Monday, August 13, 2007


Matthew Hill: Still Accomplishing Nothing for the 7th District

Here’s a report of the almost nothing that Matthew Hill accomplished since January.

-He opposed funding for local public schools (KTN 3.10.07), but curiously has an interest in student permission forms (KTN 4.10.07) at those very same schools. He went on record as supporting smoking in restaurants (JCP 2.11.07).

-He complained about bringing money back from Nashville (JCP 5.25.07) to the 7th District. Rusty Crowe, on the other hand, thought the people elected to him to help: "I’ve always thought that anything I can bring home to my district to support organizations, law enforcement, etc., is good,” said Crowe, noting that before the (Gov. Don) Sundquist administration, many local departments didn’t have to worry about money they now depend on their local legislators for."

-Hill opposed funding for trauma centers in Tennessee. Once again, Rusty Crowe felt differently (JCP 6.15.07).

-Hill was quoted in the March 20 Tennessean talking about how much time he spends on the pressing issue of renaming roads. What a great use of his time on behalf of the 7th District.

-He continued to be inaccessible (JCP 6.15.07): "Attempts to reach Rep. Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough, were unsuccessful."

-Hill also tried to get the sales tax on food eliminated. Those efforts resulted in a measly ½ cent reduction on the tax. Here’s the 6.14.07 Kingsport Times News’ account of Hill’s “accomplishments.”

While tax relief on food did happen, a number of Hill's other causes hit a legislative wall.

One bill to make ignition interlock devices mandatory for all first-time DUI offenders was deferred to a summer study committee. Another bill to re-establish elected school superintendents was referred for further review. Hill withdrew a bill to reduce handgun carry permit application fees from $115 to $100. His bill to require the state budget to be prepared and adopted on a two-year, rather than annual, basis, was assigned to the so-called "Black Hole" House Budget Subcommittee.

Hill's bill to make the punishment for child rape the same as the punishment for first-degree murder failed for lack of a seconding motion in a Judiciary subcommittee.

That cigarette tax increase [that Hill did not support] is expected to support Gov. Phil Bredesen's education funding reform initiative. Washington County and Johnson City are projected to receive more than $6.8 million combined under Bredesen's plan passed by lawmakers.

-And lastly, it was learned that Matthew Hill paid $11,000 for direct mail services to a company in Georgia. Too bad he can’t support the district, or even the state, he represents.

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