Legislative Update April 8 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).
FOR YOUR PRAYER LIST:
To say that this has been a difficult week is a real understatement. We have seen things happen that none of us would have ever anticipated. Let's pray for wisdom, understanding, direction, and that the General Assembly can safely move forward to get the business of the state done in an orderly fashion.
I would also ask your prayers for my intern, Andrew McCullough, a 17-year-old high school senior. He has had headaches and dizziness and fatigue for some time and an MRI revealed a tumor. He loves Jesus. He just bought tickets to senior prom. He has the lead in the school play. He graduates in a month and a half and he has a brain tumor deep in his head. The plan right now is to postpone the surgery until he gets through prom and graduation. Please join me in praying that this tentative schedule will work out.
SCHOOL SAFETY ACT OF 2023:
SB 0274 by *Johnson , Lundberg - HB 0322 by *Lamberth , COCHRAN, WHITE, GANT, GILLESPIE, SLATER, RAGAN, BUTLER, HASTON, BULSO, TERRY, LEATHERWOOD, DAVIS, RUSSELL, BRICKEN, ALEXANDER, MOON, BOYD, BURKHART, HOLSCLAW, SHERRELL, CRAWFORD, SEXTON , TRAVIS, ZACHARY, GRILLS, MARTIN B, DARBY, VAUGHAN, POWELL, FAISON, HICKS G, WRIGHT, HURT, HARDAWAY, HALE, MCCALMON, BARRETT, MARTIN G, BECK, CEPICKY, CAPLEY, HELTON-HAYNES, WHITSON, HAWK, LITTLETON, MARSH, POWERS, PARKINSON, REEDY, MOODY, WILLIAMS, WARNER, CARRINGER, CARR, ELDRIDGE, SPARKS, HICKS T, VITAL, JERNIGAN, LAFFERTY, RUDDER, KUMAR
Education - As introduced, requires the threat assessment team of each LEA to coordinate with state agencies providing services and technical assistance to local teams
HB0322 by Lamberth - FLOOR VOTE: REGULAR CALENDAR AS AMENDED PASSAGE ON THIRD CONSIDERATION 4/6/2023
Representatives voting aye were: Alexander, Barrett, Baum, Beck, Boyd, Bricken, Bulso, Burkhart, Butler, Campbell S, Camper, Capley, Carr, Carringer, Cepicky, Chism, Clemmons, Cochran, Crawford, Darby, Davis, Dixie, Doggett, Eldridge, Faison, Farmer, Freeman, Fritts, Gant, Garrett, Gillespie, Glynn, Grills, Hakeem, Hale, Hardaway, Haston, Hawk, Hazlewood, Helton-Haynes, Hemmer, Hicks G, Hicks T, Holsclaw, Howell, Hulsey, Hurt, Jernigan, Johnson C, Keisling, Kumar, Lafferty, Lamberth, Leatherwood, Littleton, Love, Lynn, Marsh, Martin B, Martin G, McCalmon, McKenzie, Miller, Mitchell, Moody, Moon, Parkinson, Powell, Powers, Ragan, Raper, Reedy, Richey, Rudd, Rudder, Russell, Shaw, Sherrell, Slater, Sparks, Stevens, Terry, Thompson, Todd, Towns, Travis, Vaughan, Vital, Warner, White, Whitson, Williams, Wright, Zachary, Mr. Speaker Sexton -- 95.
Representatives voting no were: Harris, Johnson G -- 4.
NOTE: I don't know why Jones and Pearson aren't listed as two of the four, but please look at the Aye votes and see that they did not join the other Democrats to vote for this important protective bill.
As amended, House Bill 322:
• Enacts a multi-tiered accountability plan to require exterior doors of public and private schools are locked when students are present.
• Requires that private security guards are held to a high standard and receive active shooter training.
• Requires every public and private school to develop annual safety plans
• Require all newly built schools to:
Ø Install classroom door locks that lock from the inside
Ø Secure vestibules for visitor entry
Ø Require the installation of a clear bullet-resistant or entry-resistant film on the glass panel of any exterior entry or basement-level window to prevent individuals from entering who are not allowed
Ø Require camera systems to continuously monitor each entrance hallway and communal area.
STATUS: SB274 was voted out of the Senate Education Committee 9-0 and is scheduled in Finance Ways and Means on Tuesday where it is expected to pass.
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
STATUS: What a journey this has been. You will recall that on March 20th, HB883, as appropriately amended, passed the House floor 83-11-2.
When SB745 was in the Judiciary Committee, a couple of Senators stated that they would be bringing more bills on this subject next session.
On Wednesday, SB745, as appropriately amended, and after several amendments that had been filed were defeated, it passed the Senate floor 26-1-4:
Senators voting aye were: Bailey, Bowling, Briggs, Crowe, Gardenhire, Haile, Hensley, Jackson, Johnson, Lowe, Lundberg, Massey, Niceley, Powers, Reeves, Roberts, Rose, Southerland, Stevens, Swann, Taylor, Walley, Watson, White, Yager, Mr. Speaker McNally -- 26. Senators voting no were: Yarbro - 1.
Senators present and not voting were: Akbari, Lamar, Oliver, Pody -- 4.
The Human Life Protection Act stands strong after all proposals dealing with changing the current law have been heard for this session. Pro-life Tennesseans let their voices be heard and, therefore, the law will continue to protect the right to life of all unborn children in our state.
MATURE MINOR DOCTRINE CLARIFICATION ACT
SB 1111 by *Bowling - HB 1380 by *Ragan , FRITTS
Public Health - As introduced, enacts the "Mature Minor Doctrine Clarification Act."
STATUS: SB1111, as amended, is on the Senate floor Monday evening.
ACTION: Please go HERE, click on the 'envelope' to the left of the name and urge your senator to vote for this important bill.
PROHIBITING ABORTION TRAVEL FUNDS
SB 0600 by *Hensley , Bowling, Rose, Stevens, Jackson, Pody - HB 0090 by *Moody , LAMBERTH, BULSO, LEATHERWOOD, FRITTS, RAPER, CEPICKY, MARTIN G, CARRINGER, DOGGETT, MCCALMON, HOWELL, RAGAN, CARR, GRILLS, COCHRAN, SPARKS, ZACHARY, LITTLETON, ALEXANDER, POWERS, TODD, RICHEY, WARNER, TERRY
Local Government, General - As introduced, prohibits local governments from expending funds for the purposes of assisting a person in obtaining an abortion.
STATUS: On March 13th, SB600 as amended, passed the Senate 27-6; on March 30th, HB90, as amended, passed the House floor 66-22, and has already been sent to the Governor.
BLURRING THE LINES BETWEEN PUBLIC 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
STATUS: As you may recall,On March 22, the Senate Education Committee put SB1194 in General Sub. Well, on April 5th, the House Education Administration took it 'off notice'. Another long battle, but citizen involvement made all the difference. We will certainly be watchful next session.
PROHIBITING ILLEGAL ALIENS FROM PUBLIC HOUSING
SB 1151 by *Niceley - HB 1247 by *Powers
Immigration - As introduced, prohibits an illegal alien from being housed on real property owned by this state or a political subdivision of this state; excepts incarceration and other housing required as a result of a criminal conviction
STATUS: We are not opposed to what this bill is trying to accomplish. However, the way it is written, it will not accomplish that goal. I am so pleased to report that SB1151-SB1247 has been moved to 2024. We will be working with Rep. Powers to help him develop the appropriate language for 2024,
TENNESSEE OWNING BANKS OR BEING STOCKHOLDER?
SJR 0034 by *Haile , Yager
Constitutional Amendments - Proposes an amendment to Article II, Section 31 of the Constitution of Tennessee authorizing the governing body or state official charged with carrying out the purpose or objectives of a fund or trust that is administered or invested by the Treasury and that contains state funds, in whole or in part, to adopt, with approval of the Treasurer and the Comptroller of the Treasury, an investment policy to authorize all or part of such fund or trust to be invested such that the state would become an owner, in whole or in part, of any bank or a stockholder with others in any association, company, or corporation.
STATUS: I am happy to report that SJR34 failed on the Senate floor.
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