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Business, Free Enterprise and Constitutional Issues; Pro-Life and Pro Second Amendment. Susan Lynn is a member of the Tennessee General Assembly. She serves as Chairman of the Consumer and Human Resources subcommittee, a member of the Finance Ways and Means Committee and the Ethics Committee. She holds a BS in economics and a minor in history.

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

The IMPROVE Act and SR 109

75% of respondents to my legislative survey support the IMPROVE Act; 7% are against and 19% are unsure.  Respondents are 100% Republican because I did not pay for the survey through my state account.  

The IMPROVE Act was the largest single tax cut in Tennessee History - $250+ million of the $500+ million surplus was returned to Tennesseans through tax cuts on food and other items, and $250+ million was transferred to the Highway fund through strategic rate adjustments.  

The SR 109 project that we broke ground on in early March, 2018 is due to the IMPROVE Act.  It was planned in two phases and each leg was to take nearly two years - but because of the IMPROVE Act the entire project will take just two years.  

Phase 1. From South of Dry Fork Creek to South of the Cumberland River @ $32 million.

Phase 2. From North of US-70 (SR24) to South of Dry Fork Creek @ $32 million.

Phase 1 was announced in the 2016-17 TDOT Transportation Improvement Plan but never built due to land acquisition issues.  

Phase 2 is an IMPROVE Act project.  It was passed into law last string, codified in law and named in the 2017-18 Transportation Improvement Plan;  

Bill (pp 49, item 957)     -     TCA Code     -    IMPROVE Act Docs.  

Phase 1 was put off in 2016 due to land purchase delays because TDOT must own all of the land before a project begins - they will not build into a bottle neck(s).  

The land issues were not cleared up until last November 2017.  But once cleared up - due to the IMPROVE Act TDOT had the money to compete both Phase 1 and Phase 2.  The entire Project will be complete in just two years.  

I held 11 Town Hall meetings on the IMPROVE Act.  Over whelmingly, once voters heard the information they told me they supported the plan. 
I have an opponent who is claims that SR 109 is not an IMPROVE Act project.  However, as I just proved above by linking to the primary source documents - it certainly is an IMPROVE Act Project.  


Language of the IMPROVE Act bill - scroll to page 49, item (957) it says; 

For the very FIRST TIME EVER all of the road projects in the IMPROVE Act were codified into the Tennessee Code including all of Wilson County's IMPROVE Act the projects in Tenn. Code Ann. § 67-3-912 and you will see the following.  

In January, 2017, as part of the information provided to us on the IMPROVE Act, TDOT provided the legislators with a list of our counties many backlogged and new road projects.  [Click link]

As you can see, the two SR 109 projects are on the backlogged list it indicates that the only funding needed is the construction funding - that is why it says Construction next to each project.  The engineering and right of way were completed in previous years and so all that remained was the construction funding.

Note that most of our new projects need funding for the entire project.  Needed is funding for PE- preliminary engineering; ROW – right of way acquisition; CONST – construction.

In 2017, TDOT also provided us the the plan for the IMPROVE Act to build all of these project with in the next twelve years. The Improve Act readjusted Tennessee’s tax rates in order to move half of the annual budget surplus from the General Fund to the Highway Fund; ensuring funding into the future for $10.5 billion in backlogged road projects to be built over the next 10 years; and used the other half of the surplus to cut taxes for Tennesseans.  

The Improve Act lowered General Fund tax rates by $500+ million (food tax, income tax, business tax, and low income senior and veterans property taxes), and the Highway Fund fuel and electric car tax rates were raised by $250 million.  Assuring a net tax cut for Tennesseans of $250 million and also assuring that tourists, travelers through our state and truckers contribute more to Tennessee's roads while they are here. 

Due to the IMPROVE Act both legs of the SR 109 project are now funded and the entire project will be finished in just two years rather than waiting for each leg to be constructed separately.  


Phase 2 - the leg from North of US-70 (SR24) to South of Dry Fork Creek @ $32 million, was announced in the 2017-18 transportation plan (see pic). Entire 2017-18 TDOT Project List

And, Phase 1, from South of Dry Fork Creek to South of the Cumberland River @ $32 million was carried forward and reauthorized in by 2017-2018 budget.  Click here to see the  project on the never completed SR 109 project on the 2016 project list;  2016-17 TDOT Project List.

The IMPROVE Act made it possible to complete ALL of SR 109 in just two years.  The 2017-18 budget included enough money for the entirety of SR 109.


I work hard to maintain a very good relationship with TDOT and they reward us with millions of dollars worth of road projects.  TDOT has announced that SR 109 is an IMPROVE Act project.  I do not know why anyone would poke TDOT in the eye by saying that they are lying about SR 109.  

If you know me, you know that I am a very exact person.  I am a financial analyst for one of the largest accounting firms in the world. 

Perhaps because as a child my father strongly cautioned me “Young lady, if you are going say anything, you had better know you are are correct before you say it.”  His words are deeply ingrained in me.  As a state legislator, I work hard to understand the facts, and I keep important papers so that I can verify information in the future. 

I hope that political foes realize how easy their rhetoric is to disprove. 

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