Legislative Update, March 12, 2022

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 is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”  Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt

FOR YOUR PRAYER LIST:
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5. The Committee calendars are even longer this week, more FINAL CALENDARS  are noted.  Please pray that the haste of trying to get out of town to get to the campaigns will not overshadow making decisions that are just, good, complete, strong, and workable.  

 

 

PROTECTING STUDENTS FROM DIGITAL OBSCENITY AND PORNOGRAPHY IN SCHOOLS:
SB 2292 by *Bell - HB 2454  by *Weaver, DOGGETT, LITTLETON, LYNN, ZACHARY, MOODY, CRAWFORD, POWERS, LAFFERTY, CEPICKY, LAMBERTH, HULSEY, RUDDER, HASTON, CARRINGER, WARNER, HOWELL, RUDD, GRIFFEY
Obscenity and Pornography - As introduced, redefines "obscene" to include material that has educational value; makes various changes to the internet acceptable use policy LEAs are required to adopt; requires providers of digital and online resources to ensure that users cannot access certain obscene material; requires a local board of education to establish a mechanism for parents, legal guardians, or students to report failures of the technology selected by the LEA to filter, block, or otherwise prevent access to pornography or obscenity through online resources and to submit an annual report to the state board of education regarding same.

We did amend the bill:  
HERE IS THE NEW LANGUAGE.  

You will want to read the talking points.


STATUS:  I am thrilled to report that SB2292 passed out of Senate Judiciary 7-2
Senators voting aye were: Bell, Gardenhire, Lundberg, Roberts, Rose, Stevens, White 7.          Senators voting no were: Kyle, Lamar -- 2. [Don't ask me why protecting students from porn and obscenity should be a partisan issue!!]
Now on to the Senate floor.  PLEASE go HERE  and urge your senator to support this legislation which will protect our students from porn and obscenity. 

         No database can be filtered. A database is a proprietary collection of media leased to schools by commercial vendors such as GALE or other vendors. Databases are shielded from internet filtering. Specifically, a database is distinct from the internet - it is a closed environment similar to an electronic encyclopedia - it cannot be filtered by internet filters. This bill is about requiring the vendors to OBEY the laws that are already on the books.

STATUS: HB 2454 is scheduled in House K-12 Subcommittee on Tuesday afternoon
ACTION:  PLEASE contact these committee members and politely urge them  to support the legislation that will protect our students from digital obscenity and pornography

Rep. Chris Hurt  rep.chris.hurt@capitol.tn.gov 
Rep. Mark white rep.mark.white@capitol.tn.gov

 

YOUTH HEALTH PROTECTION ACT
SB 2696 by *Bowling - HB 2835 by *Ragan
Health Care - As introduced, enacts the “Youth Health Protection Act.”
STATUS:  Sen. Bowling addressed the Senate Health Committee relating that there were a number of questions that needed to be addressed and, while recognizing the importance of the issue, said she would bring the bill back next year and the bill was put in 'General Sub" meaning it won't be acted on this year.

 

PROTECTING STUDENTS FROM OBSCENE MATERIALS:
SB 1944 by *Hensley - HB 1944 by *Cepicky
Obscenity and Pornography - As introduced, excludes local education agencies, public schools, and employees and private contractors of LEAs or public schools from the exception to certain obscenity offenses if the LEA, public school, employee, or private contractor possesses obscene material that is harmful to minors on public school premises; prohibits an LEA or public school from making obscene materials or materials harmful to minors available to students in the school libraries control.

The latest amendment available online is HERE, but there may be further changes. 

STATUS: HB1944 After more testimony  and discussion, HB1944 was voted out of Criminal Justice  13-3 (Reps. voting aye were: Campbell S, Curcio, Doggett, Farmer, Griffey, Hawk, Howell, Hulsey, Lamberth, Moody, Russell, Sexton J, Sherrell -- 13. Reps voting no were: Beck, Dixie, Hardaway -- 3.) and was sent to House Education Administration where it will be heard on Wednesday. Please click the committee link, then on the pictures and urge the members to support this legislation

STATUS: SB1944 is in Senate Education on Wednesday. Not quite sure what the text will be but we still want to express our support.
ACTION: Please click on the Committee link, then the pictures and urge the members vote for the legislation.

 

QUALIFYING TO BE A CANDIDATE:
SB 2616 by *Niceley Walley, Bowling, Powers, Reeves, Rose  - HB 2764 by *Wright,, MANNIS, KUMAR, WEAVER, HOWELL, BRICKEN, SHERRELL, ELDRIDGE, LEATHERWOOD, SHAW, HODGES, WHITSON
Political Parties - As introduced, prohibits a person from being nominated as a candidate for United States senator or member of the United States house of representatives unless the person has voted in the three previous elections in this state

HOUSE VERSION HERE.   SENATE VERSION HERE.

STATUS:  The Senate version passed the Senate floor 31-1.  The House bill will be on the House Floor on Monday evening.

Legislation Establishing Residency Requirements for Federal Candidates Scheduled for House Floor Vote .

ACTION:  According to the article above, Rep. Wright plans to 'conform and substitute' to the Senate bill.  If he is successful, then the House would vote to pass the Senate bill. Please get in touch with your HOUSE member and urge him/her to support the Senate bill. 

 

 

PARENTAL BILL OF RIGHTS ACT:
SB 2360 by *Bowling - HB 2451 by *Weaver
Children - As introduced, enacts the "Parent Bill of Rights Act," which requires LEAs to permit parents to have access to certain information, including the names of instructors, titles available in the school library, teacher manuals, and curriculum; requires parents to provide written consent before a student can participate in any extracurricular activity, family life lesson, field trip, school assembly, or guest speaker event; prohibits certain healthcare practitioners from providing medical treatment to a minor without parental consent or an appropriate court order.
STATUS:  SB2360 is in Senate Education on Wednesday.
ACTION:  Please click on the committee link, then the pictures and urge the members to support this bill.
STATUS: HB2451 is in Health Subcommittee on Tuesday.
ACTION: Please click on the committee link, then the picture and urge the members to support this bill.


TWO BILLS ON GAMBLING:

 

INDIAN GAMBLING TRIBAL TRUST LANDS:
SB 2557 by *Jackson - HB 1938 by *Hurt
Gambling - As introduced, recognizes a federally recognized Indian tribe residing on tribal trust lands within this state for purposes of obtaining a gaming license from the national Indian gaming commission to conduct bingo gaming operations on the tribal trust lands of the Indian tribe located within this state. [Note: this kind of bingo is not the 'game in the church basement", this is the machines like slot machines and very addictitive.]

 

INDIAN GAMBLING TRIBAL TRUST LANDS:
SB 1656 by *Jackson - HB 1642 by *Hurt
Gaming - As introduced, recognizes a federally recognized Indian tribe residing on tribal trust lands within this state for purposes of obtaining a gaming license from the national Indian gaming commission to conduct gaming operations on the tribal trust lands of the Indian tribe.

Both these bills would expand gambling in our state and there are real questions about what happens when state land is 'recognized' by the federal government. Does the state continue to have any jurisdiction over that section of the state? If so , would that mean, etc?

In addition to the unanswered questions, Tennessee does not need more gambling opportunities. We have already needed to expand services for gambling addicts which can mean broken people and broken homes. 

STATUS: SB2557 and SB1656 are in Senate State and Local Government on Tuesday  

STATUS: HB1938 and HB1842 are in House Department and Agencies on Tuesday.

ACTION: Please click on the committee links , then the pictures and ask the members to OPPOSE both these bills.

 

State Senator Mike Bell Discusses SB2285: ‘My Bill Is Going to Tell Our State Courts You Cannot Tip the Scales in Favor of the State Agency When Deciding a Dispute’ .

 

WHAT YOU MAY HAVE MISSED:

 

Former Tennessee State Rep. Robin Smith Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud in Connection to Alleged Conspiracy Involving Former Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada.


Tennessee state Sen. Mike Bell, chair of the judiciary committee, won't seek reelection in 2022.
 

Rep. Jason Potts says he won't seek reelection, citing discrimination, low pay and little family time .
 

Nashville Rep. Mike Stewart will not seek reelection .

 

 

London Lamar appointed interim state senator, Dist. 33

by: David Royer  Posted: Mar 3, 2022 / 08:37 PM CST Updated: Mar 3, 2022 / 08:44 PM CST

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — State Rep. London Lamar was selected by the Shelby County Commission on Thursday to serve as Interim Senator for the state of Tennessee, District 33, completing the term vacated by former state Sen. Katrina Robinson.

Lamar (D-Memphis) will vacate her House District 91 seat to serve in the appointed Senate role.

Regardless of political affiliation, Lamar said, Shelby Countians could all agree on the need for strong schools, safe communities and healthy families.

Candidates were interviewed by Shelby County Commissioners before a vote in a special called meeting Thursday evening. They were:

  • Rhonnie Brewer, a media professional who has previously sought a school board seat
  • Rep. Torrey Harris, who currently represents House District 90
  • Rep. London Lamar, who currently represents House District 91
  • Hastina Robinson
  • Pastor Frederick Tappan

After several rounds of voting Thursday, no candidate received seven votes. Two commissioners were not present. Commissioners recessed twice to allow two more commissioners to join them.

 

 

 

 

Sen. London Lamar shares her plans for District 33 
by: Alex Coleman Posted: Mar 4, 2022 / 03:28 PM CST  Updated: Mar 4, 2022 / 05:57 PM CST

MEMPHIS, Tenn.– A day after being appointed to an open Tennessee Senate seat, London Lamar hit the ground running as Interim Senator for District 33 and as a panelist on the “Root Cause of Youth Crime” symposium at LeMoyne-Owen College.

London Lamar appointed interim state senator, Dist. 33

“Yesterday, we saw three students shot outside the Whitehaven Library. We have a problem in this city when it comes to gun violence. Now, I do think we need to make investments in preventative measures,” she said.

Thursday, Shelby County Commissioners appointed Lamar to fill the seat vacant since Katrina Robinson was expelled by the Tennessee Senate last month following her conviction on federal wire fraud charges.

“I want to reignite trust in public service. Nobody’s perfect. Nobody. Everybody makes mistakes. But what I do want people to know is that you have someone with the track record and experience of getting good things done and has a clean record,” Lamar said.

Her priorities: strong schools, safe communities and healthy families.

 

 

 

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