As introduced, SB1114/HB1120 (Yarbro/Freeman) proposed the creation of a 24 member state government advisory task force to assess past, present and future natural catastrophes and extreme weather events in Tennessee to determine ways to better meet community needs. In addition to community resilience assessments, the task force would be required to recommend solutions to susceptible and detrimental impacts of those emergency events. Particular attention must include the economic impact of projections, ways to prepare for and reduce adverse impacts of future events, and potential financial resources available for increasing resiliency throughout the state. The director of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency is specially listed as a task force member and one of its two co-chairs. One county mayor and one city mayor would be selected to serve by the Senate and House speakers, respectively.
The bill was being discussed in the House State Committee this week and there was concern that the creation of such a large task force was going to create costs and potentially cause the bill to fail due to a lack of funding. One of the committee members, Rep. Gary Hicks, recommended to the sponsor that he might consider using an agency like the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations to study these issues and report. The bill was delayed for one week to allow the sponsor time to discuss his legislation with TACIR and see if that would be an appropriate place to do the assessment. The bill is now scheduled to be heard in both the Senate State & Local Government and the House State Committee next Tuesday, April 9.
Click here for a bill report for 4/5/2019.