon Center of Tennessee hosted a free conference open to the public on Saturday featuring the nation’s foremost experts discussing “Off Track: What’s Wrong with Nashville’s Transit Plan & What We Should Do Instead.” The title reflects the sentiment of attendees, primarily interested citizens versus special…

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