Local candidate denounces state legislators as irresponsible

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Tennessee House candidate Brandon Thomas is targeting the Republican supermajority for wasting taxpayers' time and money, calling on them to stop putting politics and fundraising ahead of Tennessee taxpayers’ needs.

“Our state is at risk of losing $60 million in federal road funding due to a mistake in a bill passed by our legislature last session,” Thomas said. “In a rush to get back to campaigning, Republican legislators neglected to give Fiscal Review enough time to adequately review all bills for mistakes just like this.”

Governor Bill Haslam is calling a special session in order to deal with a newly passed DUI law here that jeopardizes $60 million in federal highway funds. According to an article in The Tennessean, the federal zero tolerance law forces states to set 0.02 as the maximum allowable blood alcohol level for drivers under 21 years of age. State lawmakers this previous session changed that allowable amount to 0.08.

Thomas emphasized that this wasn’t the first time Republicans in the legislature put funding at risk.

“This $60 million pales in comparison to the billions of dollars the Republican supermajority jeopardized with a bill targeting vulnerable transgender students, in defiance of Title IX. And it’s also less than the $1 billion in Tennessee taxpayers’ money that is sitting in Washington instead of being used to expand healthcare coverage. Whether they’re playing fast and loose with money as part of a political game, or because they want to end the session sooner and get back to raising campaign dollars, this seems to be a pattern with the Republicans in our state legislature.”

“This mistake is unfortunate, and it points to a larger problem with some of our lawmakers ignoring the financial risks of the bills they propose,” Thomas concluded. “We need more everyday Tennesseans elected to our legislature – folks who know the value of a dollar in their personal lives, and can bring that sensibility to the legislature.”

Brandon Thomas is the Democrat candidate for State House District 49.