Legislative Update March 25 2023
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).
DON'T KNOW WHO YOUR SENATOR OR REPRESENTATIVE IS?
Just go HERE and you can find out!!
FOR YOUR PRAYER LIST:
Well, this week it is me - standing in the need of prayer! I have had scoliosis for many years. The curve in my spine is now about 68 degrees. Needless to say, other parts of my frame are not amused! This week, I was having such severe nerve pain down my right leg that I could not be at the Capitol. (I had to watch all the committee meetings online and that is not nearly as much fun as being there!!) I have a very high pain tolerance, but this was over the top. I start some steroids today hoping/praying that the nerves will settle down and I can get back next week. And, yes, calming down the nerves is about the only choice available. I think it is some better, but I have a way to go to get back to a tolerable place. Because I was out, Andrew wasn't there, but I will ask you to remember him in your prayers too. He has some health issues being explored.
Also, don't forget to pray for the legislative work. The days truly are dwindling down --14 of the House subcommittees are now closed.
PROPOSED CHANGES TO TENNESSEE'S PRO-LIFE LAW :
SB 0745 by *Briggs - HB 0883 by *Helton-Haynes , RUDDER, HAZLEWOOD, FARMER, MOON, WHITE, MARSH, WHITSON, TRAVIS, CARR, VAUGHAN
Abortion - As introduced, requires the state capitol commission to be responsible through funds appropriated to the commission, after funds from the construction and placement have been exhausted, for the upkeep and maintenance of a monument on the capitol campus that is in memory of the victims of abortion
NOTE: And we thought this battle was all over. After celebrating the VICTORY that HB883, as amended, passed the House floor 83-11-2 and SB745 passed Senate Judiciary 8-1, and was sent to the Senate Calendar Committee for an assignment on the Senate floor.
Well, not so fast. SB745 was recalled from the Calendar Committee and will be heard in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee on Tuesday.
No, I don't know for sure what is going on, but I am asking you to contact the members of that committee and URGE each of them to vote FOR SB745 as amended , which now explicitly clarifies that treatments of ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage are in no way considered criminal abortions under the Human Life Protection Act, and it would change the affirmative defense to an exception for those times when the mother’s life is in danger. These changes will not broaden the scope of Tennessee law or allow for more abortions in our state.
ACTON: Contact these members of the Senate Health Committee:
Sen. Rusty Crowe email@example.com
Sen. Ferrell Haile firstname.lastname@example.org,
Sen. Shane Reeves email@example.com,
Sen. Joey Hensley firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Ed Jackson email@example.com
Sen. Becky Massey sen.becky.Massey@capitol.tn.gov,
Sen. Art Swann firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Bo Watson email@example.com.
BLURRING THE LINES BETWEEN PULIC CHARTER SCHOOLS AND HOME SCHOOLS:
SB 1194 by *McNally , Lundberg - HB 1214 by Sexton , WHITE
Local Education Agencies - As introduced, changes, from five days to five business days, the amount of notice a local board of education member must give the board before a scheduled meeting of the member's intent to participate in the meeting electronically because the member is or will be out of the county at the time of the meeting.
As this bill was amended, it substantially blurred the line between homeschool and public charter schools and threatens the freedom that Tennessee homeschoolers currently enjoy, and the homeschoolers showed up!!!
STATUS: On March 20th, SB1194 was placed on the calendar of Senate Commerce and Labor Committee for March 23rd. On March 21st, it was assigned to General Subcommittee of Senate Commerce and Labor Committee. Meaning? It will NOT be heard!!
NOTE: I cannot resist an 'institutional memory' right here. A number of years ago, a legislator decided that all homeschoolers should be required by the state to take the TCAP test just like all public school students. First, it must be understood that both establishing, maintaining and protecting the right for parents to homeschool in Tennessee has been a long and ongoing effort. And one that these dedicated parents take very seriously. I went in and had a long talk with the house member but he was adamant. Well, I will make a lengthy story short. The bill was roundly defeated and in my legislative update that week, I wrote: "You don't pull on Superman's cape, you don't spit in the wind and you don't pull the chain of theTennessee homeschoolers." God bless these homes and families and the commitment they have to their children.
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM FROM IMMUNIZATIONS:
SB 1109 by *Bowling - HB 0637
by *Barrett , CAPLEY, FRITTS, RICHEY, MARTIN B, DAVIS, TODD, DOGGETT, RAPER, BURKHART
Employees, Employers - As introduced, requires an employer that requires an immunization as a condition of employment or continued employment to exempt from the immunization requirement a person who files a signed, written statement that the immunization conflicts with the person’s religious tenets or practices; prohibits an employer from taking adverse action against a person who files a statement of religious objection
STATUS: SB1109 was heard in Senate Commerce and Labor on March 20th. After amendments being adopted and an extended debate, the proposal failed 2-5-2:
Senators voting aye were: Bailey, Niceley -- 2.
Senators voting no were: Akbari, Johnson, Reeves, Swann, Yager -- 5.
Senators present and not voting were: Southerland, Watson
INSTITUTIONAL MEMORY IS USEFUL.The Republicans used to have a pact that no Republican would present a bill without receiving a MOTION and a SECOND in order for the bill to be presented to the committee.
RESTORING STATE SOVEREIGNTY THROUGH NULLIFICATION ACT:
SB 1092 by *Bowling - HB 0726 by *Hulsey , FRITTS, REEDY, CRAWFORD, BARRETT, BULSO, DOGGETT, HURT, LAFFERTY, Moody, Keisling, Butler, Davis
General Assembly - As introduced, enacts the "Restoring State Sovereignty Through Nullification Act," which establishes processes by which the general assembly may nullify an unconstitutional federal statute, regulation, agency order, or executive order
STATUS: After the stunning presentation Rep. Bud Hulsey made in the Public Service Subcommittee and, despite the fact that the Governor had 'red flagged' it, HB726 was voted out overwhelmingly.
When Sen. Bowling appeared before the Senate State and Local Committee on Tuesday, she presented the background and reason for SB1092. When Chairman Briggs called for a motion, Sen. Mark Pody made the motion; when Briggs called for a SECOND---NOTHING! Not one of the eight remaining committee members would give her a SECOND. This is not about who is for the bill or against it. This is about being courteous and respectful, and giving a duly elected legislator the opportunity to present the bill and then vote on the bill!
LICENSING AND CONTROLLING ATTENDEES IN ‘ADULT’ ESTABLISHMENTS:
SB 0841 by *Hensley - HB 0030 by *Doggett , FRITTS, LYNN, TODD, MOODY, POWERS, COCHRAN, SHERRELL, MCCALMON, RICHEY, BUTLER, SLATER, WILLIAMS, CAPLEY, GRILLS, GARRETT, KEISLING, HOWELL, RAGAN, WARNER
Local Government, General - As introduced, requires a person to obtain a valid entertainer permit from the adult-oriented establishment board, in those jurisdictions with a board, prior to performing adult cabaret entertainment for compensation; prohibits public, private, and commercial establishments from allowing persons under the age of 18 to attend a performance featuring adult cabaret entertainment.
STATUS: On March 6, HB0030 passed the house floor overwhelmingly, 74-23. On March 21st, Sen. Hensley presented SB841 in the Senate State and Local Committee where Sen. Mark Pody made the motion, and once again, NO ONE on that committee offered a SECOND!!
TRANSPORTATION MODERNIZATION ACT OF 2023
SB 0273 - by *Johnson , Massey, Yager, Jackson, Powers, Bailey, Crowe, Gardenhire, Haile, Lowe, Rose, Stevens, Watson, Briggs, Reeves, Walley - HB 0321 by *Lamberth , COCHRAN, HOWELL, MARSH, HAZLEWOOD, HAWK, GARRETT, JOHNSON C, HOLSCLAW, VITAL, CARR, POWERS, RUSSELL, WHITSON, HICKS T, BURKHART, DAVIS, SHERRELL, RAPER, SPARKS, KUMAR, WHITE, HALE
Transportation, Dept. of - As introduced, reduces, from eight to five, the number of members appointed by the commissioner to the selection committee that evaluates and scores requests for proposal when selecting and awarding a construction manager/general contractor services contract.
STATUS: Contains Choice Lanes, Alternative Delivery Model, Electric Vehicle Parity, and a Transportation Modernization Fund. As amended, SB273 has passed the Senate 26-5.
HB321 is scheduled on the House floor on Monday evening. If you have a message for your House member, you can find him or her HERE.
Bill to dissolve Tennessee youth commission dead after pushback from child welfare advocates .
What Gov. Bill Lee said -- and didn't ---to hundreds at Nashville Chamber Event.
Former State Senator Brian Kelsey Seeks Withdrawal of Guilty Plea .
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