Legislative Update, February 25, 2012


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).

"Those who expect to reap the blessing of freedom, must... undergo the fatigue of supporting it."  Thomas Paine, Author

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;  For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. I Timothy 2:1-2

NOTE:  The precious little boy, who is featured in this story, is the son of veteran, Lance Frizzell, Chief of Staff, to Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey.
Seven-Year-Old Gives His Birthday To Patriotic Charity
RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn.- A little boy in Rutherford County has proven you're never too young to do a good deed. When he celebrated his seventh birthday, he didn't ask for any gifts for himself.
These are the ways most seven-year-olds might spend their time: conquering the monkey bars or sharing a swing-set with a younger brother. But seven-year-old Andrew Frizzell wanted to share his birthday with a patriotic act of kindness.
Andrew turned seven on February 15th, and this year he didn't want any toys or gifts.
"He said for my birthday I just want people to bring money, so that they can throw parties for kids that don't have a mommy or daddy because they didn't come back from war," said Lance Frizzell, Andrew's father. Read more here.

*SB 3178 by *Bell ( HB 3539 by *Matheny)
Schools, Charter - As introduced, makes charter schools subject to open meetings law; requires charter schools to maintain a web site and post certain notices and information on the web site; makes charter school records open records to the same extent as records of public schools operated by LEAs.  This important  bill will provide for families interesting in a Charter School the same information available on the Public School in that LEA.  Information IS power and that information should be made as accessible as possible.
STATUS: Soooo pleased to report that HB3539 was heard in committee on Wednesday, the amendment added and it passed out on a voice vote without any discussion.  It will be the full House Education Committee on Tuesday. Would you please contact these members and ask them to please vote for this bill: rep.john.forgety@capitol.tn.gov, rep.joe.pitts@capitol.tn.gov, rep.john.windle@capitol.tn.gov, and rep.lois.deberry@capitol.tn.gov.

SB 2613 by *Tracy ( *HB 2547 by *Hill)
Driver Licenses - As introduced, requires visible full face color photograph of a licensee.
This TN Eagle Forum proposal is a simple bill that, as a safety measure, puts into state law the same photo requirements used for passports.
STATUS:  HB2547 is scheduled for a House floor vote on the Consent Calendar for February 27th where it is expected to pass. 
STATUS:  SB2316 will be in Senate Transportation on February 29th. Please contact these members and urge the to support this bill:sen.tim.barnes@capitol.tn.gov  and  sen.douglas.henry@capitol.tn.gov.

SB 2508 by *Gresham ( *HB 2638 by *Watson) Criminal Offenses - As introduced, prevents people from living on publicly-owned property not designated for residential use and prohibits people using publicly-owned property from posing a health hazard or threat to the safety and welfare of others.
STATUS:  The floor debate took about an hour, but in the end, SB2508 passed the Senate Floor 21-9-1.  The Senate added a Severability Clause, so it legislation now has to go back to the House for them to concur, then it will go to the Governor for his signature.

Tenn. Senate passes bill aimed at preventing Occupy protesters from camping near Capitol
Administration Files Rules to Ban Camping (and Occupy Nashville) at Plaza

*HJR 0587 by *Brooks K, Faison, Carr, Womick, Floyd, Miller D, Maggart, Rich, Weaver, Hill, Niceley, Lollar, Johnson P, Halford, Gotto, Matheny, Campbell, Evans, Casada, Sparks, Butt, Dean, Hensley, Harrison, Williams R
General Assembly, Statement of Intent or Position - Recognizes the destructive and insidious nature of United Nations Agenda 21.
NOTE: I am SO PLEASED that the Tennessee General Assembly is about to address this extremely important issue.
According to the authors of Agenda 21, the objective of sustainable development is to integrate economic, social and environmental policies in order to achieve reduced consumption, social equity, and the preservation and restoration of biodiversity. Sustainablists insist that every societal decision be based on environmental impact, focusing on three components; global land use, global education, and global population control and reduction.

For background information:
RNC Passes Resolution Exposing UN Agenda 21
Agenda 21 In One Easy Lesson

: HJR587 will be in the House State and Local Subcommittee on Wednesday.  Please let these committee members know that you support this resolution: rep.jim.cobb@capitol.tn.gov, rep.gerald.mccormick@capitol.tn.gov, rep.larry.miller@capitol.tn.gov, rep.bob.ramsey@capitol.tn.gov, rep.curry.todd@capitol.tn.gov, rep.mike.turner@capitol.tn.gov, and rep.kent.williams@capitol.tn.gov

SB 3408 by *Beavers ( *HB 3572 by *Womick)
Real Property - As introduced, defines "private property rights" to clarify meaning of unwarranted government interference with such rights.
SB 3409
by *Beavers
( *HB 3573 by *Womick)
Eminent Domain - As introduced, restricts counties, municipalities, and other legally recognized forms of government from exercising eminent domain power beyond the jurisdictional boundaries of each entity.
STATUS:  HB3572 and HB3573 are both in House Judiciary Subcommittee on Wednesday. Having spoken with many of the committee members, there is good support for these concepts, but both bills need work on their language.  We will see Wednesday if language has been written that will be workable.

SB 3016 by *Beavers ( *HB 2922 by *Sparks)
Beer - As introduced, requires revocation or suspension for at least 60 days of beer sales permit held by any person who is convicted of a drug crime.
How does one make the penalty for selling these terrible synthetic drugs more than 'just the cost of doing business'?  Really hitting the sellers in the pocket book.  Losing the beer sales permit for 60 days could be just the answer.

EDITORIAL: Task force on crime, synthetics laudable

Synthetic drugs growing concern for East Tennessee parents, lawmakers, law enforcement

 "Across the state of Tennessee, we've had people commit violent crimes, ranging from self-mutilation to arson to homicide based on these drugs, and again, it creates extreme paranoia in these people and hallucinations, so again, a very, very dangerous drug" Clinton Police Chief Rick Scarbrough said.

STATUS: HB2922 will be in State and Local Subcommittee on Wednesday. Please let these members kow that you support serious penalties for those who sell the devastating drugs.
rep.jim.cobb@capitol.tn.gov, rep.gerald.mccormick@capitol.tn.gov, rep.larry.miller@capitol.tn.gov, rep.bob.ramsey@capitol.tn.gov, rep.curry.todd@capitol.tn.gov, rep.mike.turner@capitol.tn.gov, and rep.kent.williams@capitol.tn.gov


Voter ID law gets going without hitch
Voters started heading to the polls Wednesday to cast their ballots in a presidential primary that could pack more punch than most in Tennessee.The first day of early voting for the March 6 election also provided the first test of the state’s controversial new voter ID law, which requires voters to show photo identification at the polls. But county election officials said voters were uniformly prepared, which the Tennessee Republican Party chairman said was a testament to education efforts by Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s office. Read more here.
IMPORTANT:  Don't forget that early voting continues through February 28th, election day is March 6.
Tennessee Delegate Selection Process
Selecting Those Who Will Represent You

Haslam loses Republican support on class-size bill
When Gov. Bill Haslam sought to dismantle collective bargaining by teachers unions, Republicans lined up to support him.
When he said Tennessee’s teacher evaluations were too lax and their tenure too easy, his party backed some of the nation’s most stringent rules on both.
But this year, when the governor suggested allowing larger class sizes to make way for optional teacher bonuses, his strongest opposition came from an unlikely camp — GOP stronghold Williamson County.
Haslam’s class size bill died Wednesday, 35 days after its introduction. Read more here.

Report shows 28,535 jobs created in Tennessee in 2011
Best record of job creation in five years

        A report released by the Tennessee Department of  Economic and Community Development (ECD) revealed good news last week on Tennessee's job front.  The Department's 2011 Annual Report showed 28,535 new jobs were created in Tennessee last year, accounting for more than $4 billion in investment.  This is the state's highest mark in job creation in the last five years.
        The news follows the passage of several bills in the General Assembly last year aimed at attracting and retaining jobs by enhancing Tennessee's business climate.  This included offering businesses more predictability and a way to quantify risk through tort reform.  It also included new laws to improve education outcomes and a top to bottom review of the state's business regulations with the goal of removing any unnecessary bureaucratic barriers which have stymied entrepreneurship.
        Governor Haslam has stated his mission is to develop strategies which help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. The Governor and key staff have traveled the state to meet with more than 2,000 companies and over 700 economic development stakeholders.
        The Governor's Jobs4TN economic development plan, announced in April 2011, has focused efforts on key sectors where the state holds a unique competitive advantage; along with a renewed emphasis on assisting existing Tennessee companies that create the vast majority of all new jobs in the state.  In addition, ECD was able to significantly lower the average cost of incentives per new job created compared to the previous decade.  In 2011, the average incentive cost per job was $2,640 versus $5,586 for the years 2002-2010, a reduction of more than 50 percent.