Legislative Update, April 9, 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).
FOR YOUR PRAYER LIST:
It was SO wonderful to have Rep. Rebecca Alexander back this week. She had just gotten the pins out of her hip and was cruising around in her electric wheelchair with a big smile on her face. Please pray that her healing will continue, will be complete and uneventful. Also, as you may remember, a number of legislators have been subpoenaed as part of the ongoing federal investigation that started in 2019. I think it is so important that this investigation be brought to a conclusion, and whatever needs to be revealed will actually be revealed and taken care of so that the elections can go forward uninhibited and so that the 113rd General Assembly can convene next January with all this behind them.
This week on the Hill, the House of Representatives welcomed new member State Rep. Greg Martin, R-Hixson. Martin, a realtor, was officially sworn in to fill a vacancy in the House District 26 seat, which includes part of Hamilton County.
Martin most recently served on the Hamilton County Commission from 2016 until his appointment to the General Assembly on March 30. Prior to that, he was a member of the Hamilton County School Board from 2012 until 2016.
“I’m extremely humbled by this new opportunity to continue to serve the citizens of Hamilton County,” Martin said. “My focus is on legislation that supports our values and improves the lives of residents across our district and our state.”
A 1981 graduate of Hixson High School, Martin received his bachelor’s degree from Bryan College and his master’s and doctoral degrees from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a member of Hixson Kiwanis and serves as the chairman of the board of directors for the Adult and Teen Challenge of the Midsouth. He is also on the advisory board of directors for the Friends of Hixson and is active in his church, Calvary Chapel Northside.
The Capitol is getting busier and busier as we draw closer to adjournment. This past Tuesday, we started out by seeing a number of representatives and senators about the Eagle Forum bill. It was amazing to see just how occupied one legislator (or lobbyist) can be with their agenda! The Eagle Forum bill was last on the calendar in the house education administration committee, and we hoped it would pass without much debate.Unfortunately, we ran out of time, and the meeting was held until the next day. After watching the video for HB 2454, I learned that the bill had passed, with a positive recommendation to the calendar and rules committee.I am thoroughly enjoying my time at the capitol, and look forward to my return.
It was another incredible week being with Ms. Bobbie. During this time of being Ms. Bobbie’s intern, I have seen a total of 4 victories including the ERA failing in the House Civil Justice, Rep. Bob Ramsey’s, Bills HB 0946 and HB 2032, were taken off notice by Rep. Ramsey. These got taken off notice thanks to the help of citizens of Tennessee taking a stand and lobbying against these bills. A Resolution that we saw a victory with was HJR 0008, calling an Article V convention to propose an amendment to the United States Constitution to require Congressional term limits was put in General Sub. These are four incredible victories and go to show the hugely important role lobbyists play. In closing, a bill that stood out to me was HB 1301. This bill allows mothers to anonymously surrender a newborn aged 30 days or younger to a newborn safety device that will sound an alarm in the facilities the box is located at. With the passage of this bill, the hope is that the number of neglected babies will drop to zero.
NOTE: Well, it has been a very exciting week. As I have said repeatedly, "you win some, you lose some, and some get rained out". We definitely WON some this week after a lot of work by various folks who made their voices heard!!!!
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.
STATUS: After a number of postponements, and as amended and amended, our important bill was finally heard in House Education Administration and passed out with just one NO vote: Rep. Clemmons. Now, THANKFULLY, we are on our way to Calendar and Rules and then the House floor. Thank you for your help and please stay tuned!!
"WITHOUT PARENTAL CONSENT" EXPANSION:
SB 0148 by *Briggs - HB 0946 by *Ramsey
Public Health - As introduced, establishes a deadline of January 1 for the submission of the annual plan of expenditures with relation to state grant-in-aid funds submitted by each county to the commissioner of health
As AMENDED, this text is added to present law, TCA Section 68-10-104( c ): "...or provide consultation, examination, diagnosis, or treatment to a minor to prevent STDs...". Stop and think how loaded those words could be and what that might mean regarding what health care providers could do to/for YOUR child WITHOUT YOUR KNOWLEDGE OR CONSENT.
STATUS: You may not know that SB148 passed Senate Health and Welfare Committee 9-0. When HB946 was heard in House Health, people started paying attention to what the amended bill actually did and how it could work with SB2026-HB2032 which was taken off notice last week and they started contacting their legislators. Those contacts were effective and Rep. Ramsey also took this bill off notice.
This is an excellent example of two things: paying attention to 'caption bills' (bills that just open a specific TCA code that will be re-written later) and that OUR VOICES CAN make a difference.
ARTICLE V CONVENTION FOR TERM LIMITS:
HJR0008 by *Todd , Mannis, Garrett, Zachary, Doggett, Calfee, Williams, Ogles, Bricken, Hurt, Powers, Sexton J, Moon, Farmer, Hicks T, Wright, Carr, Lynn, Sparks
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: We pretty much 'held our breath' since HJR0008 passed the House last year and was put on the Senate Judiciary Calendar February 15th this year. We finally saw a GREAT VICTORY when, on April 6, Committee Chairman Bell, who was senate the sponsor of the Resolution, assigned it to General Sub.
Opposing calls for an Article V Constitutional Convention for ANY reason has been one of Eagle Forum's most important issues for many, many years. I expect that we will see this issue again in the future. If you are interested in exploring this important issue any further, you can find a lot of information HERE.
ASSURING THE ACCESS TO IVERMECTIN:
SB 2188 by *Niceley - HB 2746 by *Lynn , WEAVER, MOODY, RUDD, WARNER, GRIFFEY, GRILLS, SPARKS
Drugs, Over the Counter - As introduced, authorizes ivermectin suitable for human use to be sold or purchased as an over-the-counter medication in this state without a prescription or consultation with a pharmacist or certain other healthcare professional.
STATUS: I am so happy to report that SB2188, as amended, passed the Senate floor 22-6-2
Sens voting aye were: Bailey, Bell, Bowling, Crowe, Haile, Hensley, Jackson, Johnson, Lundberg, Massey, Niceley, Pody, Powers, Reeves, Roberts, Rose, Southerland, Stevens, Walley, Watson, White, Mr. Speaker McNally -- 22. Sens voting no were: Briggs, Campbell, Gilmore, Kyle, Lamar, Yarbro -- 6. Sens present and not voting were: Gardenhire, Yager -- 2.
STATUS: HB2746. as amended, passed the House floor 66-22:
Reps voting aye were: Alexander, Baum, Boyd, Byrd, Calfee, Campbell S, Carr, Casada, Cepicky, Cochran, Crawford, Darby, Doggett, Eldridge, Faison, Farmer, Gant, Garrett, Gillespie, Griffey, Grills, Halford, Hall, Haston, Helton, Hicks G, Hicks T, Holsclaw, Howell, Hulsey, Hurt, Johnson C, Keisling, Kumar, Lafferty, Lamberth, Leatherwood, Littleton, Lynn, Marsh, Martin, Moody, Moon, Ogles, Powers, Ragan, Ramsey, Reedy, Rudd, Rudder, Russell, Sexton J, Sherrell, Sparks, Terry, Todd, Vaughan, Vital, Warner, Weaver, White, Williams, Windle, Wright, Zachary, Mr. Speaker Sexton C -- 66.
Reps voting no were: Beck, Clemmons, Cooper, Dixie, Freeman, Hakeem, Hardaway, Harris, Hodges, Jernigan, Johnson G, Love, McKenzie, Miller, Mitchell, Parkinson, Shaw, Stewart, Thompson, Towns -- 20.
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.
STATUS: As amended,HB1944 passed the House floor 63-24:
Reps. voting aye were: Baum, Boyd, Bricken, Byrd, Campbell S, Carr, Carringer, Cepicky, Cochran, Crawford, Darby, Doggett, Eldridge, Faison, Farmer, Gant, Garrett, Griffey, Grills, Halford, Hall, Haston, Hawk, Hazlewood, Helton, Hicks G, Hicks T, Holsclaw, Howell, Hulsey, Hurt, Johnson C, Keisling, Kumar, Lafferty, Lamberth, Leatherwood, Littleton, Lynn, Marsh, Moody, Moon, Ogles, Powers, Ragan, Ramsey, Reedy, Rudd, Rudder, Russell, Sexton J, Sherrell, Sparks, Terry, Todd, Vital, Warner, Weaver, White, Williams, Wright, Zachary, Mr. Speaker Sexton C -- 63.
Reps. voting no were: Beck, Camper, Chism, Clemmons, Cooper, Dixie, Freeman, Hakeem, Hardaway, Harris, Hodges, Jernigan, Johnson G, Love, Mannis, McKenzie, Mitchell, Parkinson, Potts, Powell, Shaw, Stewart, Thompson, Towns -- 24.
STATUS: SB1944 was heard in Senate Judiciary on Wednesday, where, ultimately, it was sent to Summer Study 6-3:
Sens. voting aye were: Bell, Gardenhire, Kyle, Lamar, Lundberg, Stevens -- 6. Sens. voting no were: Roberts, Rose, White -- 3.
PERMITTING MEDICAL CANNABIS:
SB 2532 by *Haile - HB 2641 by *Terry
Health Care - As introduced, establishes a medical cannabis program under the purview of the medical cannabis commission; establishes a patient registry for qualified patients and authorizes the possession of certain medical cannabis products by qualified patients and designated caregivers; redefines the term "marijuana" to exclude products containing less than 0.9 percent delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol
STATUS: SB2532, as amended, was presented again in Senate Judiciary on Wednesday, where it failed 2-6.
PROTECTING WOMEN'S SPORTS:
SB 2153 by *Hensley - HB 2316 by *Ragan
Education - As introduced, prohibits males from participating in public higher education sports that are designated for females; creates a cause of action for violations that deprive a student of an athletic opportunity or that cause direct or indirect harm to a student at the middle school, high school, or postsecondary level
STATUS: HB2316 is in Finance, Ways, and Means Subcommittee on Wednesday.
ACTION: Please click on the committee link, then the pictures and urge the members to support the bill.
STATUS: SB2153 is on the Senate Floor Monday.
ACTION: Please click on the link and urge your Senator to support this bill.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
INTERESTING LINE FROM THE TENNESSEE JOURNAL:
"Long goodbye or veto override opportunity: House plans to hang around for two weeks after passing budget." Hmmmm.....
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