Press release from the House Republican Caucus; March 28, 2012:
Legislation Expands the Scope of FastTrack Grants Program; Will Help Drive Economic Development in Distressed Areas of Tennessee
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—The House of Representatives today unanimously passed a key piece of Governor Bill Haslam’s economic agenda that would help economically distressed parts of Tennessee.
House Bill 2344, successfully guided through the legislative process by Representative Tim Wirgau (R—Buchanan), was approved today by a 96-0 vote following a back and forth debate on the bill.
The bill repurposes the FastTrack economic development program, which would provide grants and loans to local governments or to their economic development organizations, to be used to facilitate pro-job growth activities. In passing the bill, it is the intent of the General Assembly that these economic development funds will only be used in exceptional circumstances when the funds will make a significant economic impact on the affected community.
“This bill helps Tennessee job creators, especially in those areas that have been hardest hit during the recession,” stated Wirgau. “By maintaining strong transparency requirements and oversight of this program, Tennesseans can have confidence we are expanding the mission of a program that has provided real job and economic growth results. Tennesseans want more career opportunities and I believe this program will help our business leaders and entrepreneurs deliver just that.”
Rep. Wirgau was given the task of running the bill through the House by Majority Leader Gerald McCormick (R—Chattanooga). Following the passage of the legislation, he stated, “I congratulate Representative Wirgau for the fine work he did with this bill. These grants will be provided to businesses that will have a significant economic impact on an area and that, ultimately, means more jobs for Tennesseans.”
For additional information about HB 2344, click here. The legislation moves to the Senate for action.