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Clemmons, Democrats lead effort to address state’s transportation infrastructure needs

NASHVILLE, TN – Today, the Tennessee House of Representatives voted to adopt an amended version of Governor Bill Haslam’s IMPROVE Act by a 60 to 37 vote. The bill is intended to address the state’s transportation infrastructure needs by phasing in increased gas and diesel taxes and user fees over the next several years.

After the vote, State Representative John Ray Clemmons issued the following statement:
“Today, I voted in support and worked with members across the aisle to secure passage of the IMPROVE Act, because the greater Nashville region and the entire state have real and immediate transportation needs that require attention. Entering today’s vote, my focus was on strengthening our state’s depleted transportation fund, empowering and enabling our local governments, and protecting the fiscal integrity of the state’s general fund. By working together, we accomplished every one of those goals.

While I had and maintain concerns with the governor’s bill, I felt it was important to take advantage of this legislative opportunity after successfully broadening the local option provisions, ensuring that key Nashville projects such as I-440 and Charlotte Avenue were included, and lowering the grocery tax. This bill is a good first step in the right direction, but it cannot be the final one. To fully and adequately address the Nashville region’s transportation needs, more hard work is required, and I fully intend to continue leading this effort in the state legislature.

Meanwhile, after this bill receives final passage, I sincerely hope that Mayor Barry steps up and takes advantage of the local options, for which we fought so hard, and moves forward to generate new revenue so we can finally begin to build out the type of forward-thinking and comprehensive mass transportation plan that our residents and businesses so badly need and deserve.”



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