Legislative Update, March 13, 2010
March 13, 2010
To email legislators, look on the left side of the page, select House or Senate, then ‘Members’.
Don’t forget that you can now watch on your computer the committee meetings and the floor sessions: http://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/livevideo/
Phone calls can go to the Legislative Switchboard: (615) 741-3011 or to the Toll Free number 1-800-449-8366+1+ last four digits of office phone number (available at the same location).
|Be careful about what you allow to impress you. Whatever impresses you attracts you. Strong attraction produces persistent pursuit. And whatever you pursue becomes your purpose. Most people spend their lives chasing things that do not last. They waste their most productive years pursuing wealth, pleasure and fame—only to reach the end of their lives with nothing to show for it all. Jim Elliott, a missionary martyred in the jungles of South America in 1956, said, “ He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. ”|
Word is that the House subcommittees will begin to close soon. That means those bills that are still viable will begin to move quickly. Lawmakers need wisdom to make thoughtful decisions about these proposals.
Unfortunately daylight Saving Times Begins tomorrow. I don’t know about you, but it takes me ‘forever’ to ‘make up’ that lost hour of sleep. Frankly, I will never understand why we don’t move the clocks 30 minutes, leave them there and stop the madness!!
EXCITING NEWS ABOUT FORMER INTERNS AND THEIR FAMILIES:
In 2005, Nathan Bell, son of now-State Rep. Mike Bell (R-Riceville – now running for state senate) was my intern. After high school Nathan joined the Marines and is now stationed in North Carolina. Last Saturday Nathan and Priscilla were married. We do wish them a long and happy life together.
In 2008, my intern was Laura Charles from Kingston. Every Tuesday, her mother Flo drove her two and a half hours to Nashville, then home in the afternoon. Sometimes Dad (who recently died) did the honors. Flo is very active in her local Republican party and the TN Federation of Republican Women. In addition, Flo and her husband have fostered hundreds of children. An inspiring, well-deserved story was done on them: Woman fosters hundreds, many thank her with kitchen remodel. See brief video HERE.
After announcing last summer that she would not seek another term so she could run for Wilson County mayor, Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet, reversed course because she believed she could accomplish more by continuing in the Senate, she said. State Sen. Mae Beavers abruptly declared Thursday that she will run for re-election this fall after all, possibly setting up a contentious primary battle with state Rep. Susan Lynn. Read more here.
SUPPORTING PARENTAL RIGHTS IN EDUCATION:
*SB 2480 by *Gresham ( HB 3105 by *Harwell)
As amended: In determining the classroom assignments of multiple birth siblings, no school or board of education shall separate such multiple birth siblings into different classrooms solely due to such children being multiple birth siblings.
We had Dan and Gwen Adams with their twin boys and daughter; Kim and Bill Biggs with their twin girls and daughter in the Rotunda to greet the Senators as they entered the chamber. Senate sponsor Sen. Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) then invited the two families to sit on the floor of the senate to watch as their bill was being passed.
STATUS: Victory in the State Senate. SB2480 passed the State Senate 31-0. Without debate, HB 3105 was voted out of House Education on Wednesday. It will now go through Calendar and Rules where it is not expected to have any problem, and soon be on the House floor.
ACTION: Please go HERE to send an email of support to your House member.
PROHIBITS THE FORCED IMPLANTATION OF RFID DEVICE:
HB 2059 by *Lynn ( *SB 0153 by *Ketron)
Criminal Offenses - As introduced, classifies as a Class A misdemeanor, subject to a fine only, the unauthorized implantation of an electronic identification and/or tracking device or mark placed on any human being.
STATUS: HB 2059 was on the House Judiciary Calendar last Tuesday, but after sitting in committee four and a half hours, they didn’t get to the bill, so we are in that committee again on March 16th.
PROTECTING FREEDOM OF SPEECH:
SB 3589 by *Ketron ( *HB 3300 by *McCormick)
Judgments - As introduced, specifies three reasons why a foreign judgment would not be conclusive, and further states that a foreign defamation judgment shall not be recognized if the defamation law of the foreign court adjudicating the case provided less protection for freedom of speech and press than the United States and Tennessee constitutions.
This is one of our most important bills for the legislative session. It authorizes Tennessee courts to not recognize a foreign defamation judgment unless the court sitting in Tennessee before which the matter is brought first determines that the defamation law applied in the foreign court's adjudication provided at least as much protection for freedom of speech and press in that case as would be provided by the constitutions of the United States and Tennessee. We MUST protect the Free Speech rights of our citizens.
STATUS: Thrilled to report that HB 3300 was unanimously voted out of Civil Practice and will be in House Judiciary on Tuesday.
ACTION: Please go HERE and urge these House members to support this important bill.
PRO-LIFE “FREEDOM FROM COERCION ACT”:
SB 3812 by *Johnson ( *HB 3301 by *Lynn , Evans, Matlock, Lundberg, Hill, Watson, Niceley, Johnson C, Ford , Casada, Halford, Swafford, Dunn, Dean, Bell, Carr, Weaver, White, Maggart, Hensley, Bass, Curtiss, Brooks K, Campfield)
Abortion - As introduced, enacts the "Freedom from Coercion Act."
This is such an important bill -- obviously no girl or woman should be forced or coerced to have an abortion against her will. This bill would require abortion facilities to prominently post no-coercion policies; impose penalties against facilities, which do not comply; reassure vulnerable women and girls that help and support is available and provide for damages against any person coercing an unwanted abortion. This proposal has been amended to clarify some questions that were raised and it is now ready to move forward.
STATUS: HB 3301 will be in Health and Human Services on Tuesday.
PROHIBITING A STATE INCOME TAX:
*SJR 0763 by *Kelsey Constitutional Amendments - Proposes an amendment to clarify the constitutional language that currently prohibits the levying of a tax on any class of income, other than income derived from stocks and bonds, and to prohibit any tax levied on or measured by employer payrolls.
Senators Doug Henry (D-Nashville), Jim Kyle (D-Memphis) and Joe Haynes (D-Nashville) made very interesting statements, as did Doug Overbey (R-Maryville).
Sen. Kelsey pointed out the longtime debate over whether or not the TN Constitution actually already prohibits an income tax and that by passing SJR 763 through the four-year process, the people could vote once and for all to settle the question. I would REALLY urge you to watch the debate – it is VERY instructive.
Click HERE to view committee hearing, then selection SJR 763 below the video screen.
Senators voting aye were: Black, Burchett, Herron, Overbey, Norris, McNally, Watson -- 7.
Senators voting no were: Haynes, Henry, Kyle -- 3.
STATUS: It has had the first of the required three readings on the Senate Floor.
ASSAULT ON UNBORN BABY IS A CRIMINAL ACT:
SB 3699 by *Black ( *HB 3495 by *Evans)
Criminal Offenses - As introduced, specifies that when a defendant commits a homicide or assault against a pregnant woman, the woman's fetus, regardless of viability, is also considered a victim of the offense.
STATUS: HB 3495 was voted out of the Health Committee and is now in Budget Sub.
Vital Records – As introduced, establishes a certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth.
This legislation calls for the state to acknowledge the birth of a stillborn infant by issuing a birth certificate if the parents request one. “This is to acknowledge for basically psychological reasons, you know, and grieving and that sort of thing,” said Beth Barnett of Cordova. “But it’s also like a kick from the state when you find out you’re going to walk out of the hospital with almost nothing; and then you find out that the state doesn’t even recognize that you even gave birth, period.” Barnett said present law calls for a birth certificate if the infant lives for at least one minute. If they do not, there is only a fetal death report, which is for research gathering purposes. The legislation, calls for issuance of a birth certificate, upon the request of parents for stillborn infants if they are 20 weeks or more gestation or 350 grams.
STATUS: SB 3189, as amended, will be on the Senate floor on March 24. HB 3286 was deferred last week and will be in House Health and Human Resources again this week on March 16.
MURDER OF PREGNANT WOMAN COULD DRAW DEATH SENTENCE:
*SB 2392 by *Jackson ( HB 2693 by *Shepard)
Capital Punishment - As introduced, adds murder committed against a pregnant woman as an aggravating factor for purposes of imposing death sentence in first degree murder cases.
STATUS: SB 2396 passed Senate Judiciary and will be in Finance Ways and Means. HB 2693 passed Criminal Practice subcommittee and is in House Judiciary March 16.
STATUS: HJR744 was voted out of the subcommittee and will be heard soon in House State and Local Committee.
REQUIRING COMMUNICATION; POSSIBLE REDISTRICTING BETWEEN APPORTIONMENT:
SB 3677 by *Burchett ( *HB 3510 by *Niceley)
Congress – As introduced, creates joint congressional communications committee of general assembly; authorizes changing of congressional districts between apportionment.
STATUS: Rep. Niceley (R-Strawberry Plains) gets an “A” for creativity, however, his interesting bill failed on a tie vote.