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Minority Leader’s Lament on the Session Past (targeting Andy Holt)

State Rep. Andy Holt specifically and Republican legislators generally are criticized for actions and inaction in a column by House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley, who one suspects, supports former state Rep. Mark Maddox in his rematch with Holt for a West Tennessee House seats this fall.
An excerpt:
The majority and Rep. Holt refused to support HB 2323, the Unemployment to Work Act, which would have given a tax credit to any business that hired people off the unemployment rolls.
The majority refused to support HB 2079, the Tennessee Contractors First Bill, which would have given preference to Tennessee businesses on state contracts, keeping your tax dollars here rather than China or Mexico.
The majority refused to support HB 2314, the Back to Work Act, which would have invested $15,000,000 in our technology centers for updating equipment and expanding programming.
A small business sales tax holiday, a 20 percent tax credit for new small businesses, a tax cut for companies that locate in areas of high unemployment – each of these ideas defeated despite their proven success in the past and their support from the small business community. This session was about many things but, unfortunately, it missed the mark on jobs.
…Despite this longstanding tradition, the administration and Rep. Andy Holt pushed forward with their plan to increase classroom size.
Not only would the administration’s proposal have had a detrimental effect on our students, it would have shifted a huge tax burden to local governments. Had this law passed, county commissions would have been forced to come up with hundreds of thousands of dollars in new revenue or lay off huge numbers of teachers.
This is an impossible choice and one that earned opposition from school boards, superintendents, teachers, parents and legislators alike. Eventually, the Governor withdrew the bill. However, he and his counterparts in the majority have promised to bring it back after the November elections. It was a bad idea this year and it will be a bad idea when we return next January.
Another pitfall we narrowly avoided dealt with needless cuts to the HOPE Lottery Scholarships. Our lottery is extraordinarily successful. Since it was first established, the lottery has never seen a decrease in sales. In fact, it has done well enough for us to create a $366 million dollar reserve fund, which is $316 million more than the law requires us to hold.