As yesterday just did not go the way that I wanted it to, I decided to wake up this morning with a better attitude. I even decided that I was going to try to find some positive Tennessee political news in order to be, oh I don’t know, a better person. To joyously look for a glass half-full is what my lofty intentions were.
An East Tennessee lawmaker has filed a bill to make it a criminal act for the state to contract for any work on any portion of Interstate 69 or any other highway project designed to link Canada, the United States and Mexico.
The design, and in some places the construction, of Interstate 69 is slowly moving along in West Tennessee.
But Rep. Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough, has filed House Bill 2785 to make it a Class E felony under the state’s criminal code for any officer of the Tennessee Department of Transportation to enter knowingly into any contract for work on I-69.
As I live in this fine area that would benefit from I-69 (inner 12-year-old always comes out so let’s ignore that) and you may ask why but it’s rather simple.
Roads mean industry. One of the most common known issues facing counties like Perry Co. is the lack of four-lane roads to that area. Has dude seen our desperate need for job creation in this area. Even where I live, where we are lucky to have four-lanes all over the place, it is still roughly an hour before I can get to the interstate going to either Nashville or Memphis. Trucks, for distributing products built in factories, sort of rely on interstates to get things from Point A to Point B. I realize much of this area’s manufacturing boom ended about the time I was in cloth diapers but it would help.
In an area that is suffering staggering unemployment numbers, I can’t believe the tomfoolery of Hill’s bill. I realize that some folks don’t agree with me, but looking at it from the perspective of long-term assistance to northwest Tennessee, it only makes sense.
We don’t have flying cars yet campers, so from an industrial standpoint, this would help. I covered this story when I was in radio nearly 20 years ago.
And Hill wants to put TDOT in the hot seat by creating a criminal code if anyone does contract work on this? Unbelievable.
And I was looking for a half-glass full this morning. I really was.