The very first bills are posted at the Tennessee General Assembly’s website.
There’s some stuff about expanding what kinds of roads could have tolls on them and some stuff about lowering the tax on food and a proposed constitutional amendment to ban an income tax. I think lowering the tax on food is a good idea.
But here’s what I wonder. What is the strategy for fixing our budget mess? I’m no economist, but it seems to me that, if you have more going out than you have coming in, you either have to reduce what’s going out or increase what’s coming in, or both. Our main source of revenue is the sales tax. So, how does reducing the sales tax put our finances back in shape?
I don’t know. I, of course, think it should be done, but I also want to know what the overall financial plan for the State is.
There are a couple of gun things in there–letting military folks get out of paying some fee–which, again, normally I could give two shits about, but now am wondering if we need “coming in” to be equal to or greater than “going out,” why are we proposing lowering any of the “coming in”?–and a constitutional amendment to protect your right to hunt. I’m not sure why we need a constitutional amendment for that, but fine, whatever.
A couple of things about how we treat children during and after divorce–one that would make presumptive custody joint custody and the other that would set an end date on child support payments. I didn’t know there wasn’t already an end date on child support payments. I thought that, once the kid turned 18, you were safe to show back up in its life pretending like you always loved it but its hag mom just wouldn’t cut you a break, unless your ex-wife had a really good lawyer. But you learn something new every day.
HB0002 states “Child Custody and Support – As introduced, enacts the ‘Equal and Fair Parenting Act’ to create a rebuttable presumption that equally shared parenting time is the custody arrangement in the best interest of a child.” Yep, you read that right. It makes the baseline “equally shared parenting time.” Half and half. Even for school-age kids.
My friends, be prepared to live in the same school district as your ex forever.
I think this kind of legislation is well-meaning, but we all know that people who actually put their kids first will make some arrangement where one parent has more parenting time than the other just so that both parents can find jobs and the kid can have a stable school life and this legislation will be used by parents who just want new and exciting ways to fuck each other over using their kids as weapons to do so. I do not envy the judge who has to go through the timesheets.
Anyway, I’m expecting more troubling stuff in the pipeline.