NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- The Tennessee General Assembly gets underway this week.
WMOT is exploring the legislative priorities of some of the state’s leading political voices. Today we hear from the conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity.
Tennessee chapter Director Tori Venable says a major focus will be rewriting Tennessee’s so-called civil forfeiture laws. Forfeiture allows law enforcement to confiscate cash and property from criminal suspects before they’re convicted of any crime. The tactic has been used extensively against the illicit drug trade.
But Venable says the state’s law enforcement agencies are using forfeiture much too often.
“We’re unfortunately one of the bad actors nationwide and we really need to curtail it so that it’s criminal forfeiture so that they’re only seized once someone is found guilty of a crime.”
Venable says the organization will also continue to oppose what AFP sees as overregulation by state agencies, primarily through licensing requirements.
“I know the one we’ve had to defeat the past two years is a license for breast feeding; basically someone who teaches women how to breast feed they want an additional license for that. So we have to fight a lot of bad policies like that.”
While it isn’t a legislative issue, Venebale says AFP will also work to defeat Mayor Megan Barry’s recently announced multi-billion dollar transportation project.
“It’s a bad plan and if they vote for it in the coming election in May we’ll have one of the highest sales taxes in the nation.”
Nashville’s upcoming vote on the transportation funding was made possible by the legislature last year when it voted to raise the gasoline tax.