Legislative Update, February 27, 2016

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).

It does not take a majority to prevail... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men. Samuel Adams

This is a PRAISE:  Rep. Bob Ramsey was finally able to be back at the Plaza this week and was very grateful for the prayer support he received
Some legislators have colds, bronchitis, and other respiratory infections.  During the the winter the Plaza becomes a petri dish of germs that get passed around, so please pray for healing.

Tomorrow, Ron and I will celebrate our 57th Anniversary.  It is hard to believe that we have been married that long.  When we marked our 50th Anniversary [left], it was amazing.  When you are young you really don't think about those things - the days just come and go and then you look around in amazement at where you find yourself. We are blessed with our daughter Sherri, our grandchildren Stephen (married to Nicole), Caitlin and Jacob and our great grandson Alexander, all of whom live in Jacksonville, FL. I am grateful for Ron's continued support and encouragement for the work that God has called me to do. 

Two topics loomed large in our minds at the Legislative Plaza on Tuesday, the compact for a balanced budget amendment, and the National Popular Vote (NPV). Eagle Forum has been opposed to both of these issues, so we went from office to office discussing the ramifications of both pieces of legislation with legislators. Perhaps the most interesting part of the day was when we had a 30 minute discussion with the out of town supporters of the compact for a balanced budget. It was fascinating to see two well informed titans of politics discuss the issues. We must all keep our eyes on the Legislature, especially on these issues.

For the past couple of weeks we have been working on SB1675 (HB1728) which is the bill proposing the National Popular Vote. Eagle Forum and myself are opposed to this legislation. Wednesday we had to go right to work on this and to our surprise we also had a lot of ground to cover on SB2017 (HB2584) which is an 18 page bill about the Compact for balanced budget amendment (we are also opposed this) Mrs. Bobbie likes to refer to this as the "pre fab amendment. With the rapid pace and serious issues it is always nice to take a breath of fresh air which we unexpectedly got to do in the quiet humors of the government operations committee. The plaza is a very interesting place to say the least.

It costs us $2000 a year to send these emails to our subscribers; parking costs $300-400 per year; the copier contract runs almost $600; the state registration fee and 'privilege' tax comes to $749, plus all the money we pay to the US Treasury, etc.  That says nothing about office supplies like copy paper, toners, postage, stamps, labels, folders, etc.  Can YOU please help us with some of these expenses?  You can go to our website at www.tneagleforum.org, and use the Paypal button or you can send a check to 3216 Bluewater Trace, Nashville, TN, 37217.  Donations are not tax deductible.

SJR 0467 by *Ramsey Norris, Ketron, Beavers, McNally, Roberts, Green, Bailey, Bell, Bowling, Briggs, Gardenhire, Haile, Jackson, Johnson, Kelsey, Niceley, Southerland, Stevens, Tracy, Watson, Yager, Hensley

STATUS: SJR467 was on the Senate Floor on Monday afternoon. The Rotunda and the gallery were filled with more pawns in the drama holding signs "Welcome Refugees." Either they have not read the resolution or maybe they are being gravely mislead by those who make money off these refugees.

    Once again, Sen. Mark Norris was brilliant as he explained the purpose of this proposal. "The purpose of SJR 467 is to initiate legal proceedings for declaratory relief in light of federal government's failure to consult regarding the settlement of refugees in TN and mandatory spending of state funds under a program from which the state has withdrawn." 
    Other senators like Mark Green and John Stevens made excellent supportive statements, but the prize goes to Sen. Brian Kelsey.  After a Democrat senator said something like, doing this 'is just not who we are', Sen. Kelsey replied: "We are the Volunteer State, NOT the Volunteered State."  Well played senator, well played!!
When the vote was called for, SJR467 passed 27-5:
Senators voting aye were: Yager, Watson, Tracy, Tate, Stevens, Southerland, Roberts, Overbey, Norris, Niceley, Mr. Speaker Ramsey, McNally, Massey, Kelsey, Johnson, Jackson, Hensley, Haile, Gresham, Green, Gardenhire, Crowe, Briggs, Bowling, Bell, Beavers, Bailey -- 27. Senators voting no were: Yarbro, Kyle, Harris, Harper, Dickerson -- 5.

Now it has been transferred to the House, where Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver will be the sponsor.It will be heard in subcommittee the second week of March.

Get a head start and contact these members now and URGE them to support this important legislation.


Haslam takes issue with lawmakers ordering refugee lawsuit
By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press, Feb. 23, 2016
NASHVILLE ” Gov. Bill Haslam on Tuesday took issue with a move by fellow Republicans in the Legislature to order the state attorney to sue the federal government over the refugee resettlement program in Tennessee.
The governor told reporters that refugee resettlement was a major topic of discussion during a National Governors
Association meeting in Washington over the weekend, and that he came away with the understanding that the program doesn't present a threat to Tennesseans.
"There are people who are coming into our country illegally who want to do this country harm, but I don't think that's the process they're coming in under," Haslam said, noting that the resettlement process can take between 18 months and three years.
The resolution overwhelmingly passed the Senate on Monday and is sponsored by Speaker Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, and Senate Republican leader Mark Norris of Collierville.

SB 1657 by *Tracy,(HB 1728) by *Sexton C
Election Laws - As introduced, adopts the interstate compact to elect the president by national popular vote.

Senate State and Local COMMITTEE MEMBERS:

Assigned to Local Government in the House:
Wirgau, Chair; Sparks, Vice-Chair;
Carr , Eldridge, Gravitt, Holt, Howell, Miller, Parkinson, Sexton C, Shepard, Spivey, VanHuss

The legislators are receiving many supportive contacts both in state and out of state.  There is a national 'full court press' underway, BUT we know we are making progress in DEFEATING NPV.  So...keep please continue voicing your opposition.

Indeed, the money flowing into NPV tells a very different story about who wants this "reform and why. Koza”who hit the jackpot when he patented the scratch-off lottery ticket and then convinced states to sell them”has reportedly pledged $12 million to his organization. Koza has given tens of thousands of dollars to various Democratic Party committees and liberal candidates; he was an Al Gore elector in 2000. New York businessman Tom Golisano, who has also pledged millions to NPV, is quick to point out that he is a registered Republican”even though he supported John Kerry and gave a cool $1 million to the Democratic National Convention in 2008.

George Soros and his son Jonathan really like it.

How the National Popular Vote Compact Attempts to Circumvent the US Constitution and Why it Should be Opposed by Governors and Legislators in All Fifty States

The Republican Party Platform opposes the National Popular Vote.
 The Heritage Foundation has written an excellent paper AGAINST it.  The Republican National Committee, the State Executive Committee of the TN Republican Party, the Tennessee Federation of Republican Women have passed strong resolutions AGAINST it. Attorney John Ryder, Tennessee's National Committeeman and legal counsel for the RNC has written an excellent article AGAINST it.  Do we see a pattern here?

SB 2387 by *Bell, (HB 2414) by *Lynn
Students - As introduced, requires students in public schools and public institutions of higher education to use restrooms and locker rooms that are assigned to persons of the same sex as that shown on the students' birth certificates
NOTE:  This is an important bill for TN.  If you don't think so, check out the links below.  I suspect none of us ever considered that we would even be having a conversation or debate about boys using the boys restroom and girls using the girls bathroom.  Well, the world is now upside down and we should protect our children.
STATUS:  HB2414 is in
Education Administration & Planning Subcommittee for 3/1/2016
ACTION:  Please urge the members of this committee to support this important proposal.

Charlotte City Council approves LGBT protections in 7-4 vote

Bathroom access for transgender teen divides Missouri town

San Francisco elementary school removes boys' and girls' bathrooms and makes them gender neutral

SB 2392 by *Bell,(HB 2190) by *Matheny
Schools, Home - As introduced, requires schools to provide notice on their web sites of the date of the school's administration of the AP and PSAT/NMSQT examinations, the availability of such examinations, any financial assistance for low income students, and schools where a home school student may take the AP and PSAT/NMSQT examinations.
BACKGROUND:  When the sister of my intern last year (Adam Yardumian) tried to take the PSAT at the school nearest the family she was denied access.  We felt that homeschooled students should be able to take this test any place it is offered.  This legislation will remedy that problem.
STATUS: SB2392 is in Senate Education Committee  3/2/2016;
HB2190 is in Education Instruction & Programs Subcommittee 3/2/2016
ACTION: Please contact members and urge them to support this important legislation.

HJR 0500 by *Weaver , Sexton J, Ragan, Hill M, VanHuss, Doss, Keisling, Kumar, Pody, Matheny, Windle, Love, Womick, Rogers, Terry, Gravitt, Alexander, Lundberg, Lamberth, Forgety, Sparks, Hawk, Kane, Smith, Casada, Daniel, DeBerry, Brooks K, Butt, Byrd, Powers, Moody
General Assembly, Statement of Intent or Position - Condemns global Christian persecution
NOTE:  It is way past time that some attention was focused on this tragic situation, especially since it is being totally ignored by the present administration.
STATUS:  HJR500 is scheduled in the State 
Government Subcommittee on 3/2/2016
ACTION:  Please contact the members of that committee and URGE them to support this resolution.

SB 2186 by *Bell,(HB 1905) by *Hill M
Education - As introduced, requires each local school board to adopt a policy on the use of religion in curriculum and instructional materials; requires each LEA to create a syllabus to be made public for grades six through 12 on social studies, science, math, and English language arts courses.
NOTE:  This legislation, as amended, has made it through the legislative process.
STATUS:  SB2186 is now scheduled on the Senate floor on March 9th, HB1905 is now scheduled on the House Floor February 29th.

Anti-religious indoctrination bill advances through House
An anti-religious indoctrination bill passed the House Education Instruction and Programs Committee Tuesday after slight amendments to the bill's language.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough, seeks to prevent religious indoctrination in public schools.
HB1905 would require local school boards to determine what is appropriate when teaching religion in school. The bill would also require teachers of core subjects to provide a class syllabus.
"The inclusion of religion in textbooks, instructional materials, curriculum, or academic standards shall be for educational purposes only and shall not be used to promote or establish any religion or religious belief," the bill states. The first amendment changes the word "promote" to "proselytize."
In previous House committee meetings, Rep. Bill Dunn, R-Knoxville, said "promote" could be too open to interpretation.
The second amendment requires teachers to include any field trips on their class syllabus.
Hill said he filed the bill after months of statewide concern about how religion is taught in schools.