Capitol Hill Update from State Representative David Byrd: Session Highlights

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   BUDGET

   Appropriations Bill – Public Chapter 454 provides appropriations for the no-debt, structurally-balanced $42.6 billion budget, which will fund state government for the 2021-2022 fiscal year. It continues lawmakers’ efforts to take care of the state’s most vulnerable citizens, ensure public safety, keep promises to state employees and maintain fiscal discipline. It prioritizes education, health care and job development, including a record investment in broadband. It includes historic investment in literacy, mental health, broadband and safety. It contains the highest Rainy Day Fund in state history at $1.55 billion to be prepared for emergencies. The Bill becomes effective July 1, 2021.

   Sales Tax Holiday – Public Chapter 456 implements the budget and cuts $50 million in taxes by providing an additional sales tax holiday on the sale of food and food ingredients from July 30, 2021 – August 4, 2021. It also cuts the taxes on the retail sale of prepared food for restaurants during the same time period. This is in addition to Tennessee’s annual sales tax holiday which allows consumers to purchase clothing, school supplies and computers tax-free. The Bill becomes effective July 1, 2021.

    EDUCATION / K-12

   Special Session / Tennessee Learning Loss Remediation and Student Acceleration Act – Public Chapter 1 helps struggling students recover learning losses by providing after-school learning mini-camps, learning loss bridge camps and summer learning camps beginning this summer. It also creates the Tennessee Accelerated Literacy and Learning Corps to provide high-quality tutoring throughout the school year. The legislation also strengthens the state’s 3rd grade reading retention policy by ensuring that students are on grade-level before being promoted to the 4th grade and provides rigorous, well-funded interventions for students who are behind. Effective July 1, 2021.

   As always, I am truly humbled and honored to be your voice on Capitol Hill. If there is ever any issue I can assist with, please reach out to my office by calling 615-741-2190 or emailing me at rep.david.byrd@capitol.tn.gov.