Legislative Update, April 10, 2021
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).
FOR YOUR PRAYER LIST:
Rep. David Byrd continues the long journey to recovery from Covid and Rep. Mike Carter continues his treatment for pancreatic cancer. Let's not only remember these to lawmakers, but also their families as they deal with all the demands of the conditions bring. I will continue to remind you to pray for the legislators as they make their way to the end of this session. It is like a ball that begins down a hill.....it gets faster and faster and good or needed bills get left behind!! If I had to guess, I wouldn't be surprised to see them gone by the end of the month -- for better or for worse!!!!
ARTICLE V CONVENTION FOR TERM LIMITS:
NOTE: SJR 0199 by *Rose was sent to General Subcommittee from Finance, Ways, and Means. That means that the resolution will not be heard this year, and it really isn't needed at all since HJR0008 will be coming to the senate.
HJR 0008 by *Todd , Eldridge, Mannis, Garrett, Zachary, Doggett, Calfee, Williams, Ogles, Bricken, Hurt
Constitutional Conventions - Makes application to Congress for the purpose of calling an Article V convention to propose an amendment to the United States Constitution to set a limit on the number of terms to which a person may be elected as a member of the Congress of the United States.
STATUS: Well, we came very close to defeating this resolution, but unfortunately, not quite--is passed 53-34-4
Representatives voting aye were: Alexander, Boyd, Bricken, Calfee, Campbell S, Carr, Carringer, Cepicky, Chism, Cochran, Crawford, Darby, Doggett, Eldridge, Garrett, Gillespie, Grills, Hall, Haston, Hawk, Hazlewood, Helton, Hicks G, Hicks T, Holsclaw, Howell, Hulsey, Hurt, Johnson C, Keisling, Lafferty, Lynn, Mannis, Marsh, Moon, Powers, Ragan, Ramsey, Reedy, Russell, Sexton J, Sherrell, Smith, Sparks, Terry, Todd, Travis, Warner, Whitson, Williams, Windle, Wright, Zachary -- 53.
Representatives voting no were: Baum, Beck, Camper, Casada, Clemmons, Cooper, Curcio, Dixie, Faison, Freeman, Griffey, Hakeem, Halford, Harris, Hodges, Jernigan, Johnson G, Kumar, Lamar, Leatherwood, Love, McKenzie, Miller, Mitchell, Moody, Parkinson, Powell, Rudder, Shaw, Thompson, Towns, Vaughan, Weaver, Mr. Speaker Sexton C -- 34.
Representatives present and not voting were: Gant, Lamberth, Rudd, White -- 4.
I do find it interesting that House leadership either voted NO or didn't vote on it. Good for them.
ACTION: It is marked as 'ready for transmission to the Senate". The expectation is that it will go to the State and Local Government Committee. PLEASE review as least some of the articles below and URGE members of this committee to OPPOSE HJR0008: Sen. Richard Briggs email@example.com , Sen. Todd Gardenhire firstname.lastname@example.org , Sen. Page Walley email@example.com , Sen. Ed Jackson firstname.lastname@example.org, Sen. Brian Kelsey email@example.com , Sen. Sara Kyle firstname.lastname@example.org, Sen. Bill Powers email@example.com, Sen. Ken Yager firstname.lastname@example.org , Sen. Jeff Yarbro email@example.com .
THIS HAS CERTAINLY BEEN A 'HOT TOPIC' BILL THIS WEEK:
PROTECTING INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM:
SB 0320 by *Hensley- HB 0794 by *Lynn [ Now Jay Reedy]
Business and Commerce - As introduced, prohibits a person from denying an individual the full and equal enjoyment of goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of a place of public accommodation, resort, or amusement on the grounds of the wearing or use of a medical device, or whether the individual has received medical treatment.
STATUS: On March 31st, HB794 was on the Business & Utilities Subcommittee Calendar. A review of the video shows that House sponsor, Rep. Susan Lynn did not get to the meeting and the bill showed up as having been moved to the first calendar in 2022. At the end of that meeting, this committee closed for this session
It is EXCEEDINGLY unusual for the Senate to continue to deal with a bill that the House as sent to the next year.
SB320 was on placed on the Commerce Calendar four times (3/23,3/30,4/6 and 4/7), which is very generous. Normally that doesn't happen. When Sen. Hensley presented the bill on the 7th, he offered an amendment that was not 'timely filed', meaning it would take a 2/3 vote to adopt instead of a simple majority.
The Amendment that Sen. Hensley offered deleted all the language of the original proposal and limited its provisions to denying "goods, services, facilities....of a place of public accommodation by requiring an individual to receive a vaccine or immunization.... or provide information of status...."
After some discussion about the amendment, Sen. Reeves wondered if this bill was going to Health Committee (he learned that it was not) and asked if someone was there from the Dept. of Health who might comment. No one was there from the Dept of Health. Chairman Bailey saw Valerie Yancey (who is not an attorney) and invited her to the podium. She stated her name and said she was from Gov. Lee's Legislative Office, and said: "The Governor is opposed to a mandate on a private business." Then the bill was moved to the final calendar.
ACTION: Despite the status of the House companion, you will want to contact the committee members and URGE them to support this amendment and the bill as amended. Sen. Paul Bailey firstname.lastname@example.org , Sen. Art Swann email@example.com, Sen. Frank Niceley firstname.lastname@example.org, Sen.Raumesh Akbari Sen.Raumesh.Akbari@capitol.tn.gov , Sen. Jack Johnson email@example.com, Sen. Shane Reeves firstname.lastname@example.org , Sen. Steve Southerland email@example.com, Sen. Bo Watson firstname.lastname@example.org, Sen. Ken Yager email@example.com .
FORCED VACCINATION PROTECTION:
SB 0187 by *Bowling - HB 0013 by *Hulsey , GRIFFEY, CEPICKY, REEDY, WEAVER, SMITH, CALFEE, HALL, RUDD
Public Health - As introduced, prohibits state and local authorities from forcing, requiring, or coercing a person to receive an immunization or vaccination for COVID-19 against the person's will.
STATUS: HB0013 is on the final Health Committee calendar. After Sen. Ferrill Haile sprung an unexpected amendment about the TN Hospital Assoc. and UT positions on this bill, the committee moved the bill down so that Sen. Bowling could speak with the attorneys and work out the language, The the bill was rewritten, brought back to the committee and passed 8-1. It will now move to the Senate floor.
UNBORN CHILD DIGNITY ACT:
SB 0828 by *Bowling - HB 1181 by *Rudd , LAMBERTH, SHERRELL, KUMAR, HALL, BOYD, TERRY, SMITH, MOODY
Abortion - As introduced, requires disposition of aborted fetal remains to be by burial or cremation; requires the department of health to promulgate certain rules and forms; and makes certain other changes regarding the disposition of fetal remains
STATUS: SB828 was in Senate Judiciary on Wednesday; HB1181 was in the Health Committee on Wednesday where in both committees heartbreaking, moving testimony by supporters was presented and an opponent from Planned Parenthood spoke. SB828 passed out of Judiciary 7-2 and was sent to the Calendar Committee. HB1181 had the same supporters speaking as well as PP, passed on a voice vote and will be in House Government Operations on Monday.
ACTION: Gov Ops is a huge committee that cannot defeat a bill, it can only send the bill out with a POSITIVE recommendation, a NEGATIVE recommendation, or NO recommendation. Nevertheless, I would urge you to click on the committee link and pick out a few to urge their support for HB1181.
PROTECTING FATHER AND UNBORN BABY RIGHTS:
SB 0494 by *Pody - HB 1079 by *Sexton J
Abortion - As introduced, permits a person to petition a court for an injunction to prohibit a woman who is pregnant with the person's unborn child from obtaining an abortion; requires the petitioner to execute a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity that is not subject to being rescinded or challenged.
STATUS: Unfortunately, HB1079 has been 'taken off notice' which normally means the bill won't be dealt with this session. SB494 is Senate Judiciary on Tuesday.
ACTION: Please contact these members and urge them to support this important bill. , Sen. Todd Gardenhire firstname.lastname@example.org, Sen. Jon Lundberg email@example.com, Sen. John Stevens firstname.lastname@example.org.
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