Legislators to talk clawbacks at Volkswagen hearing

State lawmakers plan to discuss the idea of clawbacks From Volkswagen at a special Senate committee hearing Oct. 29 in Chattanooga, reports The Tennessean.

“Metrics and ‘clawback’ provisions will be a part of the discussion, and it is too early to determine what, if any, metrics VW may have attained,” (Senate Speaker Pro Tempore Bo) Watson said in a prepared statement to The Tennessean.

“The purpose of the hearing is to allow for a transparent conversation between the Senate, ECD, and VW about how VW moves forward in Tennessee and insure the public that the Senate takes its fiduciary responsibility seriously, which means we will review the components of our most recent incentives and VW’s performance relative to the incentives.”

The German automaker faces billions of dollars in fines after a U.S. investigation revealed at least 11 million cars were installed with software that allowed them to cheat on emissions testing. The incoming chairman for VW recently said the scandal is “an existence-threatening crisis for the company,” according to USA TODAY and other reports..

…Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd (mentioned) the idea of clawbacks — requiring a company to return state money if the company doesn’t meet previously agreed upon benchmarks — in a letter he sent in late September to the General Assembly. But that letter merely outlines the clawback provision in the latest $165 million capital grant provided to VW.

“Any discussion of clawbacks is hypothetical. We have assurances directly from company executives that Volkswagen’s expansion remains on track,” said Clint Brewer, a spokesman for the department.

News release below

News release from Senate Republican Caucus
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee’s Appropriation Subcommittee will be conducting a hearing in Chattanooga to review the financial impact on the state from Volkswagen’s violation of U.S. emissions standards. The meeting will be held at the Hamilton County Department of Education, 3074 Hickory Valley Road, Chattanooga, Tennessee on Thursday, October 29, 2015 from 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM EST.

Members of the Appropriations Subcommittee are Senate Finance, Ways and Means 1st Vice-Chairman Bo Watson (R-Hixson), who serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee, Senator Reginald Tate (D-Memphis), Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) and Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge).

Who: Senate Appropriations Subcommittee
What: Hearing Regarding the Financial Impact on the State from Volkswagen’s Violation of U.S. Emissions Standards
When: Thursday, October 29, 2015 at 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM EST
Where: Hamilton County Department of Education, 3074 Hickory Valley Road, Chattanooga, TN