The controversial legislation in the Tennessee House to increase the gas tax in the state has been delayed one week in the House Transportation Committee. The legislation, which was initially presented as the legislative language of Governor Bill Haslam’s IMPROVE Act, emerged from the Transportation Subcommittee amended to remove the raise in gas tax.
Representative David Alexander (TN-39), whose district includes parts of Marion County, proposed an amendment in today’s committee hearing to remove the increase in the gas tax and remove the proposed ‘indexing’ of the gas tax. The indexing provision would tie the gas tax to financial variables moving forward which would make the gas tax amount fluctuate based on certain economic indicators. There was a motion to adjourn the committee upon the proposed the motion of the amendment. The adjournment motion failed in a roll call vote allowing debate to continue on the amendment.
Several representatives expressed dismay at working under the assumption that the bill would inevitably be susceptible to further amendments as it traveled through the legislative process, most notably through other House committees as well as the Tennessee Senate. Those opponents favored working with the other legislative stakeholders to thresh out differences that were already known.
Ultimately, a formal motion on the amendment was never brought up for a vote as debate continued for forty minutes. A motion to roll the bill for one week, meaning it would be ‘tabled,’ until next week’s regularly scheduled Transportation Committee time was passed by the committee.