Press Release from the Office of Gov. Bill Haslam, May 22, 2014:
Statement from Gov. Bill Haslam on HB2029/SB2178
May 22, 2014
The original intent of this bill was to define and penalize retail vandalism. In a review of the amended legislation, it has been determined that the bill had the unintended consequence of reducing the criminal penalties for certain types of polluting in Tennessee.
The vast majority of Tennessee is rural farm land, and farm property can occasionally be used illegally by non-property owners as dumping grounds for garbage. The vandalism statute in the Tennessee Code is used to police that act, and the amended version of HB2029/SB2178 would reduce unintentionally the penalty on polluters in Tennessee.
Tennessee is blessed with unparalleled natural beauty, and we have to protect our land and water for future generations so it remains an attractive place for people to live, work and raise a family. For this reason, I have vetoed this legislation, and I respectfully encourage the General Assembly to reconsider this issue.