Legislative Update, May 7, 2011

May 7, 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).

If you are blessed enough to still have your mother, be sure to let her know how much she means to you.
”May God’s many blessings, Be yours forever more, And may you know you’re valued, And loved by the Lord, Especially on this day, That we have set aside To show our appreciation To the Mothers in our lives.”
© By M.S.Lowndes


We continue to need to pray for and help were we can, the victims of the recent storm systems that raced across Tennessee and other southern states. I understand that we had 39 tornados that resulted in 32 direct fatalities, one additional death from flooding, and untold material loss. Our sister states had even more tragic losses. In addition, as the legislative pace picks up, please pray for thoughtful, wise decisions will be made.

Lt. Governor Ron and Sindy Ramsey became grandparents this week when daughter Sheena Tinsley gave birth to Parker Ryne Tinsley (9lbs., 8ozs) as they welcomed this beautiful grandson into their family. Rep. David Hawk (R-Greenville) had his new little daughter, Kaitlyn Grace, with him at the Plaza this week.

It does appear that the 2011 Legislative Session may indeed conclude by Memorial Day weekend. Because of the demanding nature of the session this year, we have had some extra expenses. We trust that, as a subscriber, you would find the unique service that Tennessee Eagle Forum offers – our e-newsletter and fulltime lobbyists on Capitol Hill looking out for your interests – worthy of financial support. If you can make a special donation at this time, it would be greatly appreciated. You can do that online by going
HEREand clicking on the DONATE button on the lower left side of the page or send a check to 3216 Bluewater Trace, Nashville, TN 37217.

*SB 1028 by *Ketron ( HB 1353 by *Matheny)
Homeland Security - enacts the "Material Support to Designated Entities Act of 2011."
STATUS: We are at the point where we need ‘ALL HANDS ON DECK’ and need EVERYONE involved to actively support this effort to provide for the safety and security of Tennesseans from potential terrorist activities. PLEASE BE FAITHFUL--the opposition to what we are facing is substantial – and the legislators and the Governor need to hear from YOU.
          As amended, SB1028 has been referred to Senate Finance Committee; as amended, HB1353 has been referred to the House Budget Subcommittee.
ACTION: Please call the Governor’s office 615-741-2001 and tell  him that you support this anti-terrorism bill. 

Please contact these committee members and urge them to support this important legislation: Michael Harrison, Lois DeBerry, Craig Fitzhugh, Jimmy Naifeh, Gary Odom, Dennis Roach, Harry Tindell, and Johnny Shaw.
SB1028-HB1353: There has been a string of terror cases involving U.S. citizens in recent years. Justice department data shows there has been a "class-one" terrorism case - the highest designation for a terrorism case - involving a U.S. citizen every two weeks, on average, since January 2009.
          Improving the odds of effectively countering today's increasingly dynamic and diversified terrorist threat will require a much greater degree of engagement of state and local public safety officials. As the ranks of U.S. recruits have grown, the new front lines have become the streets of Bridgeport, Denver, Minneapolis, and other big and small communities across America.   Making sure that the nation's 50,000 public safety agencies are kept apprised of the changing face of terrorism poses a significant training and information-sharing challenge, but one that America neglects at its peril. 
        All through this legislation are multiple checks and balances to prevent any misapplication of its provisions. In addition, this legislation contains many more protections than are found in the federal law, which has been upheld by the US Supreme Court and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.   I urge you to support this important legislation

SB 1670 by *Tracy ( *HB 1632 by *Dunn)
Immigration - As introduced, codifies federal regulations to ensure that local absorptive capacity is evaluated at regular intervals in consultation between local governments and local resettlement agencies before commitments are made for refugee resettlement in any particular community. For more information, go
HERE. The bill has been re-written to address the concerns of the parties involved and is moving forward. You will want to read this excellent letter of support: Relocating refugees get help with proposed legislation.
STATUS: SB1670 was voted out of Senate State and Local Committee on a bi-partisan vote of 7-1-1. Senators voting aye were: Campfield, Faulk, Harper, Ketron, Norris, Tracy, Yager - 7. Senators voting no were: Finney L - 1. Senators present and not voting were: Haynes -1. It will soon be on the Senate floor for a vote. HB1632 was scheduled for the House floor on Thursday but was postponed until Monday evening.
ACTION: Please go
HERE to send an email of support to your State Senator and your State Representative.

SB 0633 by *Beavers ( *HB 0498 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: SB633 passed Senate Judiciary 8-1:  Senators voting aye were: Barnes, Beavers, Bell, Campfield, Ford, Kelsey, Overbey, Yager -- 8. Senators voting no were: Marrero – 1 and has been referred to the Finance Committee; HB498 was in the Budget subcommittee and has been place ‘behind the budget’ where it will remain awaiting funding.

SB 0632 by *Beavers ( *HB 0600 by *Casada)
Business and Commerce - As introduced, enacts the "Equal Access to Intrastate Commerce Act." This pro-business and pro-taxpayer legislation provides that no local government can impose on any business or person, other than a local government’s own employees, any personnel practice, definition or provision relating to discrimination or discriminatory practices that deviates from the requirements of state law. It also makes null and void any nonconforming requirements imposed prior to the legislation’s effective date. The legislation does not affect anti-discrimination policies that businesses voluntarily adopt for the operation of their business. You can find a Fact Sheet HERE.
STATUS: HB600 passed the House
73-24; SB632 will be in Senate State and Local on May 9th.
ACTION: This is a very important bill and I urge you to go
to find committee members and urge them to support this bill.
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 Monday evening, as amended, SB113 passed the Senate floor 18-14. Senators voting aye were: Beavers, Bell, Campfield, Crowe, Faulk, Gresham, Johnson, Kelsey, Ketron, McNally, Norris, Roberts, Summerville, Tracy, Watson, Woodson, Yager, Mr. Speaker Ramsey -- 18. Senators voting no were: Barnes, Berke, Burks, Finney L, Ford, Harper, Haynes, Henry, Herron, Kyle, Marrero, Overbey, Stewart, Tate -- 14. 
Senate votes to repeal union talks for teachers
        Wow, it was quite a different story in the House. Rep. Maggart finally had HB130 before the House Finance Committee for a hearing. Chairman Charles Sargent (R-Franklin) laid out the ground rules for the deliberations, saying that once amended, the bill would be put over to the next committee meeting so that members would have time to study its provisions. Rep. Harry Brooks (R-Knoxville) introduced an amendment that Maggart considered ‘friendly’.
       After much questioning and discussion, in a surprise move,
Rep. Jimmy Eldridge
(R-Jackson) made a motion to move the bill back to a CLOSED Education Committee. Leader Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga) made a motion the move the Eldridge motion “to the table.” Note the makeup of the Committee: 25 members, 16 Republicans and 9 Democrats. When the roll call vote was taken, the tabling motion failed 10-15. Then the vote was taken on the Eldridge motion to recommit the bill to the CLOSED Education Committee. That motion passed 14-11. Unfortunately the names are not yet posted on the legislative website, but obviously other Republicans joined Eldridge in sending it back to Education. You really should watch the debate. Go HERE and click on HB130.
Teacher union bill stalls, then TN teachers union bill stays alive

        Speaker Beth Harwell has re-opened the Education Committee and HB113 will be heard at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday in Room 16.
ACTION:   Please contact committee members
HERE and urge them to support HB113 as amended.

*SJR 0127 by *Beavers, Kelsey, Bell, Norris, Ketron, Crowe, Southerland, Yager, Campfield, Johnson, Woodson, Ramsey, Overbey, Tracy, Gresham, Summerville, Faulk, Watson 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 additional information, go HERE.
STATUS: SJR127 was before the Health and Human Services Committee on Wednesday, where it passed on a voice vote with Representatives Favors, Odom, Pruitt, Richardson requesting to be recorded as voting No.
ACTION: Please find your House member
HERE, and urge their support of SJR127.

Immigration bills slowed by cost questions

*SB 0780 by *Ketron ( HB 1380 by *Carr)
Immigration - As introduced, enacts the "Lawful Immigration Enforcement Act."

SB 1669 by *Tracy ( *HB 1378 by *Carr)
Immigration - As introduced, enacts the Tennessee Lawful Employment Act.

SB 1325 by *Johnson ( *HB 1379 by *Carr)
Immigration - As introduced, enacts the "Eligibility Verification for Entitlements Act."

State Rep. Ryan Haynes [R-Knoxville] pursues man accused to indecent exposure
When the father of three girls ran after the fleeing guy who had been exposing himself in the children's section of Borders bookstore, he didn't realize the man who joined him in the chase was a state lawmaker.
Read more here.