Tennessee’s General Session, made up of lawmakers across the state, tend to lean more toward smaller government and less federal insight into solving problems through legislation.
In fact, it’s frowned upon among many in the state legislature. Quite frankly, our lawmakers in Tennessee don’t want to be told how to run our state. That’s not a shocking revelation nor is it necessarily a bad stance to take. Sometimes smaller is just better.
The problem arises, though, when lawmakers say one thing, but then attempt to do just the opposite. Rather than encouraging local “smaller” governments tend to their business, legislators tend to become much more involved and oftentimes delay or postpone progress. It’s hypocrisy, at best.
Case in point is a proposed Expo Center at the Wilson County Fairgrounds that has certainly raised some eyebrows in Nashville recently, but has yet to make any movement whatsoever toward passage.
State Rep. Mark Pody visited the Wilson County Commission last week and was asked for an update on a private act sent to the legislature asking for a 3-percent increase in the county’s hotel/motel tax. Pody said at the time, the measure “has not gotten any support” and would likely not make it out of subcommittee.
“I have had many hotel/motel representatives who have lobbied against it,” Pody said. “The 3 percent is dead. It does not have any support.”
Commissioners then voted to allow him to negotiate on the percentage of increase if that would give the private act a better chance for passage.
The commission wants to use proceeds from the 3-percent tax increase to fund building the Expo Center at the Wilson County Fairgrounds in Lebanon.
What we are asking is why?
The Expo Center needs funding to get it off the ground. The Wilson County Commission had a feasibility study done and was so pleased with the results passed the private act on to the legislature. Now, the same state lawmakers who detest larger government control and insight are the same ones who hold the fate of a smaller government progressive project in their hands and won’t let go.
Let’s hope these lawmakers can see the light of their own ideology and vote this project through.
Hopefully the state legislature can rise above and keep in mind all those beneath them who look for their help. Wilson County needs their help now.