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Dynamic Legislative Week Produces Solid Victories for State
Chamber and Business Community
Special thanks to our legislators for advancing numerous pro-
business legislation and deferring or defeating many negative
HB 1233unanimously cleared the House consumer and employee affairs committee. The bill
is sponsored by the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and reverses an onerous
and costly court decision that allows a private right of action on wage disputes. Special thanks
to Bill Ozier with Bass, Berry and Sims in Nashville and Bob Bowman with Kramer Rayson
LLP, Knoxville for their help in this important legislation.
SB 183The administration this week agreed to accept important amendatory changes offered
by the Tennessee Chamber to pending business tax legislation. Special thanks to Chamber Tax
Committee Chair, Carl Hartley with Baker, Donelson in Chattanooga and the Chamber’s tax
committee for their help.
HB 1168and HB 1169 both deal with the mandatory labeling of various plants and seeds. The
bill was an onerous mandate and was opposed by many Tennessee Chamber members.
The Chamber worked to have both bills in the House deferred until 2014.
HB 1003 that is aimed at stopping various economic development projects was defeated. The
bill would have required that the highest and best use price would have been offered for
eminent domain property offers.
HB 0850 removes certain prevailing wage requirements for the construction industry, and was
advanced this week and is supported heavily by the construction industry.
HB 0043 annual legislation introduced to stop coal mining in Tennessee. The bill prohibits
issuance of a water quality control permit that would alter any ridgeline that is more than 2,000
feet above sea level. The Chamber opposed this bill since it would cost Tennessee jobs and
could result in cost increases for businesses using coal as part of their energy mix.
Tennessee’s Hospitality Lures Investment / Economic Development
This week the Tennessean reported on the new Japanese consul-general, Motohiko Kato, who
took the top position at Japan’s Nashville consulate in October Kato, who represents Japanese
citizens and business interests in Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky and Louisiana
functions as consul-general, with a goal to facilitate and promote the interests of the Japanese
people and businesses here and to promote more trade between Tennessee and his native
Kato notes about Tennessee: “It is a beautiful state, but what has always impressed me most is the wonderful hospitality of the people. That’s why Tennessee is attracting so many Japanese
investors and Japanese people. They feel very welcome here.”
The article further notes that there is so much Japanese investment in Tennessee that the
Japanese government felt compelled to move the consulate here from New Orleans, Kato said.
“Tennessee is a wonderful place for these investors,” he said. “Currently, more than 63 percent
of the foreign direct investment in Tennessee has come from Japan. There are 180 Japanese
companies successfully doing business here, and there are 3,700 Japanese residents in the
state.” Bridgestone, the world’s largest tire manufacturer, has its Americas headquarters in
Nashville, as well as manufacturing facilities in La Vergne and McMinnville. Nissan, Japan’s
No. 2 automaker, opened its first U.S. plant in Smyrna in 1982 and moved its North American
headquarters here from Southern California in 2006. Both companies have brought some of
their top Japanese executives here, as well.
Trent Lott: Senate Majority Leader (1996-2002) to
Provide Keynote Afternoon Address at Tennessee Chamber Annual
Meeting : Plan to Attend on April 2 nd in Nashville
The Tennessee state chamber is proud to announce that Trent Lott, former U.S. Senator from
Mississippi and U.S. Senate Majority leader will keynote the Tennessee Chamber of
Commerce & Industry’s afternoon events. Please take time to register for the event as space is
becoming limited. Call 615/259-2000 for nightly accommodations. We begin the afternoon
with a motivational address by Gov. Bill Haslam. (Invited) The lively and interactive
afternoon sessions will focus on the economy and its impact on business. We’ll cap it all off
with a discussion with the Tennessee House and Senate leadership.
The pinnacle outreach and networking opportunities occur at the end of the day, where we host
an all-inclusive Legislative Reception, providing Tennessee Chamber members and investors
an opportunity to talk with members of the General Assembly, the Governor’s Cabinet, the
executive branch and their fellow business leaders.
Join us as we celebrate the Tennessee Chamber's second century of service, and a celebration
of our deep history of protecting your interests and free enterprise in Tennessee.
To learn more, please visit www.tnchamber.org where you can register on-line. As seating is
fast becoming limited, please register soon, and be prepared for a new kind of annual
meeting, with surprises and fun!
Tennessee Chamber / U.S. Chamber partner in Hosting U.S.
Department of Commerce IP Protection Event
On March 28th, from 8:30 AM – 2:30 PM the U.S. Department of Commerce is hosting a
“Stop Fakes” roadshow event at Belmont University. The purpose of the event is to educate the
local business community on the importance of Intellectual Property (IP) and how to protect it.
This event is a great opportunity for TN businesses with a stake in IP issues – the music
industry, pharmaceuticals, publishers, manufacturers, and many others – to get educated on protecting their IP. We encourage you to participate in this important event.
STOPfakes.gov was launched to serve as a one-stop shop for U.S. government tools and
resources on intellectual property rights (IPR). The federal agencies behind STOPfakes.gov
have developed a number of resources to educate and assist businesses, particularly small and
medium-sized enterprises, as well as consumers, government officials, and the general public.
This seminar provides an opportunity to learn the basics of intellectual property rights (IPR)
protection and enforcement and to discover the resources that are available to help your
business enforce IPR at home and abroad. This dynamic day-long program will feature
presentations by intellectual property experts from the U.S. Department of Commerce Office
of Intellectual Property Rights and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The program ends
with the opportunity to meet one-on-one with these experts.
Tennessee Chamber Investor Opportunities!
The TN state chamber cordially invites your business to become an investor. The Tennessee
Chamber of Commerce & Industry --Tennessee’s largest voice of business in our State Capitol,
provides advocacy, lobbying and outreach on behalf of businesses, statewide. Please visit
www.tnchamber.org and click on “join the Chamber” to learn more about the Tennessee
Chamber and the services we offer our members. Membership is a great opportunity for you
and your business to interact with our state’s elected officials and shape business policy.
Political Advocacy: Key to Tennessee Chamber’s Legislative
The Board of Directors of the Tennessee Chamber has begun a focused effort to raise
awareness of the Chamber Political Action Committee or PAC, and the subsequent investments
needed to sustain and grow the outreach of this essential group. Please take time to visit our
website and click on the "PAC" tab to learn more about our efforts.
The website also allows individuals and companies to participate online as financial investors
to this influential PAC. A healthy PAC is essential to our successful advocacy efforts at the
State Capitol. The Chamber PAC is administered by senior staff members, and all
distributions are decided by our Chamber members.
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Header photography by John McCullum ~ Graphics by Julie Perrine
Fayette County Chamber of Commerce | P O Box 411 | 13145 N. Main St. | Somerville, TN 38068 | Ph: 901-465-8690 | Fax: 901-465-6497