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From the Hill: Landmark ignition interlock legislation passes House of Representatives

By State Rep. Matthew Hill
The House was successful in passing landmark ignition interlock legislation through the State House of Representatives. House Bill 2768 will require certain DUI offenders to use an ignition interlock system, in which users must ‘blow’ below a certain blood alcohol content (BAC) level to turn on their vehicle.
Lawmakers have carried some form of the legislation for years, and worked particularly hard this year in securing passage. The bill requires anyone convicted of a DUI with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .15 or higher to use the ignition interlock device.
Forty-eight other states have some form of ignition interlock, but Tennessee is only the fourteenth to impose mandatory use of the device on first time offenders.
Having already passed unanimously in the Senate, the bill is now headed to the Governor for his signature.
LEGISLATORS AND INSURANCE
The House successfully passed an ethics measure that would require any member of the legislature to forfeit state health insurance benefits if convicted of a felony offense related to their elected office.
The law would not apply retroactively or to family members who might be covered.
Legislative leaders filed and supported this legislation despite hitting roadblocks in subcommittees. House Bill 2349 was approved by the full House last week with only four ‘no’ votes. Having passed the Senate earlier this month unanimously, the bill is now awaiting the Governor’s signature.
VETERANS’ HONOR MEDAL PROGRAM
House Bill 2665 was passed unanimously by the House and will create a veterans’ honor medal program to recognize and honor all Tennessee veterans.
Having already passed the Senate, the proposal is now on its way to the Governor for his signature.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT PURCHASES
Legislation that could potentially save local governments across the state money passed on the House floor last Monday night. House Bill 2552 clarifies the law on the purchase of used or secondhand items purchased by local government.
As the law is currently written, local governments could not purchase equipment that is more than 10 percent above market value, or 10 percent below.
The bill clarifies that there is no floor on how much a local government may pay (meaning no threshold on the amount of savings) and changes the ceiling to five percent above market value.
TICKET QUOTAS
A bill that would ban law enforcement from enacting ticket quotas is headed to the Governor for his signature.
House Bill 2952 “may not establish or maintain, formally or informally, a plan to evaluate, promote, compensate, or discipline a law enforcement officer solely by the issuance of a predetermined or specified number of any type or combination of types of traffic citations.”
STATE REVENUES UP IN APRIL
For the first time in 22 months, state revenues for the month of April came in $43.4 million above projections.
Year-to-date collections are still down, to the tune of approximately $201.8 million for the first 9 months of the fiscal year which is 4.11 percent below projections.
Please remember if you ever have any questions about my weekly update or if I can ever be of any assistance to you or your family please do not hesitate to contact me in Nashville at 1-800-449-8366 ext.12251 or on my cell phone 384-2248.