TN lawmakers seek to reduce old, cumbersome laws


February 4, 2013

A new movement would throw out old state laws that you may have unknowingly broken. State Republicans want to discontinue rules they say are so antiquated they have no place in government.

Lawmakers said some of the laws are downright silly while others can be burdensome to taxpayers. They believe the best course of action is to get someone to take a good look at what’s really necessary.

“There are archaic laws that are outdated that are no longer applicable, and in addition there are laws that are misinterpreted and can become burdensome to our businesses and our families,” said State Rep. Glen Casada, R-Thompson’s Station.

For an example, releasing more than 25 balloons at a time breaks the law and could be punished with a fine of $250 per balloon.

Casada used a helium balloon to emphasize how the new law would work.

“What we’re going to do with that law and others like it is to get rid of it,” he said, popping the balloon.

That’s why Casada and State Sen. Jack Johnson, R-Franklin, are looking to hire a position of repealer who would take a good look at the laws on the books and decide whether or not they are actually necessary.

The legislators said while some of the laws like the balloon release are silly there are others that could be causing you, the taxpayer, a big headache.

“As Gov. Haslam has said repeatedly, state government is about customer service. Our customers are the taxpayers of Tennessee, and we have to make their experience when they deal with state government all the more friendly, efficient and cost effective,” Johnson said.

The repealer position would be a part of the Secretary of State’s office and would be a four-year position.

A similar law passed the legislature in Kansas last year and is already having measured success.


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