Legislative Update, March 31, 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).

Men must be ready, they must pride themselves and be happy to sacrifice their private pleasures, passions and interests, nay, their private friendships and dearest connections, when they stand in competition with the rights of society." --John Adams, letter to Mercy Warren, 1776

Rep. Tim Wirgau (R-Paris) posts that his nephew Connor, is expected to leave Stallworth a day earlier than predicted. Although he still has a way to go, it is evident that God has a plan for this young man and his wonderful progress reminds me of this passage:
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;  your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:13-14
Press Secretary for the Senate Republican Caucus, Darlene Schlicher, lost her father this week. Please remember that family.  My husband Ron's is presently scheduled for open heart surgery on Thursday, April 5th, provided, whatever he has that he is on antibiotics for, is gone.  Please pray in that direction!!

SB 3345 by
*Ketron , Tate, Tracy, Crowe ( *HB 3540 by *Matheny, Brooks K, Forgety, Powers, Ragan, Williams R, Dunn)
Schools, Charter - As introduced, regulates charter schools' relationships with foreign entities and the use of non-immigrant foreign workers by charter schools has been rewritten by two amendments:

This bill requires disclosure of all sources of funding, allows for non- approval of a charter application if staffing utilizes more than 3.5% non-immigrant foreign worker visas but permits negotiation, permits a charter school of any size to exceed the cap for purposes of hiring, when necessary, foreign language instructors, and permits (but does not require) revocation of a charter prior to expiration should the use of non-immigrant foreign worker visas exceed the 3.5% cap during the term of the charter.

"As amended, SB3345/HB3540 enhances transparency in the use of public funds by charter schools.  The charter school option is first and foremost about expanding school choice for families and this bill helps provides additional information for families who might be exploring a charter school option for their student.
The bill is consistent with concerns about the overutilization of H1B visa use now being expressed in Washington.  This bill does not prevent foreign-born refugees, green card holders or any other immigrant residing in the U.S. with work authorization from being employed by or volunteering in Tennessee charter schools.  Rather, the bill only addresses a situation where a charter school would direct its recruitment overseas at workers who are neither present in the U.S. nor yet eligible to apply for a H1B visa.  This bill helps preserve jobs for Tennesseans. The limit for foreign worker recruitment is only applied at the discretion of the chartering authority, typically the local school district.
The bill in no way limits participation in charter schools by those living in immigrant communities in Tennessee.  It does not seek to eliminate diversity in charter schools or obstruct anyone with a foreign background from volunteering or working at charter schools."
STATUS: HB3540 will be in House Education on Tuesday.  Please contact these committee members and urge them to vote Yes: rep.john.deberry@capitol.tn.gov, rep.craig.fitzhugh@capitol.tn.gov, and rep.john.windle@capitol.tn.gov.

STATUS:  'By the hardest' and by adding three more small amendments, SB3345 was voted out of the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday 6-3: 
Voting YES: Republicans Dolores Gresham, Rusty Crowe, Jim Summerville, Jim Tracy; Democrats Charlotte Burks and Reggie Tate. 
Voting NO: Republicans Stacey Campfield and Brian Kelsey; Democrat Andy Berke. It will now move to the Senate floor. 
NOTE:  For whatever reason, this bill has become almost as toxic and misrepresented as our Material Support bill from last year.  The ACLU is opposing it as are some Muslim groups, and others. CAIR has now even come out against it. As usual, our heroic bill sponsors are committed to pressing on, but it won't be easy and without YOUR HELP, we won't be successful.
ACTION:  Please, PLEASE go HERE, find your Senator and URGE him or her to support this important bill and please get others to help us.

*SB 3178 by *Bell ( HB 3539 by *Matheny)
Schools, Charter -
As amended,  this bill requires charter schools to make publicly available certain information as that provided by the LEA in which the charter school resides and requires charter schools to publish information on their website or make arrangements with the LEA or related website, that will assist families with school choice decisions. This is simply about information and transparency. 
STATUS: HB3539 Passed the House Floor 98-0. SB 3178 is scheduled for the Senate Floor, April 5th.
ACTION:  Please find your Senator
HERE and urge him or her to vote for this bill. You can use the text in Italics above as your message.

HJR 0823 by *Shipley
, Gotto, Butt, Matheny, Holt, Dunn, Brooks H, Brooks K, Weaver, Hill, Lundberg, Halford, Evans, Hensley, Elam, Niceley, Johnson C, Faison, Ragan, Swann, Haynes, Hall, Williams K, Hurley, Miller D
Memorials, Recognition - Bobbie Patray
I was stunned to learn that Rep. Tony Shipley, Susan Shipley and TFRW President Claire Crouch had planned a surprise for me last Monday evening when Tony has planned to present the resolution on the House Floor. That didn't work out so it was put on the a 'Consent Calendar' (a floor calendar that contains non-controversial, bills and resolutions) for Wednesday.  But....guess what....Democrat Caucus Chairman Mike Turner (D-Nashville) 'bumped' it off the Consent Calendar. Guess he thinks it is controversial.  So...HJR823 is on the regular floor calendar Monday evening, April 2.  They did go ahead and present me with a beautiful print of an eagle (how appropriate) that I will treasure. I am  truly touched and so grateful for the support and encouragement that I receive from the majority of the legislators.  I am truly humbled.

*HJR 0587 by Bell
General Assembly, Statement of Intent or Position - Recognizes the destructive and insidious nature of United Nations Agenda 21.
When this resolution was on the House floor, much was made about the fact that President Bush also supported this bad proposal.  Yes he did...proving that it is an 'bipartisan BAD"!
STATUS:  HJR587 was postponed last week and will be in the Senate State and Local Committee this week.
ACTION: Please contact your Senator HERE and urge him or her to support this resolution. You can use the message here: 
"Agenda 21 is a plan to control our lives demanding that we, “do as I say, not as I do”. It will impact our individual freedom, our personal property and redistribute our wealth. Gone forever will be American exceptionalism, American nationalism and the western way of life as all will be  classified as unsustainable.  The supporters will use the government to take our money, exercise more power and to control every aspect of our lives.  Agenda 21 is not a Democratic or Republican “plan”, it reaches across the aisle.   We Are Americans and we will never give up our lives, family, morality or country."

SB 1985 by *Stewart ( *HB 1087 by *Casada)
Insurance, Health, Accident - As introduced, mandates that any insurer that provides health insurance coverage for cancer chemotherapy treatment must provide coverage for a prescribed, orally administered anticancer medication used to kill or slow the growth of cancerous cells. Good amendments have been added. "Intravenous chemotherapy drugs are the most traditional option for cancer patients, but oral chemotherapy drugs are quickly becoming a preferred method of treatment. Currently there are 34 drugs on the market with no IV equivalent. Of the anticancer drugs being developed, 35 percent will be administered orally. Oral chemotherapy drugs may be more appealing than injected methods, but are often more expensive because insurance plans consider oral medications a pharmacy – not a medical – benefit." I daresay that everyone reading this has been touched by cancer.  My mother died of breast cancer in 2001. The choice in treatment should be based on what is best for the patient, not based on the way insurance companies cover treatment.
STATUS:  HB1087 is scheduled in House Commerce Committee on Tuesday.
ACTION:  Please contact these members and urge them to support this bill, as amended: rep.steve.mcmanus@capitol.tn.govrep.pat.marsh@capitol.tn.gov, rep.phillip.johnson@capitol.tn.gov, rep.richard.montgomery@capitol.tn.gov, rep.mark.pody@capitol.tn.gov, rep.charles.sargent@capitol.tn.gov, rep.kent.williams@capitol.tn.gov, rep.dennis.powers@capitol.tn.gov.

SB 2565 by *Ketron ( *HB 2669 by *Faison)
 Child Labor -  Amended text as passed: "On or after the effective date of this act, no public funds of this state orany political subdivision of this state shall be allocated to the regulation or enforcementof any change made after December 1, 2011, to the United States department of labor's Hazardous Occupations Orders for Agricultural Employment relating to children,
compiled in 29 CFR Part 570."
In case you haven't noticed, we have some heroic statesmen in our General Assembly.  As I understand it, no other state has passed a bill such as this asserting our states' rights.
STATUS:  As amended, HB2669 passed the House Floor 70-24-1 on Monday; SB2565 passed the State Senate 28-0 on Thursday.

State Rep. Phillip Johnson, R-Pegram, announced Monday he is not seeking a sixth term.
Johnson, who has represented Cheatham County since 2002, said he plans to work full time in his home inspection business and will possibly consider a government relations or lobbyist job in a year.
“I’ve had a good run, and it’s time to move on to something else,” he said.
Johnson’s District 78 seat is up for re-election in November. The primary will be held on Aug. 2.
Read more here.

Guy Rodgers, from ACT! for America, will discuss ACT! for America's report: "Education or Indoctrination? The Treatment of Islam in 6th through 12th Grade American Textbooks." School children need to learn about Sept. 11th and ongoing terrorist threats from radical Muslims, but you'll be shocked to find out what textbooks are teaching about Islam. 11:00 a.m. to Noon (CST): 800-736-3202. Listen online at bottradionetwork.com or Find a Radio Station currently carrying Eagle Forum Live.