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Stop the State Legislature’s Overreach on Nashville
Posted on March 9, 2014

HB2156SB 2243/ HB 2156, sponsored by Sen. Jim Tracy and Rep. Vince Dean, is an explicit overreach of their power as elected officials.

These bills specifically target Davidson County and seek to limit future rapid transit options for Nashville by requiring approval from the Tennessee General Assembly for transit projects along state roads. Transit Now Nashville & the Amp Coalition oppose SB 2243/HB 2156 because we want to make sure cities across Tennessee have the flexibility to respond to the unique needs of their community without unnecessary government obstruction.

Your input on this issue is important and your voice is vital. We urge you to contact the legislators listed below to ask them to oppose SB 2243/HB 2156. These bills that make it harder for our communities to create transit options that are right for the local citizens of the area.

How to Take Action

  1. Send an Email – Go to to send an email to the legislators listed below & let them know you oppose this legislation. Remember to clear, concise but respectful.
  2. Call the Office – #s are below.
  3. Come to the Committee Meeting – Join the Amp Coalition on March 12th at 12:30pm for the Senate Transportation Committee Meeting and/or at 1:30pm for House Transportation Committee Meeting to show elected officials that you want them to Vote NO on HB 2156/SB 2243. Don’t forget to wear your GREEN!
  4. Get Social – Use the badge on our Facebook page as your Profile Photo and share it with others. Tweet out the badge and info about our position on these bills- don’t forget to use the hashtag #AmpYes.

The Message
These bills are terrible, not just for Nashville but for all of Tennessee. Here’s why:

1. It’s political – It puts state politics into the middle of a local infrastructure project. It is a total overreach by the General Assembly. The state already has approved the Amp project through the Metropolitan Planning Organization. TDOT already has design control over this project. Metro Council will have multiple opportunities to exercise oversight of the project. The only thing this bill does is insert the legislature into the process. The legislature is a political body. This is about politics.

2. It overrides local decision-making – This legislation ties the hands of local officials. Nashville – like many other cities in the state – is growing. Dealing with traffic is a major concern. Why would the legislature want to limit Nashville’s options on managing that growth? Why do legislators from all corners of the state think that they should have the power to make detailed decisions about a transit project in one city?

3. It has statewide implications for other cities – This sets a very dangerous precedent that could affect every city in the state. If they do it in Nashville today, they can do it in Memphis tomorrow, Murfreesboro next week, and Knoxville and Chattanooga next month. Every municipality in the state has a dog in this fight.

4. It will jeopardize federal funding – Legislators say they have jurisdiction because this is a state route. It is also a federal route. A decision like this will compromise the integrity of the Amp project and put federal funding at risk.

5. It’s another layer of bureaucracy – Local governments are the drivers for economic development and responsible for their municipality’s services. The last thing Tennessee cities need is more bureaucracy slowing down the process. Bigger business hurts economic development. This will add costs, time and aggravation to the Amp project and many more.

6. It limits options for residents, workers and visitors. As our city and region grow, congestion will increase. Local governments can best determine their transit plans to serve the needs of their citizens, not legislators from outside of Nashville.

Beth Harwell, Speaker of the House
Ron Ramsey, Lieutenant Governor

Senate Transportation Committee
Jim Tracy, Chair
Mae Beavers
Frank Niceley
Janice Bowling
Stacey Campfield
Ophelia Ford
Thelma Harper
Becky Massey
Steve Southerland

House Transportation Committee
Vince Dean, Chair
Mike Sparks, Vice-Chair
David Alexander
Joe Armstrong
Karen Camper
Dale Carr
Barbara Cooper
Bill Dunn
Tilman Goins
Kelly Keisling
Mary Littleton
Jimmy Matlock
Bo Mitchell
Dennis Roach
Courtney Rogers
Bill Sanderson
Terry Lynn Weaver
John Mark Windle