FINAL Legislative Update, April 25, 2015

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)

 

Every year, the Lord gives me a passage of Scripture for the year.  For 2015, it is 1 Timothy 1:12: I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service.
I am very grateful that I get to do what I do.  It gives me great joy and satisfaction to serve the families of Tennessee.




FOR YOUR PRAYER LIST:
Around ten o'clock on Wednesday evening, after marathon floor sessions, the first session of the 109th Tennessee General Assembly adjourned for the year. This was an extremely grueling session with a lot of tension and stress for all of us.  One of the beauties of our form of government is that we have 'citizen' legislators who are elected to serve the people of Tennessee.  Please pray that they can get some well-earned rest and pray for them as they now re-integrate into their home and professional lives.

BOBBIE'S NOTE:  Having Adam and Lauren with me this year was a great experience; my life was greatly enriched. They are both remarkable young people who will go on to make their marks in the world.  I received a lot of very positive comments about their 'corners', including from a number of legislators who are subscribers.  I enjoyed, as much as anyone, seeing what they would say each week.  God bless them both!!

ADAM'S CORNER:
My grandfather, a twenty year Army veteran, often talks about the mantra of "hurry up and wait".  It seemed to be the same this Tuesday as committees were shuffled around floor sessions that went longer than scheduled.  We started our day in the Senate gallery observing bills of interest.  A bill that was particularly interesting to me was a Joint Resolution calling on Congress and the President to label the barbarous acts in Fort Hood and the beheading in Moore, Oklahoma as terrorism.  We then moved to the House chambers to watch debate on the two abortion bills.  Representative Rick Womick, Representative Bill Dunn and Representative Matthew Hill, among others, all did a fantastic job defending life.  Seven amendments,  that would have watered down the bills, all failed and both bills were sent to the Governor's desk by overwhelming margins!  The House budget subcommittee discussed the bill giving in-state tuition to illegals, that bill passed that committee but later failed by ONE vote on the House floor.  A reminder that there is always more work to do!  This past Tuesday was my last Tuesday during this legislative session.  I thank Mrs. Patray,  and my local State Executive Committee member Francis Arthur,  for giving me this amazing opportunity.  It was a great experience and one I will never forget! 


LAUREN'S CORNER:
The pressure was on in the House and Senate and as the legislative session came to a close Wednesday so did my lobbying labors with Mrs. Bobbie of the past few months. Ending with quite a show, the House went through many hot topic bills that have been passionately supported and rejected. Many things that we have lobbied hard on the past few weeks came and went with varying degrees of discussion by the House. Most notably the in-state tuition bill that left everyone with mouths wide open as we saw it fail with a heart stopping vote of 49 ayes and 47 no. That 50th vote being what it needed to proceed. The bill left everyone shaking with either glee or sorrow but the calendar continued on with lots still to be dealt with. Watching the process of law from January to present, I couldn’t help but be reminded over and over again of the uniqueness of the Tennessee legislature. The beauty of our American government, as I have said before, is that every decision of the states is made by “The People” of the state. Every vote taken is a vote by a citizen representing other citizens. And seeing our Tennessee legislators do that this session has been beyond a pleasure. What I have seen down there you cannot find in a textbook or hear in a classroom. It is something truly special and I have been blessed to have experienced it. Thank you Mrs. Bobbie for this Great opportunity.


WILL YOU HELP?
As the legislative session closes we have some financial needs that I want to share with you.  We need to raise $6,000 for supporting the daily work of TN Eagle Forum. We never charge for our services, but as you can imagine, they are not free.  A few of our expenses include $2,000 annually for the email distribution service, parking is $15 per day, copier contract is $500+ annually, $740 a year to the state to lobby.  We pay the Dept. of Labor and the US Treasury a lot of money as well as buy a lot of office supplies (copy paper, toner, file folders, etc.) and computer tech help.

In addition, we need to raise $30,000 to underwrite our upcoming 2015 "On Eagle's Wings" Biennial Conference, October 3.  We had such an incredible response to our 2013 state conference and the excellent line up of speakers we provided (see that 2013 line up HERE) and we want to provide that same quality program this year.  We already have five experts confirmed for the 2015.  The levels of giving are: PATRON--$5,000 or more; PLATINUM--$2500; GOLD--$1000; SILVER--$500; FRIEND OF EAGLE FORUM--$250; SUPPORTER OF EAGLE FORUM--$100. The donors will be listed in the conference program. 
NOTE: Donations to TN Eagle Forum are not tax deductible. We DEPEND on your help.You can go to our website and click on the PayPal link in the top right of the page, or send you check to 3216 Bluewater Trace, Nashville, TN 37217
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PROMISES MADE --- PROMISES KEPT!!  The State Supreme Court overturned our pro-life laws in 2000.  It has taken 15 years to reach this VICTORY for mothers and their babies.  The passage of Amendment 1 in November set the stage for these final steps.  I think back over all these years about all the people who worked so hard, never giving up, to assure the harvest we enjoyed this week, especially all those who sacrificially worked to pass Amendment 1. To God be the Glory!! 

INFORMED CONSENT AND WAITING PERIOD FOR ABORTION:
SB 1222 by *Beavers (HB 0977) by *Hill M
Abortion - As introduced, revises provisions governing reports a physician who performs an abortion is required to keep to specify that such records must be maintained for five years; clarifies that the requirement applies to any abortion procedure instead of just "operations." The bill is now made up of this language: Amendment 1 and Amendment 2.

STATUS:
On April 15, SB 1222 passed the Senate floor 27-5:
Senators voting aye were: Bailey, Beavers, Bell, Bowling, Crowe, Dickerson, Gardenhire, Green, Gresham, Haile, Hensley, Jackson, Johnson, Kelsey, Ketron, Massey, McNally, Mr. Speaker Ramsey, Niceley, Norris, Overbey, Roberts, Southerland, Stevens, Tracy, Watson, Yager -- 27.
Senators voting no were: Harper, Harris, Kyle, Tate, Yarbro -- 5.

On April 22, after a horrendous and mind numbing, nearly an hour's debate, HB977 passed the House floor 79-18:
Representatives voting aye were: Alexander, Brooks H., Brooks K., Butt, Byrd, Calfee, Carr, Carter, Casada, Coley, Daniel, DeBerry, Doss, Dunlap, Dunn, Durham, Eldridge, Faison, Farmer, Forgety, Goins, Gravitt, Halford, Harrison, Hawk, Haynes, Hazlewood, Hill M., Hill T., Holsclaw, Holt, Howell, Hulsey, Johnson, Kane, Keisling, Kumar, Lamberth, Littleton, Lollar, Lundberg, Lynn, Madam Speaker Harwell, Marsh, Matheny, Matlock, McCormick, McDaniel, McManus, Moody, Pitts, Pody, Powers, Ragan, Ramsey, Reedy, Rogers, Sanderson, Sargent, Sexton C., Sexton J., Shaw, Shepard, Smith, Sparks, Spivey, Swann, Terry, Todd, Travis, Van Huss, Weaver, White D., White M., Wilburn, Williams, Windle, Wirgau, Womick -- 79.
Representatives voting no were: Akbari, Armstrong, Beck, Camper, Clemmons, Cooper, Favors, Fitzhugh, Gilmore, Hardaway, Jones, Miller, Mitchell, Parkinson, Powell, Stewart, Towns, Turner -- 18.



LICENSING AND INSPECTING ABORTION PROVIDERS:
SB 1280 by *Hensley,(HB 1368) by *Lynn
Abortion - As introduced, requires facilities or physician offices where more than 50 abortions are performed in a calendar year to be licensed as ambulatory surgical treatment centers. As amended, this bill requires that abortion clinics be licensed and inspected.
STATUS:
On April 15th, SB1280 passed the Senate floor 28-4:
Senators voting aye were: Bailey, Beavers, Bell, Bowling, Briggs, Crowe, Dickerson, Gardenhire, Green, Gresham, Haile, Hensley, Jackson, Johnson, Kelsey, Ketron, Massey, McNally, Mr. Speaker Ramsey, Niceley, Norris, Overbey, Roberts, Southerland, Stevens, Tracy, Watson, Yager
-- 28. Senators voting no were: Harper, Harris, Kyle, Yarbro -- 4.

On April 21st,  HB1368 passed the House floor 80-17:
 Representatives voting aye were: Alexander, Brooks H., Brooks K., Butt, Byrd, Calfee, Carr, Carter, Casada, Coley, Daniel, DeBerry, Doss, Dunlap, Dunn, Durham, Eldridge, Faison, Farmer, Fitzhugh, Forgety, Goins, Gravitt, Halford, Harrison, Hawk, Haynes, Hazlewood, Hill M., Hill T., Holsclaw, Holt, Howell, Hulsey, Johnson, Kane, Keisling, Kumar, Lamberth, Littleton, Lollar, Lundberg, Lynn, Madam Speaker Harwell, Marsh, Matheny, Matlock, McCormick, McDaniel, McManus, Moody, Pitts, Pody, Powers, Ragan, Ramsey, Reedy, Rogers, Sanderson, Sargent, Sexton C., Sexton J., Shaw, Shepard, Smith, Sparks, Spivey, Swann, Terry, Todd, Travis, Van Huss, Weaver, White D., White M., Wilburn, Williams, Windle, Wirgau, Womick -- 80.
Representatives voting no were: Akbari, Armstrong, Camper, Clemmons, Cooper, Favors, Gilmore, Hardaway, Jernigan, Jones, Love, Miller, Mitchell, Powell, Stewart, Towns, Turner -- 17.
This legislation was signed by both speakers on April 22, and sent to the Governor for his signature.

Gov. Haslam expected to sign Tennessee abortion restriction bills into law



INSTATE TUITION FOR UNDOCUMENTED STUDENTS:
SB 0612 by *Gardenhire,(HB 0675) by *White M
Students - As introduced, exempts certain students from payment of out-of-state tuition at state institutions of higher education

STATUS: On April 15, SB612 passed the Senate floor 21-12:
Senators voting aye were: Bowling, Briggs, Crowe, Dickerson, Gardenhire, Green, Gresham, Haile, Harper, Harris, Jackson, Kelsey, Kyle, Massey, McNally, Mr. Speaker Ramsey, Niceley, Overbey, Southerland, Tate, Yarbro -- 21.
          Senators voting no were: Bailey, Beavers, Bell, Hensley, Johnson, Ketron, Norris, Roberts, Stevens, Tracy, Watson, Yager -- 12.

HOWEVER, when HB675 got to the House floor, the debate was lengthy and intense. You really should watch it.  Go HERE, on left scroll down and click on HB675. Rep. Andy Holt did his best to add some amendments to the bill, but all three amendments were tabled.

AMAZINGLY, when the final vote was taken, HB675 received only 49 votes, meaning that it was not defeated, but it just didn't pass. Rep. White then sent it back to Calendar and Rules, where it will await action in 2016.
Representatives voting aye were: Akbari, Armstrong, Beck, Brooks H., Brooks K., Calfee, Camper, Carr, Carter, Clemmons, Cooper, DeBerry, Dunn, Eldridge, Farmer, Favors, Fitzhugh, Gilmore, Gravitt, Hardaway, Harrison, Haynes, Hazlewood, Hulsey, Johnson, Jones, Kumar, Love, Marsh, McCormick, McDaniel, McManus, Miller, Parkinson, Pitts, Powell, Ramsey, Sanderson, Shaw, Shepard, Smith, Sparks, Stewart, Todd, Towns, Turner, White M., Wirgau, Womick -- 49.
          Representatives voting no were: Alexander, Butt, Byrd, Casada, Coley, Daniel, Doss, Dunlap, Durham, Faison, Forgety, Goins, Halford, Hawk, Hill M., Hill T., Holsclaw, Holt, Howell, Kane, Keisling, Lamberth, Littleton, Lollar, Lundberg, Lynn, Matheny, Matlock, Moody, Pody, Powers, Ragan, Reedy, Rogers, Sargent, Sexton C., Sexton J., Spivey, Swann, Terry, Travis, Van Huss, Weaver, White D., Wilburn, Williams, Windle -- 47.


Please remember that the content of this bill is based on what many contend is an illegal action by President Obama by declaring that these students who are in the country ILLEGALLY, but they have, through DACA, (a temporary program) been declared 'lawfully present'.  The stories of these students ARE emotionally compelling.  A sponsor spoke of 'unconditional love'.  I would respectfully observe that this is not about 'love' but about 'law'. Hard cases make bad law.  That is why one has to step back, on issues like this or any issue, to evaluate the public policy up for discussion.
             I hope you will look at the YES and NO votes, and I encourage you to take the time to send a 'thank you' email to each of the NO votes.  In addition, I encourage you to carefully go over the YES votes.  Some of them were a great surprise to me and maybe they will be to you. If so, I hope you will take the time to send that legislator an email asking that they rethink their position on this bill for next year.  Members can be found HERE.


REPLACING COMMON CORE:
SB 1163 by *Bell, (HB 1035) by *Spivey
These three amendments now make up the body of SB1163-HB1035:

Amendment 1Amendment 2Amendment 3
STATUS:
On April 20, HB1035 passed the House floor: 97-0:
Representatives voting aye were: Akbari, Alexander, Armstrong, Beck, Brooks H., Brooks K., Butt, Byrd, Calfee, Camper, Carter, Casada, Clemmons, Coley, Cooper, Daniel, DeBerry, Doss, Dunlap, Dunn, Durham, Eldridge, Faison, Farmer, Favors, Fitzhugh, Forgety, Gilmore, Goins, Gravitt, Halford, Hardaway, Harrison, Hawk, Haynes, Hazlewood, Hill M., Hill T., Holsclaw, Holt, Howell, Hulsey, Jernigan, Johnson, Jones, Kane, Keisling, Kumar, Lamberth, Littleton, Lollar, Love, Lundberg, Lynn, Madam Speaker Harwell, Marsh, Matheny, Matlock, McCormick, McDaniel, McManus, Miller, Mitchell, Moody, Parkinson, Pitts, Pody, Powell, Powers, Ragan, Ramsey, Reedy, Rogers, Sanderson, Sargent, Sexton C., Sexton J., Shaw, Shepard, Smith, Sparks, Spivey, Stewart, Swann, Terry, Todd, Towns, Travis, Turner, Van Huss, Weaver, White D., White M., Wilburn, Williams, Windle, Wirgau -- 97.
On April 21, SB1163 passed the State Floor 28-1:
Senators voting aye were: Bailey, Beavers, Bell, Bowling, Briggs, Crowe, Dickerson, Gardenhire, Green, Gresham, Hensley, Jackson, Johnson, Kelsey, Ketron, Kyle, McNally, Mr. Speaker Ramsey, Niceley, Norris, Overbey, Roberts, Southerland, Stevens, Tracy, Watson, Yager, Yarbro -- 28.
          Senators voting no were: Harris -- 1.

NOTE:  It you read the first section of the Conference Committee Report that was passed last year, which became TCA 49-1-309, this year's legislation has to abide by the provisions of last year's bill which provides even more transparency for the development and adoption of new standards.
The Report became Public Chapter 423




RECOVERING DAMAGES FROM TERRORIST ACTS (ANDY'S LAW):
SB 0180 by *Ketron , Bowling, Tate,(HB 0935) by *Matheny Forfeiture of Assets - As introduced, specifies that property used in the course of, intended for use in the course of, derived from, or realized through certain terrorist acts is subject to forfeiture; creates a civil action for damages for a person injured as a result of certain terrorist acts.
    "Andy's Law" in honor of U.S. Army Pvt. William "Andy" Long of Conway [right], who was shot and killed outside a west Little Rock recruiting center in 2009. Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula of Jacksonville was wounded in the shooting rampage.
    Abdulhakim Muhammad, a Memphis, Tenn., native named Carlos Bledsoe who converted to Islam, pleaded guilty to capital murder and attempted capital murder in 2011, and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Bledsoe claimed to be a terrorist and had traveled to Yemen and Somalia.
 AMENDMENT #1 rewrites this bill to authorize the seizure and forfeiture of property involved in the commission or terrorism offenses and creates a private cause of action for victims of terrorism to sue the offender.
STATUS:  Previously SB80 passed the Senate floor 30-1.  On April 21, HB935 passed the House floor 87-3:
Representatives voting aye were: Alexander, Armstrong, Beck, Brooks H., Brooks K., Butt, Byrd, Calfee, Carr, Carter, Casada, Coley, Cooper, Daniel, DeBerry, Doss, Dunlap, Dunn, Durham, Eldridge, Faison, Farmer, Fitzhugh, Forgety, Goins, Gravitt, Halford, Hardaway, Harrison, Hawk, Haynes, Hazlewood, Hill M., Hill T., Holsclaw, Holt, Howell, Hulsey, Johnson, Jones, Kane, Keisling, Kumar, Lamberth, Littleton, Lollar, Love, Lundberg, Lynn, Madam Speaker Harwell, Marsh, Matheny, Matlock, McCormick, McDaniel, McManus, Mitchell, Moody, Pitts, Pody, Powers, Ragan, Ramsey, Reedy, Rogers, Sanderson, Sargent, Sexton C., Sexton J., Shaw, Shepard, Smith, Spivey, Swann, Terry, Todd, Towns, Travis, Van Huss, Weaver, White D., White M., Wilburn, Williams, Windle, Wirgau, Womick -- 87.
          Representatives voting no were: Clemmons, Powell, Stewart -- 3.




CONDEMNING BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT & SANTIONS:
SJR 0170 by *Gresham, McNally, Ketron, Hensley, Harper, Stevens, Beavers, Bell, Bowling, Briggs, Crowe, Green, Johnson, Norris, Roberts, Southerland, Tracy, Yager, Bailey, Haile, Harris, Kyle

General Assembly, Statement of Intent or Position - Condemns the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement and increasing incidents of anti-Semitism.
STATUS:  On April 9th, SJR170 passed the Senate floor 30-0; on April 21 it passed the House floor 93-1.
Tennessee becomes first state to officially condemn the boycott-Israel "BDS" movement

ACTS OF TERRORISM:
SR 0016 by *McNally
General Assembly, Statement of Intent or Position - Urges the president and congress to declare the mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, and the beheading at a food distribution center in Moore, Oklahoma, "acts of terrorism."
STATUS:  On April 21st, SR passed the Senate floor 30-0-1.

CIVICS TEST:
SB 0010 by *Norris, (HB 0010) by *McCormick
Students - As introduced, requires students to pass the United States citizenship and immigration services' civics test with a score of at least 60 percent in order to receive a regular high school diploma.
STATUS:  As amended,  on April 20, HB10 passed the House floor 85-8; on April 21st, SB10 passed the Senate floor 31-0.


SUBPOENA CLERGY SERMON:
SB 1221 by *Bell, (HB 0979) by *Hill M

Religion and Religious Organizations - As introduced, prohibits a state or local government entity from subpoenaing a clergy member's sermon for a civil or administrative action.
STATUS: As amended, On April 15th, SB1221 passed the Senate floor 32-0-1; on April 22nd, HB979 passed the House floor 91-0.



OTHER ITEMS/ITEMS OF INTEREST:

The good, bad of 2015 TN legislative session

Rep. Haynes exits House by passing alcoholic beverage bill, delivering farewell speech

Legislators fail to agree on procedure for confirming governor’s judicial nominations

Legislature votes to ban cameras to ticket speeding viola

Feds eye cut to TN hospital funding; Haslam laments ‘heavy-handed’ tactic

Tennessee school voucher proposal fails again