Tag Archives: discount

Senators Balk at Tuition Discount to Superintendents’ Children

A House-passed bill to give children of school superintendents a 25 percent discount on tuition at state colleges and universities could not win a single vote in the Senate Education Committee, leaving it dead for the session.
Currently, the children of certified teachers get a 25 percent discount. The bill (SB402) by Sen. Ken Yager, R-Harriman, and Rep. Bill Sanderson, R-Kenton, would give all school superintendents the same discount, even if they are not certified teachers.
Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, led objections in the Senate committee, noting that Knox County’s school superintendent “makes over a quarter of a million dollars a year.”
“I don’t think he needs a discount,” Campfield said.
Sens. Todd Gardenhire, R-Chattanooga, and Charlotte Burks, D-Monterey, offered similar objections. Gardenhire said the bill was setting up a special class and suggested an amendment giving children of firefighters and law enforcement officers a 25 percent discount, saying “no one is more worthy.” He was told by the committee chair that the amendment would not be accepted as is.
In the House, the bill had won approval on a 76-17 vote after defeat of an amendment offered by House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley.
Fitzhugh’s amendment would have extended the 25 percent discount to all “full-time, noncertified employees” of schools — including people such as secretaries and custodians. His amendment was tabled, or killed, on a 60-33 vote.

Bill Ends $3.50 Monthly Phone Discount for Low-Income Tennesseans

The House sent to Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday night a bill that eliminates a $3.50 per month discount that about 93,000 low-income Tennesseans now receive on their landline telephone bill.
The measure (SB1180) was approved by a 91-1 vote. The sole no vote came from Rep. G.A. Hardaway, D-Memphis, who said he approves of most provisions in the overall bill, but not the section impacting the “Lifeline” phone discount. House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, said a $9.25 monthly federal discount for persons with low income will remain intact and that should be adequate.
Phone companies at one time were reimbursed by the federal government for the state-mandated discount as well, but that ended under legislation enacted by Congress last year.
The bill (SB1180), pushed by AT&T and other phone companies, was approved earlier by the Senate. It makes various other changes in state law that McCormick described as “obsolete.”

Funeral Industry Split Over Pre-Death Discounts

Over the objections of some in the funeral home industry, two Knoxville legislators are proposing the repeal of a 1959 state law that prohibits discounting funeral costs to those who pay in advance.
Sen. Becky Massey and Rep. Ryan Haynes, both Knoxville Republicans, are sponsoring SB1286 at the behest of a group called Tennesseans for Funeral Reform, which is headed by Fred Berry III, manager of Berry Funeral Home in Knoxville.
It is scheduled for votes in committees of both the House and Senate this week. In January, state Attorney General Bob Cooper issued a legal opinion declaring the law in question is valid. Cooper was responding to a Haynes question on constitutionality of the statute.
Berry, whose grandfather served 16 years as a Republican senator from Knoxville, told the Senate Commerce Committee last week that the law was not really enforced until about two years ago. Since then the state’s funeral regulatory board, housed under the Department of Commerce and Insurance, has been inspecting contracts and imposing fines for violations.
Berry said that allowing discounts in the sale of “pre-need” funerals would save consumers money and encourage more people to make arrangements in advance. He said Tennessee is the only state in the nation with such a prohibition — a point disputed by those opposing the repeal bill.
Representatives of the Tennessee Funeral Directors Association and the Tennessee Funeral Home Directors and Morticians Association testified against the bill, contending that current law protects consumers and should not be changed.

Full story HERE.