Tag Archives: Overbey

Bill Cuts Cost of Getting Worker’s Compensation Exemption

News release from Senate Republican Caucus:
(NASHVILLE, TN), May 23, 2012 — Legislation that decreases by 50 percent the registration and renewal fees associated with the Worker’s Compensation Exemption Registry for construction contractors has been signed into law. Governor Bill Haslam signed the legislation on Monday after approval by the General Assembly during the final days of the legislative session which ended May 1.
The reduction in fees was part of Senate bill 2923, sponsored by Senators Doug Overbey (R-Maryville) and Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro), which also clarifies that either party in a worker’s compensation dispute may bring suit in the county in which the employee resided at the time of the injury rather than where the employee resides at the time of filing suit. The bill, as amended, reduces the registration and renewal fee because of the fund balance in the Registry after the first year of implementation.
Before, the law allowed worker’s compensation cases to be filed in the chancery or circuit court in the county where the employee resides or the county where the alleged injury occurred. This bill changes that to the county where the employee resided at the time of the alleged injury or the county where the alleged injury occurred.
“This new law simply changes the venue from where the employee resides at the time suit is brought to where the employee resided at the time of the injury. The purpose of the bill is to discourage forum shopping,” said Senator Overbey. “At the same time, the legislation decreases by one-half for contractors to place themselves on the Worker’s Compensation Exemption Registry. Fees are currently double the amount needed for proper regulation.”
The fee reduction comes after the state’s financial experts predicted that $712,500 would be generated from licensed and non-licensed contractors every two years through registration with the Worker’s Compensation Exemption Registry. The assumption was well below what actually occurred as renewal fees will still yield $1,341,550 after the 50 percent reduction is implemented. The exemption allows a business owner to exempt him or herself from the requirement to carry workers’ compensation insurance on him or herself.
The Registry is composed of individuals who are sole proprietors and own 100% of the assets of the business, or an officer of a corporation, or a member of a limited liability company with at least a 20% ownership interest, or a partner in a partnership with at least a 20% ownership interest. Registration is only available to individual business owners engaged in the construction services industry.
In addition, an applicant may qualify for the exemption if the applicant and members of the same family of the applicant hold at least 95% ownership of the business. Each corporation, Limited Liability Company, Limited Liability Partnership, Limited Partnership, General Partnership and family owned business may have up to 5 individuals who can qualify to be exempt. A sole proprietor can only have 1 exemption.
“When a business is overcharged for regulation, those fees need to be returned to them,” added Ketron. “There is no need to overburden them with excess fees. At the same time, it provides adequate funding to ensure our law is working as envisioned to protect workers. I am pleased this legislation has been approved and signed into law.”

Overbey: Liquor Deal ‘Pure Fiction’

State Sen. Doug Overbey is fighting back against the suggestion he was involved in some secret deal to sneak liquor into Pigeon Forge, reports The Mountain Press. He says the accusations made by some in that city are “pure fiction.”
Though he was not named specifically, businessman Jess Davis leveled allegations during a recent City Commission meeting that a “Tennessee senator” was in on closed-door meetings Davis claims were held on an end-around for spirits. Overbey is the only person who represents Sevier County in the state’s Senate and, like everyone else Davis claims or suggests was part of the gathering, vehemently denies there was such a meeting.
“I have hatched no plan and I have not been part of hatching some plan,” Overbey told The Mountain Press. “My consistent position has been that the citizens’ vote in May needs to be respected. I could not support or go along with anything other than that and, if it’s desire, a new referendum on this issue.”

Scott Hughes Challenges Sen. Doug Overbey

News release from Scott Hughes:
Today, Seymour resident and Republican activist Scott Hughes announced his candidacy seeking the Republican nomination for the newly-drawn 2nd District State Senate seat currently occupied by Maryville attorney Doug Overbey. The recently reconfigured and renumbered district includes all of Blount and most of Sevier Counties.
Scott currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer for the church he and his family attends, Fuse Church. In addition to his history of involvement in the Republican Party, including a 2010 run for the 8th District State House seat, Scott has over 10 years of experience working in the Pro-Life movement. Most recently, he served as the Executive Director for the Hope Resource Center, East Tennessee’s largest crisis pregnancy center.

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Senate Approves Bill Mandating Insurance Coverage for Children’s Hearing Aids

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Senate on Thursday approved a bill that would require Tennessee insurance companies to include hearing aids for individuals up to 18 years of age in their policies despite opponents who say the mandate could drive up health care costs.
The measure (HB761) sponsored by Republican Sen. Doug Overbey of Maryville was approved 19-13 on Thursday. The companion bill passed the House 82-12 last month.
Lawmakers must now agree on a grammatical change in the legislation before it heads to the governor for his consideration.
Under the proposal, the companies would be required to pay up to $1,000 per hearing aid every three years. Such assistance is currently provided under TennCare, the state’s expanded Medicaid program.

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Kelsey vs. Overbey on Newspapers Vs. Internet

A debate last week in the Senate Judiciary Committee is repeated (much abbreviated) in Sunday’s Tennessean. Sen. Doug Overbey, R-Maryville, was the apparent winner in committee since the panel adopted, 5-4, his amendment requiring publication of the official legal notice of a proposed change in the state constitution in newspapers. Sen. Brian Kelsey wanted publication instead on a state government website. (In the course of debate, Kelsey declared this editorial in the News Sentinel “totally unethical.”)
Snippet from Kelsey’s op-ed piece:
The $20,000 cost to taxpayers for printing the amendment in the back pages is nothing more than a giveaway to a special-interest group, albeit a powerful one; that is, newspapers.
The Internet is a free, environmentally friendly and better source to notify the public of proposed constitutional amendments.

Snippet from Overbey’s op-ed piece:
The facts are simple: If we publicize the fact that this constitutional amendment is on the 2014 statewide ballot in the same way that we have since 1870, and it passes, this issue goes away forever. We will never have to worry about a state income tax again.
But if we experiment with a constitutionally suspect way of informing the citizens — one that we already know cannot reach 1 in 4 Tennesseans — we’ve gained nothing. The vote will be challenged, we’ll probably lose, and we start over and try again for 2018 or 2022. Why in the world would we do that?