Legislative Update, May 8, 2010

May 8, 2010
Tennessee General Assembly information and contacts: http://www.legislature.state.tn.us/
To email legislators, look on the left side of the page, select House or Senate, then ‘Members’.
Don’t forget that you can now watch on your computer the committee meetings and the floor sessions: 
Phone calls can go to the Legislative Switchboard: (615) 741-3011 or to the Toll Free number 1-800-449-8366+1+ last four digits of office phone number (available at the same location).

Mother and child                                     Mother’s Day

“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” ~~Proverbs 31:25-31
"I regard no man as poor who has a Godly mother." Pres. Abraham Lincoln

For thought: We can certainly acknowledge that not everyone has the perfect mother, but, thankfully, through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, we have access to the perfect Father.

Nashville Flood 2010. Nashville was not the only area affected – other parts of the state also suffered significant damage. [Resource information HERE.] “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18. “I love to dwell upon the thought that Jesus cares for me, it matters not what life may bring—He loves me tenderly.” –Adams
              Mike Krause, an assistant to Sen. Jim Kyle (D-Memphis) had about eight feet of water in his home. Juanita Rose who works with a radio service at the Capitol had extensive damage.  Sen. Diane Black (R-Gallatin) had floodwater in her finished basement. These are just a few of the needs at the Capitol. So many more all across the state: Handle with prayer, adding helping hands where possible. Please remember Jim, husband of Sen. Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville). Jim had hip replacement surgery this week. Also please remember Will Yager, son of Sen. Ken Yager (R-Harriman). Will fell and broke his wrist with college finals underway. Best wishes are extended to recently married B.L. Rhodes, assistant to Rep. Barrett Rich (R-Somerville).

But we are just one step away from complete victory on SB 3740 and just two steps away from complete victory on HRJ30PLEASE help us achieve these very important victories!

*SB 3740 by *Bunch ( HB 3768 by *Dennis) Civil Procedure - As introduced, establishes that contracts based on the law of any foreign state or country that incorporates substantive or procedural law that would violate rights and privileges granted under the U.S. or Tennessee constitution are against the public policy of this state and are void and unenforceable in this state.
STATUS: HB3768 passed the House floor
96-0-1; SB3740 is scheduled for the Senate floor Thursday, May 13.
 Please go HERE to send your senator an email of support.


HJR 0030 by Hill, Moore
General Assembly - As introduced, rescinds three specific resolutions from 1977 and any other resolutions passed at any time that call for a federal constitutional convention. For background information, please see these links:
Why the Tennessee Legislature Should Rescind Its Calls For a Federal Constitutional Convention.
Letter from retired Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court to Phyllis Schlafly on the dangers of a Federal Constitutional Convention
STATUS: HJR30 passed the House 65-23-4 and has been sent to Senate Finance Ways and Means Committee. Please go HERE and send an email of support to your Senator.


*SJR 0127 by *Black , Maggart

Adds new provision to Article I to provide that nothing in Constitution of Tennessee secures or protects right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion; states that the people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother.

          Longtime subscribers will remember the ten-year battle we have been in to nullify the 2000 State Supreme Court decision that ruled our major pro-life laws unconstitutional. For more details, go HERE. Finally, last year SJR 127 passed both the Senate [24-9] and the House [77-21]. As a part of the arduous amending process ‘Legal Notice’ has to be run in major newspapers across the state six months prior to the next election after which the next General Assembly must pass the proposal with a three-fourths vote prior to it going on the ballot.

          I am so pleased to report that on March 25th, the Secretary of State’s office ran those required Legal Notices containing the exact language of the proposed Constitutional amendment. We are now one more important step toward victory. The NEXT important step is making sure that a candidate’s position on SJR 127 is established prior to election!


SB 2686 by *Black ( *HB 2681 by *Hill)
Health Care - As introduced, prohibits coverage for abortion services under any health care plan through an exchange required to be established in this state pursuant to federal health care reform legislation. These bills would keep our state from being forced to pay for abortion services through the new federal health care exchange program.

          As you know, SB 2686 passed the Senate 27-3, HB 2681 passed the House 70-23 and was sent to the Governor.

Without comment, Governor Bredesen has refused to sign legislation barring abortion as a funded benefit in new federally mandated health care exchanges.  Still, since no veto was issued, the protective policy takes effect immediately.  Tennessee law allows the Governor to sign a bill, veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature

Tennessee's General Assembly was the nation's first to pass legislation making clear that abortion would not be included as a benefit in federally required health care exchanges. Action was delayed until Wednesday as Governor Bredesen refused to sign the bill into law.  In the interim, Arizona's Legislature passed similar legislation that was quickly signed into law by their pro-life Governor Jan Brewer, making Arizona the first state to opt out of the abortion-funding mandates.


*HJR 1191 by *Hill , White, Dunn, Maddox, Carr, Brooks K, Weaver, Bell, Brooks H, Swafford, Niceley, Lundberg, Ford , Roach, Watson, Haynes, Floyd, McCormick, Marsh, Shipley, Hawk, Casada, Mumpower, Shaw, Moore, Fincher, Yokley, Tidwell, Barker, Shepard, Winningham, Harwell, Hackworth, Dean, Bass, Coleman, Cobb T, Curtiss, Fraley, Borchert, Harmon, Cooper B, Bone, Towns, Jones S, Evans
Memorials, Government Officials - Supports the National Day of Prayer; encourages Tennesseans to observe such day; encourages Department of Justice to appeal federal district court decision ruling National Day of Prayer unconstitutional.

STATUS: On Wednesday, HJR 1191 passed the House 96-1 and will now move to the Senate.

*SB 3012 by *Jackson, Bunch, Gresham, Tracy, Ramsey, Black ( HB 3125 by *Todd, Dennis, Evans, Fincher, West, Eldridge)
Handgun Permits - As introduced, allows person with handgun carry permit to possess handgun in establishment licensed by alcoholic beverage commission as a "restaurant," provided it is not posted; increases penalty for permit holder consuming alcohol within such an establishment; clarifies and makes uniform language constituting valid posting and increases penalty for unlawfully carrying firearm in place where alcohol served for consumption on-premises.

STATUS: SB3012 passed the Senate 23-9; passed the House 66-31 and has been sent to the Governor. To say that this bill has been controversial is a real understatement. 

Guns in bars bill headed to Gov. BredesenGuns in bars bill OK'd by Tennessee House; heads to governor after plea for limits failsNRA lobbyist spoke to GOP Caucus just before guns in bars vote.

SB 3036 by *Faulk ( *HB 2700 by *Dennis)
Allows the courts to grant grandparent visitation in cases where one of the child’s parent has died and the surviving parent has terminated the relationship between the child and grandparent.  Absent proof to the contrary, the death alone of the parent is sufficient to establish substantial harm. Currently, Tennessee law provides court standing for grandparents to petition visitation rights in certain circumstances.  However, the court must first determine whether cessation of visitation between a grandparent and grandchild constitutes a substantial threat of harm to the child. 
STATUS: SB 3036 passed the Senate 25-2; passed the House 98-0.

*HB 2768 by *Shipley, Cobb T, Weaver, Hill, Lundberg, Carr, Lynn, Watson, Mumpower, West, Bell, Lollar, Casada, Halford, Hensley, Dean, Cobb J, White, Todd, Rich, Eldridge, Johnson P, Maggart, Towns, Campfield, Fraley, Faulkner, Matheny, McManus, Brooks K, Tidwell, Evans, Shepard, Williams, Montgomery, Haynes, Hawk, Harwell, Jones S, Matlock, Johnson C, Brooks H, Dunn, Roach, Sargent, Marsh, Harrison, McDaniel, Coley, Ramsey, Floyd, Dennis, Coleman, Barker, Gilmore, Winningham, McDonald, Yokley, Ford , Harmon (SB 2965 by *Beavers)
As introduced, requires certain DUI offenders to operate only a motor vehicle that is equipped with a functioning ignition interlock device.
STATUS: SB 2965 passed the Senate floor 31-0. After months of something akin to ‘hand to hand combat’, Rep. Shipley has been successful in guiding this bill through numerous hearings in numerous committees and now it is scheduled for the House floor Monday, May 10.

SB 3065 by *Woodson ( *HB 2995 by *DeBerry J)
This bill provides courts with guidelines to follow regarding potential child abductions and to provide courts with appropriate measures to prevent these crimes.  This includes information about abduction risk factors so that they can place appropriate restrictions to prevent abductions.  Using these guidelines the court must determine that there is a credible risk of child abduction, and then the court may consider preventative measures. 
STATUS: SB 3065 passed the Senate 31-0; passed the House 96-0 and has been signed by the Governor.