Legislative Update, February 8,2020

 

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).

 

"You can’t get so consumed with your title that you lose perspective of who you are, and what you do and where you come from.” Speaker Cameron Sexton


FOR YOUR PRAYER LIST:
Flu, other viruses and germs continue to take their toll at the Capitol.  Bill filing deadline was this week, so the activity in the General Assembly will pick up dramatically.  The Committees will receive the proposed legislation, hear the presentations and make their decisions. Just think about that a minute.....these 132 law makers will make decisions that will impact the entire state and how it operates.  That really is a reason to pray for the lawmakers as they carry out the duties for which they were elected. 



LILY'S CORNER:
Good morning, readers! Last Tuesday was a very busy day, running to and fro around the Cordell Hull Building, mainly the seventh floor (the Senate offices). It was a great honor to meet so many Senators. I learned many things that day, primarily about the legislative process and the course of a bill’s journey, which ultimately starts with 'first reading'. I will now be able to more efficiently track the bills we’re trying to get passed and sent to the Governor.




CJ's CORNER:
This week in my internship with Mrs Bobbie Patray: our pursuit to keep “everyone in their constitutional lane” remains on track. The resolution was filed and we added a few more signatures to it. However, my favorite part of the day was meeting Representative Mark Cochran. It was refreshing to see someone young pursuing a conservative political career. Next week, I look forward to the fates of a couple bills we lobbied for and our resolution that will be decided by committee meetings.



CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY, AUTHORITY AND POWER:
HJR 0741 by Weaver , Doggett, Todd, Hill T, Cepicky, Ragan, Gant, Reedy, Leatherwood, Van Huss, Moody, Hill M, Crawford, Moon, Rudd, Grills, Garrett, Wright, Byrd, Hawk, Casada, Hulsey, Carr, Williams, Eldridge, Marsh, Halford, Smith, Rudder, Keisling, Sexton J, Hicks, Terry, Griffey, Howell, Sexton C, Boyd, Lynn, Bricken, Littleton, Baum, Carter, Whitson, Powers, Haston, Kumar, Sparks, Helton, Lamberth, White, Calfee, Lafferty, Zachary, Daniel
General Assembly, Statement of Intent or Position - Affirms the constitutional duty and exclusive authority and power of the General Assembly to appropriate public moneys and balance the state budget.

NOTE: After weeks of very hard work, HJR741 will be in committee on Tuesday to start its journey through the legislative process.We are so grateful to Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver for her leadership and hard work,  and for all the members of the House, including House Leadership, for their support. 

Rep. Weaver was one legislators who joined the 'first in the nation' lawsuit as an individual plaintiff in 2017.  It is our hope that this 10th Amendment lawsuit will get to the US Supreme Court and that this resolution will demonstrate the continued support of the TN General Assembly to address these Constitutional issues. 

•  this resolution is strictly about Tennessee’s Constitutional status as a sovereign state, AND, the status of the Tennessee General Assembly as a separate and independent branch of the state government as established by the state Constitution
•  to affirm that neither the federal government nor any other branch of the Tennessee State government have the authority to bypass the General Assembly when the expenditure of public money and the state budget is involved.

ACTION:  HJR741 is in Departments & Agencies Subcommittee , 2/11/2020 at noon.  Would you contact Rep. Bill Beck (615) 741-3229 and Rep. Rick Staples (615) 741-0768 politely asking each of them to support this resolution that supports the 10th Amendment lawsuit against the Federal Government?



EVERYONE IN THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL LANE:
SB 2730  by *Bell , Pody, White, Gresham, Bowling, Lundberg, Crowe, Hensley
(HB 1929)by *Gant , SEXTON C, TODD, CARTER, WEAVER, HURT, LYNN, HALFORD, KEISLING, CARR, CALFEE, VAUGHAN, TERRY, LAMBERTH, BOYD, FAISON, MARSH, VAN HUSS, REEDY, LAFFERTY, CEPICKY, JOHNSON C, CRAWFORD, HOLSCLAW, WRIGHT, CASADA, MOODY, LITTLETON, WILLIAMS, HAWK, TRAVIS, WHITE, RAGAN, DOGGETT, MOON, HAZLEWOOD, GRILLS, HILL T, GRIFFEY, ZACHARY, LEATHERWOOD, BYRD, DANIEL, SMITH, KUMAR, RUDD, GARRETT, WHITSON, HICKS, HOWELL, TILLIS, HELTON, ELDRIDGE, BRICKEN, RUDDER, BAUM
State Government - As introduced, prohibits the governor from making a decision or obligating the state of Tennessee in any way with regard to resettlement of refugees unless authorized by joint resolution of the general assembly.

NOTE:  We are so glad to have both the Senate and the House bills filed now. We are VERY grateful to primary sponsors, Sen. Mike Bell and Rep. Ron Gant. and we are gratified that we have had so many legislators sign on as co-sponsors.

Purpose of the bill:
•  to ensure that a Governor cannot commit to an expenditure of public money for the federal refugee program without a joint resolution of the General Assembly
Why we need this bill:
•  irrespective of the President’s Executive Order 13888,federal law and regulations authorize a Governor to submit a state plan to the US Office of Refugee Resettlement for initial refugee resettlement in Tennessee
•  no federal law or regulation requires either consent from or consultation with the General Assembly before obligating state funds for the federal refugee program

Sen. Bell files bill challenging Gov. Lee's authority to act alone on refugee resettlement .

NEWS RELEASE:  Sen. Bell files legislation to ensure legislature asserts its constitutional role on refugee resettlement .



BELOW are our other two bills for this session.  We think each is very important- more information later:


SHARING EXPLICIT VIDEOS OF GIRLS IS SEXUAL HARASSMENT:
SB 2636 by *White (HB 2615) by *Coley , HOLT, HILL T, REEDY
Juvenile Offenders - As introduced, expands the unruly act of illegal use of a communication device by a minor to include possessing or transmitting an image of sexual activity involving a minor. -



GIVING POWER TO THE VICTIM OF RAPE: 
SB 2354 by *Gresham (HB 2616) by *Coley , HOLT, HILL T, REEDY
Child Custody and Support - As introduced, removes custody, visitation, or inheritance rights for a parent who has been convicted of statutory rape, aggravated statutory rape, statutory rape by an authority figure, or lesser included offenses of rape, from which crime the child was conceived.






OTHER NEWS OF INTEREST:

Full text of Gov. Bill Lee's second State of the State address .

Nashville, Shelby County sue state over education savings accounts, call voucher law unconstitutional .
508 Tennessee youth have died from suicide in 10 years. The legislature has called it a 'crisis.' .
Casada to run for state House seat again in 2020 .
The Bible the official book of Tennessee? Four years after a failed effort, a Republican lawmaker tries again .
State House Committee Votes to Delay Action on Nathan Bedford Forrest Bust at State Capitol .



Capitol lighted to raise awareness of slavery and human trafficking
Tennessee's Capitol Building was lit in blue from dusk to dawn recently to raise awareness about slavery and human trafficking prevention in Tennessee. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has reported that human trafficking is the second-fastest growing criminal industry, just behind drug trafficking. 
 
State legislators have approved a series of bills over the past eight years addressing the problem after a 2011 Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) report showed 73 of the state’s 95 counties have reported the crime within their borders. These legislative efforts earned Tennessee Shared Hope International’s highest ranking in the nation for fighting human trafficking. 
 
In the 2019 fiscal year, the Office of Criminal Justice Programs (OCJP) under the State Department of Finance and Administration provided more than $760,000 to five human trafficking victim service agencies. OCJP funding helped provide services and support to 279 victims of human trafficking for crisis intervention, mental health assistance and advocacy in criminal justice proceedings.

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