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Press Releases

State Announces Creation of New Identity-Crimes Unit

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security; August 28, 2012:

NASHVILLE—Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons announced today the formation of a new investigative unit to combat the increase in identity theft and related crimes in Tennessee. The newly formed Identity Crimes Unit is comprised of employees from three divisions of the department: Tennessee Highway Patrol, Office of Homeland Security, and Driver Services Division.

Additionally, the Identity Crimes Unit is receiving support from federal partners. The United States Secret Service Nashville and Memphis field offices; Homeland Security Investigations, under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Memphis division, are supporting the Identity Crimes Unit in investigations with possible federal violations.

The new unit is the direct outgrowth of the department’s top-to-bottom review requested last year by Governor Bill Haslam.

“As part of the top-to-bottom review, we focused on the needs of our citizens and the law enforcement community, as well as ways we could maximize the effective use of the resources we have,” Gibbons said.

According to the Consumer Sentinel Network, a date base used by law enforcement to collect consumer complaints, in 2011 there were 4,275 complaints of identity theft filed in Tennessee, compared to 4,175 filed in 2010. Nationwide, in 2011 there were 279,156 complaints of identity theft filed, compared to 258,854 filed in 2010.

“Identity crimes are a growing part of our crime problem, and many local law enforcement agencies struggle with investigating these cases. In addition, the Highway Patrol has specific authority under state law to investigate identity theft, there are obvious homeland security concerns with such crimes, and many identity crimes relate to driver licenses. So, we see it as a great opportunity for all three divisions of the department—our state troopers, homeland security agents, and driver license examiners—to work together as a team,” Gibbons noted.

The Identity Crimes Unit provides support to local law enforcement upon request, but will consider several factors to determine the level of involvement. Some of these factors include fraudulent use of a driver license; a nexus to homeland security issues; cooperation of victims; violation of Tennessee’s felony theft law; the number, financial amount, and frequency of transactions; and referral from a federal agency. Investigators and staff assigned to the Identity Crimes Unit have been training for months to increase skills in the area of identity crimes and collect best practices for this type of investigating from other states.

The unit has created a resource kit for identity theft victims and has linked it to www.tn.gov/safety. Investigators will also participate in programs and events to encourage identity theft awareness, distribute educational materials to safeguard against identity crimes, and encourage the public to take proactive steps to reduce the debilitating impacts of identity crimes.

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Press Releases

Evans Grateful for Chance to Serve Again, Requests Return of Signs for Future Use

Press release from State Rep. Joshua Evans, R-Greenbrier; August 6, 2012: 

By an overwhelming margin the good people of Robertson County have given me the opportunity to continue serving them, and I am very grateful. I thank God for the opportunity to go back to work representing you–today it’s time to get back to work.

Victory is always the result of a team effort, not just about the candidate. So I want to thank those who served on my campaign team and everyone who volunteered their time and energy knocking on doors, making calls, and other activities to help me. My staff, Rob, Brett, Kelsey & Matt have done an amazing job all summer. As always, my parents are an integral part of everything thing I do and I am thankful to my Mom and Dad.

I am so impressed that in the face of daily lies and misleading attacks, the people of Robertson County saw through the lack of integrity that was the basis of my opponent’s campaign. I expected no less of the good people of our community. Each of you who have helped, contributed, worked, prayed or voted for me, have left an impression upon me, and I am grateful.

Thank you Robertson County!

Joshua G. Evans
State Representative

SIGNS * SIGNS * SIGNS

Our team worked hard over the last few days to quickly reclaim all of our signs so that we will have them to use again in the future and to restore the cleanliness and beauty of our communities. To the best of our records, we have reclaimed all of the signs on our lists. If you still have a sign, big or little, or come accross a sign anywhere in the county, or have any other campaign magnets or other materials you need to get back to us, please send me a message and let me know where to get them, or bring them by The UPS Store in Springfield. If you drive by and see an Evans sign, pick it up for us please. Your help is greatly appreciated!

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Press Releases

State Reports Tax Revenue Jump in July

Press Release from the State of Tennessee, Aug. 10, 2010

NASHVILLE – State sales tax revenues for July jumped with the largest monthly growth in over three years. Finance and Administration Commissioner Dave Goetz today reported July’s total revenue collections were up from July of last year. The last month in which sales tax collections exceeded this month’s growth rate was April of 2007.

“We believe the growth in both sales and corporate tax collections point to an economic recovery in Tennessee; however, we will continue to be cautious, keeping our budget in balance as we move forward,” Goetz said. “Franchise and Excise tax collections showed negative growth for the month, but this can be attributed to significant one-time payments received in July of 2009.The year-to-date growth in our corporate tax collections have shown considerable improvement over last year, posting a gain of over 4 percent,” Goetz said.

Overall, July revenues were $833.6 million or $22.5 million more than the state budgeted.

On an accrual basis, July is the twelfth month in the 2009-2010 fiscal year.

The general fund was over collected by $28.0 million, and the four other funds were under collected by $5.5 million.

Sales tax collections were $1.0 million less than the estimate for July. The July growth rate was 5.94%. For twelve months revenues are under collected by $225.7 million. The year-to-date growth rate for twelve months was negative 2.25%.

Franchise and excise taxes combined were $7.5 million over the budgeted estimate of $44.0 million. The growth rate for July was negative 36.40%. For twelve months revenues are over collected by $83.3 million and the year-to-date growth rate was positive 4.01%.

Inheritance and estate tax collections were $1.8 million above the July estimate. For twelve months collections are $10.4 million below the budgeted estimate.

Privilege tax collections were $1.1 million below the July budgeted estimate. For twelve months collections are $24.8 million less than the budgeted estimate, and the year-to date growth rate was negative 3.15%.

Tobacco tax collections were $1.2 million above the budgeted estimate of $25.3 million. For twelve months revenues are over collected by $1.2 million.

Gasoline and motor fuel tax collections for July decreased by 0.36 %. For twelve months revenues are under collected by $8.2 million.

Year-to-date collections for twelve months were $203.0 million less than the budgeted estimate. The general fund was under collected by $151.3 million and the four other funds were under collected by $51.7 million.

The budgeted revenue estimates for 2009-2010 are based on the State Funding Board’s consensus recommendation adopted by the first session of the 106th General Assembly in May of 2009, and are available on the state’s Web site at http//www.tn.gov/finance/bud/budget.html.

The State Funding board met on December 18, 2009 and adopted mid-year revised revenue ranges for 2009-2010. The revised ranges reflect growth rates ranging from negative 1.50% to negative 0.25% in total taxes, and negative 2.35% to negative 0.85% in general fund taxes. Based on the consensus recommendation, the official budgeted estimates for 2009-2010 were revised in late December.

The revised mid-year estimates are reflected on pages A-70 and A-72 in the 2010-2011 Budget Document and assume an under collection in total taxes in the amount of $161.3 million, and an under collection of $153.2 million in the general fund.

The funding board met again in March of this year and adopted final revenue ranges for 2009-2010.

The board’s consensus recommendation was to recognize lower growth rates than those adopted on December 18, 2009. The revised ranges reflect growth rates ranging from negative 1.77% to negative 1.29% for total taxes, and negative 2.31% to negative 1.78% in general fund taxes.

Based upon the funding board’s March recommendation the revised estimates for 2009-2010 compared to the July 2009 official budgeted estimates now assume an under collection in total taxes in the amount of $258.9 million, and an under collection of $231.0 million in general fund taxes.

Year-to-date collections for 2009-2010 are subject to final accrual adjustments.

Categories
Education News

Higher Ed Bill Catches Snag — Then Passes

Gov. Phil Bredesen’s bill designed to improve college graduation rates got hung up for a while during the legislative special session Thursday when a handful of lawmakers managed to add an amendment that others felt hadn’t been properly vetted.

The measure would have let returning adult college students cash in on class credits earned as long as 20 years ago. Currently, the policy is 10 years, according to Rep. Joe Armstrong, D-Knoxville, who sponsored the bill.

The amendment, narrowly approved 50-31 in the House, sparked concern by some members who questioned the potential price tag. The amendment had not been heard by any committees, which had spent the week reviewing higher education laws.

“There were a lot of unanswered questions,” said Rep. Richard Montgomery, R-Sevierville, who voted against the measure. “What was it going to cost? What was it going to do to colleges and universities as far as the way they schedule, as far as the way they plan for students and that sort of thing.”

Montgomery, a member of the Finance, Ways and Means Committee, said he supports the concept but that he’d like it taken up during regular session.

At one point lawmakers in the Budget Subcommittee, Finance Ways and Means and the Calendar and Rules committees took the unusual move of congregating for brief discussions at the House floor podium to review the amendment.

Those meetings, which lasted no more than a few minutes each, gave committees a chance to review the amendment — and subsequently express that they didn’t have much of a clue how much the change would cost the state or college institutions.

Anderson, the bill sponsor, later got it stripped from the proposed legislation.

Montgomery said the measure – had it stuck — could have held up the higher education bill when the bill was reconciled in the Senate.

The full House and Senate chambers approved the bill Thursday evening, with a total vote of 125-2.

The package, which requires Gov. Phil Bredesen’s signiture, requires the higher education funding formula to rely on graduation rates rather than student enrollment.

It also shifts remedial courses from universities to courses to community colleges. The bill also makes it easier to transfer from a community college to a four-year university.

Categories
Press Releases

TN’s ‘Race to the Top’ Grant Submitted

State of Tennessee press release, Jan. 20, 2010:

Reform proposal seeks $502 million fo Volunteer State

Nashville, TN –The State of Tennessee has submitted its proposal in the U.S. Department of Education’s Race to the Top competition, seeking a total of $501.8 million in federal resources to spur education innovation across the Volunteer State.

Tennessee’s final request exceeded recent estimates by about $17 million, mainly due to additional resources that are being sought for turnaround schools. Tennessee’s complete Race to the Top proposal, totaling 1,111 pages with supporting documents, can be found on the state Department of Education Web site at www.tn.gov/education.

“We’re proud to put forward Tennessee’s very best proposal for meaningful reform in public education,” said Governor Phil Bredesen. “Our application should be especially competitive following last week’s efforts by the General Assembly, the Tennessee Education Association and countless others who helped support and pass the Tennessee First to the Top Act of 2010.”

The Governor signed the newly minted law on Saturday. He added: “With years of solid reform work under our belts, we’re optimistic that the U.S. Department of Education will view Tennessee in the same way we see ourselves: As a state that is ready to lead the nation with fresh ideas and a new approach to public education.”

Under federal guidelines, half of any Race to the Top funds received by Tennessee — which, as requested, would total $250.9 million — would be distributed directly to local school districts under the federal government’s existing Title I formula. The other half would be used to seed a “State Innovation Fund” underwriting a series of new investments over a four-year period. Major categories include:

  • Turnaround schools: Approximately $108.8 million to help turn around struggling schools — including roughly a dozen consistently failing schools that may join the new state-run “Achievement School District” as well as roughly 180 increasingly troubled schools that may be designated as “Renewal” or “Focus” schools.
  • Great teachers and leaders: Approximately $62.2 million for a range of professional-development and “human capital” initiatives — including the creation of a new educator leadership program; expansion of Tennessee’s existing SITES-M program to improve math instruction in elementary schools; and training for teachers on higher academic standards.
  • Technology and data: $54.5 million to improve public school teachers’ use of and access to Tennessee’s longitudinal data system used for tracking “student growth,” or a child’s improvement in the classroom over time.
  • STEM programs: $22.5 million to invest in programs and schools focusing on science, technology, engineering, and math — the STEM disciplines.
  • Oversight and implementation: $2.9 million to help the Department of Education implement Tennessee’s plan and to establish a “First to the Top Oversight Team” charged with ensuring that funds are deployed according to plan and properly utilized.

“Tennessee’s proposed investments under Race to the Top are aligned not only with the needs of our state but also with the core reform priorities outlined by President and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan,” said Timothy Webb, commissioner of the state Department of Education. “We’re hopeful that Tennessee’s will come out on top.”

Created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), Race to the Top provides $4.35 billion in competitive grants designed to encourage and reward states that are implementing ambitious plans in four core education reform areas:

  1. Adopting standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace and to compete in the global economy;
  2. Building data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals about how they can improve instruction;
  3. Recruiting, developing, rewarding, and retaining effective teachers and principals, especially where they are needed most; and
  4. Turning around the lowest-achieving schools.

On Tuesday, the President and Secretary Duncan announced plans to seek an additional $1.35 billion in funding for Race to the Top in anticipation of an “overwhelming response” from states seeking awards this week, in the first round of the competition. Winning states in the first round are expected to be announced in April, to be followed by a second round of competition later in the year.

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Categories
Press Releases

TCPR: State Must Start Using Available Data to Distinguish Good Teachers from Bad

Press release from the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, Jan. 11, 2010:

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Center for Policy Research today released a policy brief examining the education reform proposals currently sought by Governor Phil Bredesen.

The governor issued a proclamation last Thursday calling a special session of the General Assembly to address certain education laws so that the state could seek nearly $500 million in federal “Race to the Top” education funding. The special session will begin on Tuesday, January 12.

The main two proposals focus on reforming the process by which teachers are evaluated and restructuring the funding mechanism for post-secondary institutions. Because they will have significant long-term consequences for the state, TCPR analyzed the two proposals.

The brief, Evaluating Education Reforms for the Extraordinary Session (pdf), lays out a methodology for rating teachers that complies with both the governor’s wishes and the “Race to the Top” grant application requirements. The methodology was developed by the nonprofit Education Consumers Foundation, whose president, Dr. John Stone, is a member of the TCPR board of scholars.

“The state must start using the large amount of data available to it to distinguish good teachers from bad, and take the appropriate steps to ensure that students are learning,” said Justin Owen, TCPR’s Director of Policy. “The methodology outlined in the brief provides a unique opportunity to truly determine a teacher’s effectiveness.”

The second part of the brief scrutinizes the plan to tie higher education funding to graduation rather than enrollment rates and the negative impact that could have. TCPR also encourages lawmakers to use caution and fiscal responsibility during the special session, rather than make potentially devastating changes just to seize one-time federal money.

“It’s unfortunate that it takes the prospect of federal tax dollars to create meaningful education reform, but if done right, the legislature can revolutionize the way teachers are evaluated—and students, teachers, parents and taxpayers will all benefit,” noted Owen.

Categories
Business and Economy Liberty and Justice

State’s Regulatory Boards Don’t Handle Complaints Well, Comptroller Reports

A report released Tuesday by state auditors suggests some professional- and occupational-licensing boards aren’t doing a very good job of processing complaints filed against the business owners and service-providers they’re supposed to be overseeing.

“There are still few procedures requiring boards to document and record specific complaint information in a standardized format,” according to the performance audit (pdf) of the Division of Regulatory Boards.

The Comptroller of the Treasury’s report also noted that studies conducted in both 1999 and 2005 found similar problems. The Division of Regulatory Boards, which operates under the Department of Commerce and Insurance, has still “not developed the tools to provide themselves with the data needed to efficiently and effectively manage complaints.”

Many boards also don’t investigate license applicants for criminal histories, even though regulations require them “to be of good moral character, honest, and/or trustworthy and free of criminal convictions,” the report stated.

“We generally concur with the finding and did concur before the audit began,” said Mary Moody, deputy director of the Commerce and Insurance Department.

Nothing in the report came as a surprise to her department, Moody told the Labor and Transportation Subcommittee of the Joint Government Operations Committee on Tuesday.

A lot of the government’s problems boiled down to not having enough attorneys, Moody said.

The auditors added that “attorney workloads and board meeting frequency…may play a significant role in the timely resolution of complaints.”

“Complaint files show that boards’ administrative staff spend relatively little time on complaint intake and closure tasks. Most of the time a complaint is open occurs between the time the staff attorney receives the complaint file and when the board makes its final decision,” according to the report.

There are 11 professional regulatory boards scheduled to terminate at the end of June if the Legislature doesn’t extend their operating mandate. They included licensing-oversight authorities for auctioneers, barbers, collection agents, cosmetologists, funeral directors, security guards, land surveyors, private investigators, polygraph technicians and real estate appraisers and agents.

More than half the complaints currently under review or investigation by boards that oversee barbers (71 cases), cosmetologists (311), land surveyors (16), private investigators (45) and security guards (315), have gone unresolved for more than 180 days. The committee that oversees security guards hasn’t met since 2006, according to the audit.

Rep. Susan Lynn, R-Mt.Juliet, who chairs the Joint Government Operations Committee, said she doesn’t foresee lawmakers refusing to reissue statutory approval for the boards this year.

However, Lynn said she’d like to see the state initiate a thoroughgoing examination of whether Tennessee’s consumers and economy might be better served in absence of some of the licensing boards and requirements.

“I’m not a fan of occupational licensure unless it directly serves to protect the constitutional rights of the citizens, since the purpose of government is to secure those rights,” said Lynn.

Last year Lynn and Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, sponsored an “Economic Civil Rights Act,” which called for eliminating any occupational board that in reality tends to function more as a protectionist barrier against new competition than as a safeguard against legitimate threats to citizens’ safety, health or rights.

“If you’re doing something that is potentially a danger to somebody else, then the state should have the power to regulate,” said Lynn. “If not, then a license requirement is often just an attempt to force people to jump through hoops. There are a lot of regulations like that which are meant for achieving good, but which really end up only hurting people economically.”

According to the free-market Tennessee Center for Policy Research, only nine other states have as strict or stricter regulatory burdens on entrepreneurs, merchants and service-sellers as the Volunteer State.

“While generally sold as a means to protect the public interest, regulations often exist merely to protect a chosen class,” wrote TCPR staffers in a statement delivered to a House committee looking into the bill last session. “This smothers competition and preserves a government-endorsed monopoly, thereby increasing the costs of goods and services to consumers. Reduced competition also makes it more difficult for consumers to receive the quality of goods and services they demand.”

Categories
Press Releases

State: Tax Collections Down Again

State of Tennessee Press Release, Dec. 14, 2009:

NASHVILLE – State tax collections fell below budgeted estimates in November, for the fourth consecutive month of the fiscal year that began on July 1, 2009. Finance & Administration Commissioner Dave Goetz today announced that state revenue collections for November were $708.2 million, which is 0.52% below November 2008 collections. November collections reflect consumer spending in October.

“November is the 18th consecutive month in which sales tax collections have experienced negative growth,” Goetz said. “If there’s a bright spot, it’s worth noting that the growth rate for sales tax collections in November, while still negative, fared slightly better than the month before, when it was negative 7.8 percent.”

“It’s important to remember we won’t see how after-Thanksgiving retail sales performed until this time next month, when we’ve collected revenues for November spending.”

On an accrual basis, November is the fourth month in the 2009-2010 fiscal year.

November collections were $13.5 million less than the budgeted estimate. The general fund was under collected by $8.1 million and the four other funds were under collected by $5.4 million.

Sales tax collections were $21.2 million less than the estimate for November. The November growth rate was negative 4.45%. Year-to-date the growth rate is negative 7.52%.

Franchise and excise combined collections for November were $42.3 million, which is $11.6 million above the budgeted estimate of $30.7 million.

Gasoline and motor fuel collections were $5.3 million less than the budgeted estimate of $72.5 million.

Tobacco tax collections for the month were over collected by $4.3, with November collections at $27.8 million.

Inheritance and Estate taxes were under collected by $3.7 million for the month.

All other taxes were over collected by a net of $600,000.

Year-to date collections for four months were $114.8 million less than the budgeted estimate. The general fund was under collected by $96.3 million and the four other funds were under collected by $18.5 million.

The budgeted revenue estimates for 2009-2010 are based on the State Funding Board’s consensus recommendation adopted by the first session of the 106th General Assembly in May of 2009, and are available on the state’s Web site.

Categories
Liberty and Justice News

Seeking Consensus on Traffic Cameras

Instead of slamming the brakes on red-light traffic cameras, House Transportation Committee members have tentatively agreed to try and hash out a three-part proposal to guide and regulate their use instead.

The rough plan, which includes a series of studies and a possible moratorium on new red light cameras, would give lawmakers more tools – and time – to decide the ultimate role the new technology will play in Tennessee communities.

Still, a number of lawmakers haven’t backed off their basic objections with the red-light cameras, saying both that the photos they take subvert civil liberties and that the private camera-vendors collect too much profit off the issuance of violations.

But the hope is to approve one comprehensive plan and move it through the Legislature, according to Rep. Bill Harmon, D-Dunlap, who chairs the committee.

The panel batted around ideas Wednesday, including a plan by Maryville Republican Rep. Joe McCord to shuffle profits from citations to drivers education or trauma services statewide.

McCord, a vocal opponent of red light cameras, introduced legislation last year banning the technology. He has since dropped the ban, saying he now sees a safety value of the system, but he’s still uncomfortable with how the ticket-generated revenues are divvied up.

Many on the 12-member House Transportation Committee agree that the private traffic-camera service-providers currently have too much unchecked, profit-driven power over motorists.

The vendors capture alleged violations on camera, examine the pictures, cross reference the information with the Department of Motor Vehicles, then mail out the citations. In return, they receive the lion’s share of fines collected.

Harmon wants the state comptroller to take a hard look at the traffic cameras and report back to lawmakers on issues like what impact the systems have on vehicle crashes, the make-up of traffic-camera service contracts, and detail as to how citation revenues are spent.

Harmon also wishes to see the state Department of Transportation conduct an engineering study on each intersection proposed to use a traffic camera, and added he hopes to ban all unmanned speed cameras on state highways.

While many lawmakers on the panel generally seemed supportive of Harmon’s ideas, some still argue the cameras are unconstitutional and an invasion of privacy. “If it intrudes a little, it’s too much,” said Rep. Tony Shipley, a Kingsport Republican.

A study (pdf) by the free-market Tennessee Center for Policy Research released earlier this year argued that traffic-enforcement cameras are unwise, unnecessary and unsafe.

The City of Gallatin collected nearly $1 million in traffic citations linked to the traffic cameras in 2007, according to TCPR’s study. At least 16 Tennessee cities use some sort of traffic camera: Chattanooga, Clarksville, Cleveland, Gallatin, Germantown, Jackson, Jonesborough, Kingsport, Knoxville, Memphis, Morristown, Mount Carmel, Murfreesboro, Oak Ridge, Red Bank and Selmer.

“There’s a lot of money being made here,” said TCPR policy director Justin Owen, an attorney who co-authored the report.

Instead of installing cameras, he says lawmakers should require municipalities to extend the length of the yellow light, giving drivers more time to travel through the intersection instead of stopping short for fear of a traffic ticket.

“The mere presence of the watchful cameras encourages drivers to attempt to stop at yellow lights even if passing through the light would be safer. Coupled with a decrease in yellow light timing, this can readily explain the increase in the number of rear-end collisions that occur at intersections with red light cameras,” stated the TCPR report.

Rep. John Tidwell, an engineer from New Johnsonville, says he’ll push lengthening the yellow light next year.

The Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police maintains that the cameras help enforce the rules of the road, reduce crashes and generally improve safety, said Maggi Duncan, executive director. The association plans to push for the red light and speed cameras this legislative session.

The committee hopes to formulate an initial legislative proposal at their next meeting on Jan. 11.

Categories
Liberty and Justice News

Lawmakers Focusing on Possible New Traffic-Camera Rules

Traffic cameras may be growing in popularity among local governments and law enforcement agencies across the country, but some state lawmakers are questioning whether they belong in Tennessee.

Some say the cameras – which snap pictures when motorists drive through a stop light – are simply a tool to raise money.

“There’s no doubt that in some places it’s not about safety. It’s about revenue,” said Rep. Richard Floyd, a Chattanooga Republican.

House lawmakers examining the use of the high-tech traffic enforcement tools plan on introducing bills next year that could create statewide guidelines on the sorts of intersections where cameras could be used, and lengthening the duration of a yellow light before it turns red.

New Johnsonville Democrat John Tidwell, a civil engineer, said yield signals made one second longer will help reduce vehicle crashes, and he hinted he’ll push that issue in the coming session.

Also under discussion are laws to prohibit speeding-enforcement and stoplight-cameras completely.

The cameras are typically operated by private companies that set up the equipment, snap photos, evaluate violations and mail tickets to vehicle owners. Those organizations also receive a chunk of the revenues collected by violators, which is adding to the unease and outright opposition some critics are voicing.

Red-light cameras are under fire right now in a lawsuit arguing that traffic enforcement systems are operating illegally because they’re not properly licensed. Other suits attacking the practice have cropped up around the country.

Lawmakers Tuesday heard from Gordon Catlett, a patrol-support commander for the Knoxville Police Patrol Division who is a supporter of the cameras – and threat of a ticket – to change driver behavior.

“A lot of us treat a traffic signal like a yield sign,” he said.

The Transportation Committee will meet again Wednesday morning to discuss possible alternatives to traffic cameras, and ways to tinker with the system already in place.