Weekly Update

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As you may have seen earlier this week, both state legislative bodies—House and Senate—passed a law that will remove the requirement for our first responders to live in Shelby County. It now goes to Governor Bill Lee for his signature.


While I know there are people on both sides of the residency discussion, this legislation will help our community. Your Memphis Police Department, along with law enforcement agencies nationwide, are all looking for ways to shore up their ranks.  You know as well as I do that we need to continue to grow our police department if we are going to suppress the challenge of violent crime in our city. 


This important legislation will allow us to do that.


A couple important items to note—through January and February of this year Tennessee remains the top state where interested parties apply with over 60 percent of applicants. And as you would imagine, the southeast region remains where we receive the most interest including Arkansas, Illinois, Mississippi, and Texas.


One fact you may not be aware of—we already have a number officers serving on the force who live outside Shelby County who were grandfathered in before residency rules were ever changed.  At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that first responders do not have to live in the community to care about its people and to serve them with dignity and respect.


State legislation we support: Twenty years ago, when the state was having serious budgetary challenges, they slightly altered the traditional allocation of sales taxes, which increased the state’s portion from the portion usually allocated to cities and counties.

For a few years now, we have supported two bills to reallocate the traditional split. With the state having large surpluses each of the last several years, we are hoping the bills can pass this upcoming session.


These bills (SB2076 / HB2012 and SB2469 / HB2562) would net city government over $12 million per year. We are actively recruiting and retaining police officers, and the reallocation of these sales taxes would allow us to give your police officers and fire fighters higher raises to keep our community safe.


State legislation we do not support: As you hopefully know by now, growing and expanding our minority and women-owned business enterprises (MWBE) is something this administration has put a heavy focus on since coming to the Mayor’s office. SB2440 / HB2569 stands to be a potential road block. This bill, if passed, would not allow the City to put more emphasis on helping to nurture and grow our MWBE community.


Power companies: We oppose parts of bill that limits the ownership of Memphians over MLGW.  Currently, the city charter provides the citizens the power to vote on whether MLGW (an asset we all own) should be sold.  A proposed bill would allow TVA to veto a public vote and overturn our election.  While the sale of MLGW is an extraordinarily remote possibility now and for many years to come, that decision should solely rest with the owners of that asset—Memphians.


March Madness: Yesterday was a big win for our Memphis Tigers. Be sure to tune in and support the team as they advance to the second round against the #1 ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs.


Enjoy your weekend, and Go Tigers Go!!




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