ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) – A new Tennessee law will make it easier to find your favorite food truck.
Gov. Bill Lee signed HB 814 into law last week. This creates a ‘Gold Standard’ state permit that allows food truck owners to bypass individual municipal inspections.
The permit will require one annual inspection by the state fire marshal that meets heightened fire safety standards.
Local food truck, Trucky Cheese’s owner Michael Rice said that it’s no easy task to run a food truck. Several permits and inspections are currently required to operate on the move.
“Running a food truck is not easy,” Rice said. “I say you’ve got to be a jack of all trades to do it.”
Operating around the Tri-Cities meant that Rice had to be up-to-date with various municipal and county rules set in place. Rice added that, in most cases, these permits could get costly.
Now, HB 814’s signing comes as a breath of fresh air for Rice. He said that he’ll finally be able to truly focus on the customers that he serves.
“It’s not just being able to move around, but it’s being able to take care of the people in Johnson City, Greeneville and Bristol,” Rice said.
The Institute of Justice (IJ) praised the passage of this legislation and Gov. Lee signing the bill into law.
“This reform is a positive step toward simplifying the unnecessary layers of state and local regulations that these small businesses face,” IJ Director of Legislation and Legislative Counsel Meagan Forbes said.
Rice said that he’s hopeful that this new law will not just benefit his food truck, but all trucks across the state.
“There’s a lot of trucks that are fighting it a lot harder than I am,” Rice said. “A lot of great trucks that want to get out and smile and see friends that they’ve made throughout the years.”