Legislative Update, January 18, 2014

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).


QUOTE BY PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY. "I am a conservative because I believe in the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. That means: individual rights come from our Creator (not from government), sovereignty ranks higher than globalism, the Federal Government should exercise only the powers specifically delegated to it, respect for the Separation of Powers means that only Congress can make war and the judiciary should not legislate."

Senator Doug Henry (D-Nashville) was not at the Plaza this week.  He is recuperating from a recent hospital stay.  Rep. and Mrs. Jason Powell (D-Nashville) welcomed a baby this week, their second child.  Rep. and Mrs. Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) and his wife are expecting a baby in the spring.  I do need your prayers.  From September through December, I had some significant structural problems that, at times. After a series of X-rays and MRIs, I learned that I have a 'probable fracture' in my left hip (hip replacement being recommended) and that the curve in my back is now 68 degrees.  Needless to say, that is dramatic and has produced some serious levels of knee-buckling pain. I think the muscles in my back have finally pretty much adjusted to the new configuration of my spine. Every doctor that saw the film of my back literally 'marveled' that I was able to maintain my present lifestyle.  The hip hurts when I transition the joint. Bottom line -- it is only by grace of God and the prayers of the people who care that I am still able to work.  So....keep up the prayers because I intend to keep going!!

Where does the time go??  This week began my 27th year on Capitol Hill. I am literally in awe that I get to do what I do and that I still love my work.  I expect this to be one of the most exciting sessions we have had in years. There is so much at stake and without the level of activist involvement that we saw in the Income Tax battle in 2002, we WILL NOT be successful.  The battle over Common Core IS the 'income tax battle' of 2014, and we will need 'all hands on deck'.  With Common Core, there IS NO coming back next year -- it is do or die this year.  Added to that is the present emphasis on 'speed'.  It seems to me that the goal of good government should be to 'do good and do well', not to 'do fast'!!  But, what do I know!

Joining Joanne Bregman and me as our intern for the 2014 Legislative Session, is Jacob Neel.  He is a home schooled student in his senior year of high school and is active in one of our four Teen Eagle organizations. Jacob plans to further his education with a major in law. His interests lay in studying the Lord's word and the Founding Documents, as well as playing his guitars. Jacob is the second oldest of four (4) boys born to Gregg and Melissa Neel. Jacob and his family live in Manchester. They are so committed to this opportunity that Mrs. Neel is willing to drive Jacob into Nashville each week.

I must confess my first day as Mrs. Patray's intern wasn't what I expected. I envisioned the capitol as a somber, stern place because that is how the media portrays it. However, much to my delight, this was not the case. The corridors of the Legislative Plaza echoed with laughter and joyous words.  I have come to realize that the day to day happenings of the legislature aren't what the media portrays, but rather they are quite the opposite. The media has taken the rarities and portrayed them as the norm (as they do with so many things).  I realize now that though our legislators may disagree, though they may debate and campaign against one another, the vast majority of them respect one another.  Now I leave you with a question to ponder, considering that many voters vote based on the personality of a politician, why do voters base conclusions about the legislators solely upon what the media says about them?  The capital is open to all citizens, everyone can experience what I have.

SB 1266 by *Niceley ( HB 1129 by *Hill T)
Education, Curriculum - As introduced, requires emphasis on American foundational instruments and instruction in American historical achievement.

Senate approves history teaching bill over administration objections
I cannot, for the life of me, understand why the Haslam Administration opposes this bill, as amended.  You can click on the bill numbers to see the amended language THEN please contact the members of the House Education Subcommittee BEFORE 3:00 pm on Tuesday when they will be meeting. Please URGE them to vote YES on HB1129!

Chairman:  Rep. Mark White:  Phone (615) 741-4415 rep.mark.white@capitol.tn.gov
Rep. Dawn White: Phone (615) 741-6849 rep.dawn.white@capitol.tn.gov          
Rep. Joe Pitts: Phone (615) 741-2043 rep.joe.pitts@capitol.tn.gov
Rep. Debra Moody: Phone (615) 741-3774 rep.debra.moody@capitol.tn.gov
Rep. Harold Love, Jr.: Phone (615) 741-3831 rep.harold.love@capitol.tn.gov
Rep. Roger Kane: Phone (615) 741-4110 rep.roger.kane@capitol.tn.gov
Rep. John Forgety: Phone (615) 741-1725 rep.john.forgety@capitol.tn.gov
Rep. John DeBerry: Phone (615) 741-2239 rep.john.deberry@capitol.tn.gov
Rep. Harry Brooks: Phone (615) 741-6879   rep.harry.brooks@capitol.tn.gov

Rep. Charles Curtiss resigns from Tennessee House
Charlie was a conservative democrat, pro-life advocate, who, for many years, hosted the weekly Wed morning legislative prayer meetings.
GOP candidate for state Senate seat named to replace Demorat Curtiss in House seat
Paul Bailey is a long time friend and it is nice to see him at the Plaza.

As you probably recall, Rep. Lois DeBerry died this summer after a long and heroic battle with pancreatic cancer.
Raumesh Akbari wins House District 91 special election


SB 1485 by *Bell ( HB 1652 by *Matlock)
Law Enforcement - As introduced, prohibits any state or local law enforcement officer from participating in a voluntary motor vehicle checkpoint conducted by a private company or research institute to collect a human sample from which DNA may be derived from consenting motorists stopped at the checkpoint for statistical studies or research. - Amends TCA Title 38, Chapter 8, Part 1.
NOTE:  This bill is designed to address checkpoints like this: DNA samples taken at police checkpoint 'gross abuse of power,' say PA drivers.
They are happening all across the nation.
STATUS: SB1485 is in Senate Judiciary on Tuesday afternoon.
ACTION: The members need to know that you support this legislation.  Committee members HERE.

SB 1602 by *Bell , Gresham, Stevens, Yager, Johnson, Tracy, Hensley, Crowe, Tate
Textbooks - As introduced, restructures the textbook commission and the textbook selection process.
NOTE: For all those who spent countless hours reviewing the Social Studies textbooks, this history making legislation is the product of your research, your testimony and your persistence. 
Bill would give lawmakers say over who sits on state textbook commission
STATUS:  SB 1602 has been assigned the Government Operations Committee.

SB 1469 by *Gresham
Education - As introduced, prohibits collection or reporting of certain student individual data without parental consent or consent of the student, if the student is 18 years of age or older
STATUS:  Assigned to Senate Education Committee.

SB 1470 by *Gresham
Education - As introduced, enacts the "Data Accessibility, Transparency and Accountability Act", which regulates the collection and release of data by the department and state board of education.
STATUS: Assigned to Senate Education.

SJR 0491 by *Gresham , Summerville, Stevens, Campfield, Ketron, Beavers, Tracy, Bowling, McNally, Southerland, Haile, Yager, Hensley, Niceley, Crowe, Norris, Bell, Dickerson
I want to say that I resent the title of this article, but wanted you to see the content:
Gresham offers resolution to appease Common Core critics.
STATUS:  Assigned to Senate Education.


A number of bills addressing several facets of Common Core are under development.  For most of us, this is THE HOT legislative issue for this session.  As you can see from the article below, we have one more group to add to those opposing any changes in the Common Core process.  The Chamber of Commerce, SCORE, and others will be opposing the grassroots at every turn. Because of the compressed time everyone who really cares about this issue must stay alert and be ready to act quickly.  I would also ask that you encourage others to sign up for our e-newsletter so we can be even more effective. They can go to our website, click on 'REGISTER HERE' or you can forward this link: https://www.votervoice.net/EAGLE/Register?user=C8XFtcvrMsTQtuIpJ7A2yw

Businesses Form New Group To Lobby In Support Of Common Core

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Businesses leaders are calling Common Core the number one legislative issue.
"All of us today need better skilled workers," Gordon Fee of Fee Henderick Entertainment said while flanked by fellow business leaders during a press conference in Legislative Plaza.
Business leaders across the state have banded together to create a new group called "Businesses for Tennessee Prosperity." Tennessee has joined at least 45 other states to implement Common Core. It creates higher standards aimed at fostering more critical thinking and problem solving skills.
"We're having trouble attracting the type of world class employees we need to compete," Clay Thompson, President, Caterpillar, Inc. Insurance Services added.
"When we began to hear some of the concerns about Common Core over the summer," Ralph Schulz, President & CEO, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce said, "it was important then to start preparing for this effort."


GOP state senators urge AG to file lawsuit over Obamacare rules

State Revenues Sagging as Governor Opens Budget Hearings

Senate Minority Leader Jim Kyle to run for judge in Shelby County

Mike Turner looks at run for mayor of Nashville

Haslam Aims to Fight TN Meth-Making by Limiting Access to Cold Medicines

McCormick: No Boost to Minimum Wage in TN

Governor sticking with last year's plan on vouchers; Ramsey seeks expansion