Noting Some Less-Noticed Legislation — Business to Bovine

Nuts-and-Bolts of Being Business-Friendly
The depth of this year’s business-friendly phenomena in this year’s legislature may be illustrated by HB884, which is designed to make it easier to deny unemployment benefits to dismissed employees. The measure, pushed by the Chamber of Commerce folks, would allow “hearsay” evidence to be used in hearings on terminations.
The full story, written by yours truly for the Knoxville Business Journal, is HERE.
Bovine Bill Mooooves On
The state Senate has given final approval to a bill, SB339, that grants immunity from liability for injuries caused by “bovine activities” so long as the owner of cattle or other bovines posts warning signs.
Sen. Roy Herron, D-Dresden, objected to the measure, saying it “goes too far” by granting broader immunity than similar laws. Sen. Jim Tracy, R-Shelbyville, sponsor of the bill, said he disagreed with Herron.
Tracy said the bill has the same language contained in a 19-year-old law enacted to grant immunity for “equine activities,” or those involving horses, and there have been “no questions about what was done with equines in 1992.”
Herron’s attempt to amend the measure to retain liability for “gross or wanton” negligence was killed on a 22-11 vote with all no votes coming from Democrats. The bill was then approved — all no votes coming from Democrats — and sent to the governor for his signature.
Bill to Push More Mowing
Rep. Janis Sontany and Sen. Joe Haynes, both Nashville Democrats, have introduced legislation that would give local governments a new tool to compel property owners, many of them absentee landlords living in other states, to cut their grass.
Rest of the story by Michael Cass is HERE.
Towns Want More TDOT Money
Tri-Cities governments are again encouraging state lawmakers to pass legislation to develop a $15 million transportation funding pool for cities with a population between 20,000 and 75,000 people, reports the Kingsport Times-News.
The pool would offer “challenge grants” to those localities willing to finance a larger share of the cost on a road in the state route system.
“Such grants will stretch TDOT (Tennessee Department of Transportation) dollars and advance the state’s critical road infrastructure needs as the transportation needs of Tennessee’s major cities consume the vast majority of available funding,” said the Tri-Cities governments’ Joint Legislative Policy document.

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