Memphis, Shelby Mayors Give Legislators a Wish List

Mayors A C Wharton and Mark Luttrell asked state lawmakers Monday to expand prekindergarten and infant mortality programs and to approve tax incentives for businesses helping their employees pay their own college tuition. The Commercial Appeal says they also hope to increase fines for illegal commercial-waste dumping.
The Memphis and Shelby County mayors joined other local government officials and mayors of the suburban cities in presenting their requests for state legislative action and funding to the Shelby County legislative delegation. The 2013 legislative session opens Jan. 8.
Bartlett Mayor Keith McDonald, who spoke on behalf of the suburban cities, said the cities will be “closely watching” school legislation but gave no indication to the state lawmakers whether they will pursue further legislative action on new municipal school districts.
McDonald told reporters after the meeting that suburban leaders are meeting with their attorneys this week to begin planning their next moves following the federal court ruling last week voiding the municipal school referendums and school board elections that had been authorized by the state legislature in May.
…Wharton said current law on the illegal dumping of waste in vacant lots “is a nightmare of enforcement. They get paid to tear down buildings and dump the material on abandoned lots. These are folks who, for commercial purposes, are ruining our neighborhoods.”
The mayors said the tax incentives for tuition are needed because when businesses consider locating or expanding here, their top need is a workforce qualified to handle today’s jobs.

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