TCSA Capitol Update: January 30 - February 3, 2023

Both the House and Senate were back in Nashville this week as the General Assembly got down to business. The bill filing deadline for the House was close of business on Tuesday while the Senate set theirs on Thursday. The week began with around 750 bills filed in each chamber. By the time the deadlines had passed, there were more than 1500. County associations are quickly reviewing the bills to identify those that impact county government, whether positively or negatively. We can tell from how many of the bills are filed that they are simply place-holder bills, called “caption” bills, that a legislator can use to open a large chapter of the code while only proposing something simple like moving a deadline back 30 days. We will closely monitor the amendments filed to rewrite these bills as the session progresses. The TCCA Governmental Affairs committee is meeting today to review and discuss the hundreds of bills that have the potential to affect counties. 


Already this week a proposal (HB48/SB87) moved forward from the Cities and Counties Subcommittee that would cap the legislative bodies of metro governments at 20 members. Since Nashville/Davidson County has its election for metro council this upcoming August, this has the potential to confuse the process. Petitions to qualify can be picked up as early as March 20th. Metro officials have indicated they may sue to challenge the act or delay its implementation if it passes. The bill will be heard in the full House Local Government Committee next Tuesday. It is not yet scheduled for consideration in the Senate.


Looking ahead to next week, Governor Lee will deliver his state of the state address on Monday night and unveil his budget and priorities for the upcoming year. We are hopeful to see a significant investment in infrastructure, specifically roads and bridges. We will be analyzing the budget next week and reporting on any aid it provides to county government.