Press release from the Democratic caucus of the Tennessee House of Representatives, April 17, 2014:
Republicans give gift to corporate polluters
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee House has passed HB2029 by Rep. Andy Holt (R-Dresden) on a vote of 58-37. While the sponsor said the bill and the resulting new classification of vandalism was geared towards stopping flash mobs, in fact, it places vandalism in the form of pollution in this new class, and makes it punishable only as a misdemeanor, no matter the monetary amount of property damage done as a result of pollution.
“Because the Republican leadership has focused on shutting down debate rather than writing good laws, we’ve just passed legislation that could have dramatically damaging consequences,” said Rep. Mike Stewart. “House Bill 2029 is a gift to all corporate polluters who want to cut corners, destroy our environment, and pollute Tennessee farm land in order to make a few extra bucks.”
In order to address the problem, Rep. Stewart introduced an amendment to HB1687 that would have fixed the problem created with the passage of the bill by deleting the language in Rep. Holt’s bill as it relates to pollution.
“By voting against my amendment, the House confirmed my suspicions that this was a Trojan horse bill designed to help corporate polluters,” said Rep. Stewart. “I hope the Governor will take a strong look at HB2029 and veto it for all the property owners who could be harmed by these actions.”