Lawmaker Questions Whether Web Pages Deserves a Law

The state House last week passed what they called the “Small Business Incentive Act.” But at least one state lawmaker says it’s not much more than a name.

The House passed it 95 to nothing. Only one member got up to point out that all the bill does is tell the Department of Economic and Community Development to set up a web page. It’s meant to be a one-stop information “portal” to help business owners interact with the state. But a similar state-run site already exists.

Representative Jon Lundberg, a Republican from Bristol, questions whether any web page merits a new law with such a lofty name.

“It does concern me when people come to this legislative body for the creation of a web site for a department. I worry about the precedent that we set and what’s going to come next.”

Business lobbyists say that until it passed, they thought the Small Business Incentive Act was just a place-holder that would sooner or later be amended with a real incentive.

Web Extra

The bill is HB 2612 Harry Brooks/SB 2496 Tracy.

The department appears to already have such a web site, without benefit of a special law.

If you go to the page marked “business” on the ECD web site, you can click on a link marked “starting a business” and end up on a page named the “Tennessee “Smart Start” Small Business Guide.

The bill appears to be a legislative initiative, not a matter that the Haslam administration champions.

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