Legislative Update, March 12, 2011

LEGISLATIVE ACTION  ALERT                   

March 12, 2011    
                                                                
Tennessee General Assembly information, click
HERE. For information on State Senators, including phone numbers and email addresses, click HERE; for House members, click HERE. For information on legislation, click HERE.
Don't forget that you can now watch the Senate committee meetings and floor sessions online by going
HERE; House committee meetings and floor sessions online HERE.
Phone calls can go to the legislative Switchboard at 615-741-3011 or to the Toll Free number 1-800-449-8366+1 last four digits of office phone number (available online).

  ”These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of this country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” Founding Father Thomas Paine, “The Crisis,” 1776


DON’T FORGET:
 It is time to ‘SPRING FORWARD’ and lose a precious hour of sleep. [One day I am going to pass legislation to move the clocks 30 minutes and leave them there!! It seems that I never catch up that lost hour.]

 
FOR YOUR PRAYER LIST:
”I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” 1 Timothy 2:1-2
The days continue to be hectic and demanding with important decisions being made. We are commanded to pray for our leaders and I urge you to do so. In addition, please pray for legislative staff member Sandy Sain. She fell on the ice during the last cold blast and tore her ACL and MCL.
 

INTRODUCING OUR NEWEST SENATOR:
Kerry Roberts is a Middle Tennessee small businessman, husband, and father of three.  A graduate of Lipscomb University and a CPA, Kerry has distinguished himself in the business community and within his church family in Springfield as a solid man of principle and integrity.  On a very interesting side note, I am told that the home Kerry and his family live in was designed by the sons of William Strickland, the architect who designed the Tennessee State Capitol.
Roberts takes the oath of office



HEALTH CARE FREEDOM - VICTORY:
*SB 0079 by *Beavers ( HB 0115 by *Weaver-  right)
As introduced, enacts the "Tennessee Health Care Freedom Act."
This bill prohibits the state government from interfering with a citizen's right to purchase health insurance or with a citizen's right to refuse to purchase health insurance.
STATUS: On February 23, SB 79 passed the Senate floor 21-10-1. So pleased to report that on March 7th, HB 115 passed the House floor 70-27:
Representatives voting aye were: Alexander, Bass, Brooks H, Brooks K, Butt, Campbell, Carr, Casada, Cobb, Coley, Curtiss, Dean, DeBerry J, Dennis, Dunn, Elam, Eldridge, Evans, Faison, Floyd, Ford, Forgety, Gotto, Halford, Hall, Harrison, Hawk, Haynes, Hensley, Hill, Holt, Hurley, Johnson C, Johnson P, Keisling, Lollar, Lundberg, Maggart, Marsh, Matheny, Matlock, McCormick, McDaniel, McManus, Miller D, Montgomery, Niceley, Pitts, Pody, Powers, Ragan, Ramsey, Rich, Roach, Sanderson, Sargent, Sexton, Shipley, Sparks, Swann, Todd, Watson, Weaver, White, Williams K, Williams R, Windle, Wirgau, Womick, Madam Speaker Harwell -- 70.
          Representatives voting no were: Armstrong, Brown, Camper, Cooper, DeBerry L, Favors, Fitzhugh, Gilmore, Hardaway, Jones, Kernell, McDonald, Miller L, Moore, Naifeh, Odom, Pruitt, Richardson, Shaw, Shepard, Sontany, Stewart, Tidwell, Tindell, Towns, Turner J, Turner M -- 27.
Proposal to allow Tennesseans to opt out of federal health-care law goes to governor

 
FINALLY, SJR127, IS INTRODUCED:
Normally, lawmakers are quick to introduce lots of resolutions, and getting to number 127 doesn’t take long. However, it took awhile this year to do that but on March 10, the ‘magic’ number came up. This important resolution will now be in position to move forward with this year’s primary sponsor, Sen. Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet).
*SJR 0127 by *Beavers
Constitutional Amendments - Proposes new provision to Article I to provide that nothing in Constitution of Tennessee secures or protects right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion; states that the people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother. For more background information, go HERE.

PROHIBITING MANDATORY COLLECTIVE BARGAINING:
SB 0113 by *Johnson ( *HB 0130 by *Maggart)
Teachers, Principals and School Personnel - As introduced, abolishes teachers' unions ability to negotiate terms and conditions of professional service with local boards of education.
STATUS: On February 16th, SB 133 passed Senate Education 6-3, and has not yet been assigned a Senate floor date. HB 130 was on the House Education Subcommittee Calendar on this past Wednesday, but was rolled until March 16th.
ACTION: There is concern that this bill will not pass the subcommittee in its present form. You can go
HERE to find the Subcommittee members, or go HERE to send an email of support to your State Senator and your State House member.

PHOTO ID TO VOTE:
*SB 0016 by *Ketron ( HB 0007 by *Maggart)
Election Laws - As introduced, requires a voter to present qualified photographic identification before voting; voters without proper identification shall be allowed to cast provisional ballots.
STATUS: Action on HB 7 was deferred again last week and is scheduled in State and Local Subcommittee on Wednesday
ACTIONPlease contact these members and urge them to support this important, common sense bill. 
rep.tommie.brown@capitol.tn.gov, rep.larry.miller@capitol.tn.gov, rep.mike.turner@capitol.tn.gov, and rep.kent.williams@capitol.tn.gov.

STOP THE JOB-KILLING GROWTH OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT MANDATES:
SB 0630 by *Ketron ( *HB 0598 by *Casada)
Business and Commerce - As introduced, enacts the “Equal Access to Intrastate Commerce Act.” his bill prohibits any local government from imposing on any person:
(1) An employment practice, standard, definition or provision that imposes or mandates health insurance benefits, a minimum wage, or family leave requirements such as those authorized by state law that varies in manner from state or federal statutorily imposed or recognized requirements; or
(2) An anti-discrimination practice, standard, definition or provision that varies in any manner from the definition of "discriminatory practices" under present law, any term used in such definition, or other types of discrimination recognized by state law but only to the extent recognized by the state.
STATUS: When Rep. Casada presented an amendment to HB 598 in the Commerce Subcommittee, the amendment was defeated, thanks to two Republicans and an Independent. Casada rolled the bill until March 16th
Bill to Block Local Government Discrimination Ordinances Hits a Snag
ACTION: Please contact these members and urge them to support this business protecting legislation. rep.steve.mcmanus@capitol.tn.gov, rep.dennis.roach@capitol.tn.gov, and rep.kent.williams@capitol.tn.gov.

EQUAL ACCESS FOR PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS:
SB 0330 by *Summerville ( *HB 0233 by *Brooks H)
As introduced, requires public institutions of higher education to give equal access to any domestic professional educators' organization if access to students in teacher training programs is granted to any other professional educators' organization.
STATUS: On March 7th, SB330 passed the Senate floor 30-1:
Senators voting aye were: Barnes, Beavers, Bell, Berke, Burks, Campfield, Crowe, Faulk, Finney L, Ford, Gresham, Haile, Harper, Haynes, Henry, Herron, Johnson, Kelsey, Ketron, McNally, Norris, Overbey, Southerland, Stewart, Summerville, Tate, Tracy, Watson, Yager, Mr. Speaker Ramsey -- 30.   Senators present and not voting were: Marrero -- 1.
HB 233 was in the Education Subcommittee this week, but was rolled to March 16th:
ACTION: Please contact these members and urge them to support this common sense legislation.
rep.john.deberry@capitol.tn.gov, rep.lois.deberry@capitol.tn.gov, rep.craig.fitzhugh@capitol.tn.gov, rep.joe.pitts@capitol.tn.gov.

REWRITING TEACHER TENURE LAWS:
*SB 1528 by *Norris ( HB 2012 by *McCormick)
 As introduced, changes date by which assignments for the following school year and notices of termination must be sent to school personnel from May 15 to June 15; specifies that director of schools must decide if a teacher is qualified for an open position; changes various requirements for obtaining tenure.
STATUS: On Thursday SB 1528 passed the Senate Floor 21-12:
Senators voting aye were: Beavers, Bell, Campfield, Crowe, Faulk, Gresham, Henry, Johnson, Kelsey, Ketron, McNally, Norris, Overbey, Roberts, Southerland, Summerville, Tracy, Watson, Woodson, Yager, Mr. Speaker Ramsey -- 21.
Senators voting no were: Barnes, Berke, Burks, Finney L, Ford, Harper, Haynes, Herron, Kyle, Marrero, Stewart, Tate -- 12.
On Wednesday, HB 2012 passed the House Education Subcommittee9-4:
Representatives voting aye were: Brooks H, Brooks K, Carr, DeBerry J, Dunn, Hensley, Lollar, Maggart, Montgomery -- 9.
Representatives voting no were: DeBerry L, Fitzhugh, Naifeh, Pitts -- 4.
HB 2012 is in the full House Education Committee on Tuesday.
ACTION: Please contact these members and urge them to support this legislation:
rep.john.deberry@capitol.tn.gov, rep.john.windle@capitol.tn.gov.

THREE IMPORTANT IMMIGRATION BILLS:

LAWFUL IMMIGRATION:
*SB 0780 by *Ketron ( HB 1380 by *Carr)
Immigration - As introduced, enacts the "Lawful Immigration Enforcement Act."
Go
HERE to read the detailed summary.
STATUS: HB1380 was scheduled in the full House State and Local Committee when the calendars came out, but on the Legislative website, it says that it has been moved back to the subcommittee Interesting note: it has 50 co-sponsors.


LAWFUL EMPLOYMENT ACT:
SB 1669 by *Tracy ( *HB 1378 by *Carr)
Immigration - As introduced, enacts the Tennessee Lawful Employment Act.
Go
HERE to read detailed summary.
STATUS: HB 1378 is in House State and Local Subcommittee on Wednesday.



ELIGIBILITY VERIFICATION:
SB 1325 by *Johnson ( *HB 1379 by *Carr)
Immigration - As introduced, enacts the "Eligibility Verification for Entitlements Act."
Go
HERE to read detailed summary.
STATUS: HB 1379 is also in House State and Local Subcommittee on Wednesday
ACTION: Looking at the number of co-sponsors on each bill I cannot imagine they will not pass, however, you may want to contact these members in support of all three bills:
rep.tommie.brown@capitol.tn.gov, rep.larry.miller@capitol.tn.gov, rep.mike.turner@capitol.tn.gov.