Former lawmaker known for ‘Copeland Cap’ dead at 88

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) – A former Tennessee lawmaker who wrote a state amendment to curb excess spending has died.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports David Copeland died Wednesday at the age of 88. The Hamilton County Republican served in the state House from 1968 until 1992.

In 1978, voters approved his amendment to block the state from spending more in one fiscal year than the estimated growth of Tennessee’s economy that year. If lawmakers want to exceed the “Copeland Cap,” they must pass a law acknowledging the expense.

Copeland ran for governor in 1994 but lost to U.S. Rep. Don Sundquist in the GOP primary. Sundquist later won the general election and served as Tennessee governor from 1995 to 2003.

Copeland is survived by a wife and two children. His funeral is scheduled for Tuesday.


Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press,

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The story we have attached is from the WDEF News Archives in 1978.  We spend a busy day with the Representative during the debate on his balanced budget proposals for Tennessee and the United States.


Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, From The Archives, Government & Politics, Local News

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