POSTED: December 30, 2021

This document describes the 2022 State legislative and policy agenda adopted by the elected officials of the City of Oak Ridge.  Described herein are key projects, policies, and priorities that the City urges the Tennessee General Assembly to support.  Other issues may arise that require separate action by City Council. Click here to view the final resolution.

(1)           Continue funding and support for the proposed general aviation airport in Oak Ridge.

(2)            Include municipal governments with school systems in the decision-making process regarding Basic Education Program (BEP) reforms. Thirty-nine (39) municipal school systems represent some of the best performing schools within the state and have expertise on key issues such as fiscal impacts, local capacity, and maintenance of effort. Currently, no municipal government officials have been appointed to the Funding Review Subcommittee, the Fiscal Responsibility Subcommittee, or the Suburban District/Municipals Subcommittee. This oversight excludes a major stakeholder group which provides funding for school systems in Tennessee.

(3)            Support the Tennessee Municipal League initiative to authorize local governments to provide remote participation in meetings of government bodies to conduct city business during times when the requirement for physical presence can impede the conduct of city business if a quorum cannot be achieved.

(4)            Include funding for the replacement of the City’s Water Treatment Plant in Tennessee's American Rescue Plan Water Infrastructure Investment Plan. The project is shovel ready and should be considered among the state's highest priorities, both in demonstrated need and return on investment. The State’s Plan should authorize direct funding of municipal projects to help ensure that funding is spent on urgent needs of municipal systems, to enhance procedural efficiencies, and to reduce unnecessary administrative costs.

(5)            Support the Tennessee Advisory Council on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR)’s systematic review of the grant implementation and enforcement process in Tennessee. The study is to include recommendations on how the grant system can work more efficiently and be less burdensome, particularly with additional work stemming from the ARPA and federal infrastructure programs.

(6)            Support funding and prioritization by TDOT for the Edgemoor Road construction project, and work with City officials on final designs to incorporate pedestrian and bicycle traffic, and fire station site.

(7)            Ensure Oak Ridge's participation in Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation decisions related to federal facilities in Oak Ridge.

(8)            Actively comment to state agencies on school financing proposals and their financial impacts upon the Oak Ridge Community.

(9)            Oppose school voucher programs and urge the General Assembly to limit implementation until impacts are systematically examined and mitigated.

(10)         Support the effective use of infrastructure grants, technical training, and related incentives to promote local economic development, investment, scientific innovations, and job creation.

(11)         Utilize local governments as partners in accomplishing state projects and to assist in coordination of implementation.

(12)         Oppose legislation which preempts local government; promote local opt-in/opt-out choices on legislative initiatives, such as the new law authorizing prohibition of vaping on public playgrounds.