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Updates from Capitol Hill

The total grant award for Johnson County was $48,643 which was applied to lighting projects at the following schools: Mountain City Elementary, Johnson County Middle, Johnson County CTE
They were also approved for a loan for $400,000 to install energy efficient heat pumps at Mountain City Elementary and Johnson County Middle.
A $246,496 grant incentive project has been approved for the Sullivan County Schools District from Tennessee’s Energy Efficient Schools Initiative to install energy efficient HVACs and Variable Motor Drives at the following schools: Central Heights Elementary, Holston Valley Middle School, North High School, Emmett Elementary, Sullivan Elementary, Rock Springs Elementary, Bluff City Elementary.
The General Assembly is recognized for the legislation that is assisting all school districts to become more energy efficient, resulting in lower operating costs and creating a healthier and safer learning environment.  The Initiative is also retaining and creating jobs in Tennessee, both in the manufacturing sector in Tennessee as well as equipment vendors, contract labor for equipment installation, local equipment sales, etc. 
To learn more about the EESI, visit www.tn.gov/eesi
House Small Business & Economic Development Task Force Meets in Nashville
Job Growth a Major Focus of the Conservative Task Force
This month, at a meeting of the House Majority Caucus Small Business and Economic Development Task Force, Representatives heard from a number of small business owners and entrepreneurs from around Tennessee about various big-government regulations that hamper job creation and economic development.
The hearing took place in the Capitol’s Legislative Plaza and helped the members of the task force determine what policy recommendations to make to the full Majority.
The task force is comprised of conservative Members from across Tennessee who have dealt with or lead small businesses of their own. The group plans to target burdensome red tape that lines the Tennessee Code and potentially prevents investments from being made or inhibits growth in the business community.
“This was a great opportunity to hear, firsthand, from the job creators of Tennessee who are being burdened by some unnecessary regulations,” said one Representative. “We need to clear those off the books so Tennessee businesses can thrive once again. This task force is now armed with some useful information and I know we can identify some ways to cut the regulatory burden facing our businesses. I believe that is a key step for sustainable job growth in our State.”
Another Member remarked, “As a business owner myself, I stare at costly and prohibitive regulations on a daily basis. If we are going to truly help the private sector create jobs, it has to start with reducing the burdens placed on our small business owners and entrepreneurs. One businessman said it best, ‘If we want to help small business, just get out of our business.’ That is a salient point as government has worked its way into every aspect of business and that must be curtailed immediately. Jobs depend on it.”
The list of attendees included representatives from a Tennessee meat-packing operation, road building business, a local chamber of commerce representative, as well as others. They plan to meet again in the coming weeks to develop a common sense policy document outlining ways government can pave the way for job creation by the private sector.
The Chair of the House Majority Caucus thought the meeting was a testament to the leadership Republicans are showing on the issue of jobs. “The first job of a representative is to listen to citizens about what they are facing on a daily basis. Our small business owners and job creators are facing a complex web of red tape that must be simplified. I believe this task force is going to make some common sense policy recommendations to the General Assembly that will do just that so Tennessee companies can start hiring again,” she said.
In a letter announcing the appointments to the task force in July, the House Majority Leader outlined specific duties for the working group. They include:
Identifying regulations that are impeding job growth in Tennessee’s private sector and developing measures to remove those hurdles;
Ascertain the best practices of other States when it comes to paving the way for job creation by small businesses and companies;
Develop strategies and potential policy initiatives to make Tennessee’s environment better for business expansion and recruitment.