The bill repurposes the FastTrack economic development program which provides 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. 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.
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.
The legislation now moves to the Senate for action.
headed for governor
Legislation to keep Tennesseans safe from criminal gang activity is on its way to Gov. Bill Haslam for his signature. The first bill, House Bill 2390, establishes enhanced punishment for crimes of force or violence committed while acting in concert with two or more other persons.
The second piece of legislation, House Bill 2388, takes a hard line against criminals with a felony history by increasing their punishment for unlawful possession of a firearm.
These bills are a vital addition to the crime-fighting tools law enforcement personnel use to keep our streets safe. In fact, I believe as a result of these changes, Tennesseans will be safer. We have a problem with gangs in this state and last week the General Assembly took a strong stand against criminal activity.
The bills are part of a comprehensive legislative package that includes a series of bills that were announced to address public safety issues including prescription drug abuse, tougher sentencing for certain types of gang-related crimes, tougher sentencing for gun possession by those with prior violent felony convictions and mandatory jail time for repeat domestic violence offenders.
Kyowa America facility
is coming to state
The governor, the Economic and Community Development commissioner and the state representative from Robertson County announced last week that Kyowa America Corporation will open a new facility in Portland, Tenn., creating 160 jobs and investing $12 million. The company, a leader in automotive plastic injection molding, will locate at 1039 Fred White Blvd. in the Robertson County section of Portland and is expected to be operational by late summer.
I would like to officially welcome Kyowa America to Tennessee, and I know the company will be a great addition to the corporate landscape in Portland. When companies like Kyowa choose Tennessee for their next base of operations, it speaks very highly of the available workforce and the business-friendly climate our state offers.
Tennessee has proven time and again that it is a great place to do business with our many advantages including a central location, strong transportation infrastructure and business-friendly climate. I am pleased that Kyowa America has chosen Portland for its new facility, and I thank the company for its investment in our state and its citizens. I applaud Kyowa America for selecting Robertson County as the site of their newest facility and investing $12 million in the Tennessee economy. Without a doubt, our state is setting the standard for economic growth.
Kyowa America specializes in manufacturing high quality, close tolerance plastic parts used in automotive applications. Company expertise includes hi-gloss molded finish, gas-assisted molding, in-mold decoration, custom painting and printing, and a full array of assembly capabilities. Founded in 1973 by Kyowa Electric & Chemical Co. Ltd. in Japan, Kyowa America is headquartered in Westminster, Calif.
The company chose its new Portland location based on proximity to its customer base and the availability and ease of transportation. The state of Tennessee, city of Portland, Robertson County Chamber of Commerce, Tennessee Valley Authority, Middle Tennessee Industrial Development Association and the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce worked together to bring Kyowa America to Middle Tennessee.
n Bill Protecting Religious Viewpoints at School Events Moving: One bill many conservatives are backing will protect the expression of different religious viewpoints in Tennessee schools. House Bill 3616 prohibits a local education association (LEA) from discriminating against a student based on a religious viewpoint expressed by the student on an otherwise permissible subject. Additionally, it requires a student’s voluntary expression of a religious viewpoint to be treated the same as other viewpoints without fear of punishment for the student. One lawmaker believes the bill respects the “principles enshrined in our First Amendment.”
(Editor’s Note: The second part of state Rep. Eric Watson’s “Capitol Hill Review” will be published in Tuesday’s edition of the Cleveland Daily Banner.)