Legislative Update, March 5, 2011

March 5, 2011      
Tennessee General Assembly information, click

. 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).

And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever . . . ."
 Thomas Jefferson

Please continue to pray faithfully for the legislators, their families, as well as the decisions that are being made. These decisions will have a significant impact on our daily lives.

It occurred to me that we had not introduced the newest state legislator. In a special election, Antonio "2 Shay" Parkinson was chosen to replace the late Ulysses Jones, who passed away in November. Rep. Parkinson is a Firefighter, Lieutenant, Shelby County Fire Dept., Retired U.S. Marine, Desert Storm Veteran, founder of
ABetterMemphis.Com. Other activities include The Block Party for Peace (Founder/Organizer), Memphis & Shelby County Music Commission, Frayser Exchange Club (Former President), Frayser Community Development Corporation (Board Member 2007), Raleigh Community Council (Former Vice President), The Voice of Raleigh and Frayser Community Action Network (President), Fresh Starts Community Baby Shower Initiative to lower the Infant Mortality rate in Shelby County.
*SB 1028 by *Ketron ( HB 1353 by *Matheny)
Homeland Security - As introduced, enacts the "Material Support to Designated Entities Act of 2011."
      Despite the inflammatory things you may have been and heard in the so-called main stream media:
1.  This bill WILL NOT outlaw Sharia Law in Tennessee.
2. This bill DOES NOT make following Sharia Law a felony.
3. This bill was carefully crafted based on Federal law already in place that has been upheld by the US Supreme Court and just recently by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. It is Constitutional.
4. This bill DOES NOT IN ANY WAY violate the Freedom of Religion, or the right to political speech or Freedom of Association. Those freedoms are affirmed in the bill.
5. This bill gives local law enforcement the mechanism to help identify potential terrorist groups or organizations (through a complicated, multi-step process) and then prohibit anyone from knowingly giving that group or organization 'material support' (could be money, could be materials, could be training, etc. to further their cause.) It is that person, who after being tried and convicted of wrong doing, who could be fined or jailed.
For the TRUTH, go
ACTION: Please go HERE to send an email of support to your State Senator and State Representative, and PLEASE thank our prime sponsors for their courage and commitment:
sen.bill.ketron@capitol.tn.gov, rep.judd.matheny@capitol.tn.gov

*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: Actions on HB 7 was deferred last will and will be in State and Local Subcommittee on Wednesday
ACTION: Please 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.

*SB 0079 by *Beavers ( HB 0115 by *Weaver)
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. This bill declares any law passed in violation of the policy expressed in this bill to be void ab initio. This bill prohibits any public official, employee, or agent of this state or any of its political subdivisions from acting to impose any penalty in Tennessee that violates the public policy set forth in this bill.
The bill states: “The power to require or regulate a person’s choice in the mode of securing health care services, or to impose a penalty related thereto, is not found in the Constitution of the United States of America, and is therefore a power reserved to the people pursuant to the Ninth Amendment, and to the several states pursuant to the Tenth Amendment. This state hereby exercises its sovereign power to declare the public policy of this state regarding the right of all persons residing in this state in choosing the mode of securing health care services.”
STATUS: SB 79 passed the 21-10-1.
Commerce Subcommittee Vote: Representatives voting aye were: Curtiss, Haynes, Lundberg, Marsh, McManus, Roach, Sargent, Williams K -- 8.
Representatives voting no were: Favors -- 1.
Representatives present and not voting were: Harmon, Pitts, Shepard -- 3.
Commerce Committee Vote: Recommended for passage w/amendments- refer to: Calendar & Rules Committee 3/1/2011
Voice Vote - Ayes Prevail Rep.(s) Favors, Gilmore, Hardaway, Sontany, Towns requested to be recorded as voting No
Calendar and Rules Committee Vote: Recommended for passage
Voice Vote - Ayes Prevail Rep.(s) Naifeh requested to be recorded as voting No.
HB 115 is scheduled for the House floor Monday evening.
ACTION: Please find your House member
HERE and urge him or her to support this legislation.

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 committee, 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.

SB 0633 by *Beavers ( *HB 0498 by *Evans)
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.
For many years there have been efforts to provide protection for an unborn baby when is it a homicide victim. This bill is NOT about abortion. These mothers want their babies, they are carrying them to term. This is about getting legal protection for the baby and assigning legal consequences for the loss of that life. The only down side for this important legislation is that it has a fiscal note and has to be funded. If ever there was a bill that deserved to be funded, it is this one.
          Legislation has already been passed dealing the federal crimes. It is time we protected Tennessee babies too:
Family Members of Unborn Victims Go to Washington to Help Pass Bill -- April 5, 2004
President Bush Signs Unborn Victims of Violence Act Into Law, After Dramatic One-vote Win in Senate -- April 6, 2004

STATUS: HB 498 passed the Judiciary Subcommittee on a voice vote; it passed the House Judiciary committee on a Voice Vote with Rep.(s) Camper, Moore, Sontany, Stewart requesting to be recorded as voting No. Because of the fiscal note, it has been referred to the Finance Ways and Means Subcommittee. 
ACTION: Please contact these members and urge them to support this important bill.

rep.mike.harrison@capitol.tn.gov, rep.lois.deberry@capitol.tn.gov, rep.craig.fitzhugh@capitol.tn.gov, rep.steve.mcdaniel@capitol.tn.gov, rep.gary.odom@capitol.tn.gov, rep.dennis.roach@capitol.tn.gov, rep.charles.sargent@capitol.tn.gov, rep.harry.tindell@capitol.tn.gov, and rep.johnny.shaw@capitol.tn.gov.

SB 0330 by *Summerville [right]( *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 2nd, SB330 passed Senate Education 9-0. It is scheduled for the Senate Floor on March 7th, where it is expected to pass. HB 233 is scheduled in the Education Subcommittee on Wednesday.
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.


*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.
Haslam's Tenure Bill Clears First Hurdle
Harwell: House Will Deal With Haslam's Teacher Tenure Bill Before Collective Bargaining

STATUS: SB 1528 passed Senate Education 6-3 Senators voting aye were: Crowe, Gresham, Kelsey, Summerville, Tracy, Woodson -- 6. Senators voting no were: Berke, Burks, Tate -- 3.
HB 2012 is in Education Subcommittee on Wednesday.
ACTION: Please contact these members and urge them to support this important 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.