VITAL POLICY – Food Truck Operators Get Regulatory Relief with New Legislation

Streamlining Government and Creating Economic Liberty

Earning a living as a food truck operator will soon be more rewarding and profitable in Tennessee due to a new law that will streamline fire inspections. Under current law, operators of “mobile food units”, as they are called by legislators, are required to undergo fire inspections in each jurisdiction in which they operate. That means if they operate in 10 different cities and counties, serving festivals and events, they must sacrifice profitable operating time and bear travel costs to deal with bureaucrats in each jurisdiction.

When the new law takes effect, food truck operators will be able to purchase one master state fire inspection permit that will be good in all counties and cities in Tennessee for a period of one year, bypassing the myriad of local inspectors, their bureaucratic idiosyncrasies, and varied inspection timeframes.

This new approach was initiated by two Tennessee legislators and the Institute for Justice.

Spearheading the legislative effort was Meagan Forbes, Director of Legislation and Senior Legislative Counsel at the Institute for Justice. “Meagan advocates for legislative reform across the country in the areas of economic liberty, free speech, property rights, and other civil liberties…. She also has been instrumental in reforming restrictive cottage food laws in several states, including Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, and Oklahoma, and simplifying laws for food trucks in Georgia. Her work has been featured by MSNBC, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and USA Today.”Institute for Justice biographical data.

Representative Elaine Davis (R-Knoxville) is the prime sponsor of the legislation, HB814. Davis is a constitutional conservative that believes in efficient streamlined government and economic liberty for small businesses. She is the past Vice-Chair of the Knox County Republican Party, a former Knox County Commissioner, and currently serving in her first term as a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives.

Senator Frank Niceley (R-Strawberry Plains) is the sponsor of the companion senate bill SB907 and is a senior member of the state senate serving Jefferson, Claiborne, Grainger, Hancock, Sevier, and Union Counties. He is well known for upholding constitutional principles, promoting economic and individual liberty, and cutting taxes and government bureaucracy. Niceley is the 2nd Vice Chair of the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee, and a member of Energy, Agriculture, and Natural Resources as well as the Transportation and Safety Committee.

David Seal is a retired Jefferson County educator, recognized artist, local businessman, 917 Society Volunteer, and current Chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Party. He has also served Jefferson County as a County Commissioner and is a citizen lobbyist for the people on issues such as eminent domain, property rights, education, and broadband accessibility on the state level.

Source: Streamlining Government and Creating Economic Liberty