ENHANCED FISCAL DATA GATHERING of 2013
UPDATE: Tuesday, 2 April 2013
Sometimes it is just difficult to even describe what happens at the Plaza. The House State Government Committee met at 3:00, but our Enhanced Fiscal Data Gathering Bill was down toward the end of a long calendar. Over two hours later HB1326 was finally heard. Rep. Rick Womick gave a brief introduction then called on nationally recognized refugee expert Don Barnett to give a brief presentation. You really MUST go HERE, then find and click on HB1326 on the left side and watch what unfolded. Holly Johnson, Refugee Coordinator, Tennessee Office of Refugees (which sounds like a department of state government, but it is not; it is a private entity that is a federal government contractor) presented her testimony which, as you will see, contained some very questionable statements, among which was that TN Right to Life opposed our bill. They did not!! The debate got intense, which in itself is interesting, in view of the fact that statistical information is all that is being requested. Also, I want the clarify, for the record, the ONLY motive behind this effort is to identify and document the costs being shifted to the state by this federal contract. Legislators have a fiduciary responsibility to know how Tennesseans' tax dollars are being spend. When the dust finally settled, HB1326 was sent to 'summer study'. Rest assured, this is ONLY a bump in the road, it is NOT the end of this effort. We will be well prepared for the 2014 legislative session!!
ENHANCED FISCAL DATA GATHERING:
SB 1325 by *Ketron ( HB 1326 by *Womick)
NOTE: As amended, SB1325-HB1326 simply requires private federal contractors that voluntarily sponsor and resettle refugees in Tennessee to provide certain data that they have or can obtain, to the legislature’s fiscal review committee, which will allow the state to determine the cost impact on some of Tennessee’s public services. Tennessee legislators have a fiduciary duty to know how public money is being utilized and this bill will assist them in executing that duty to see what the federal program costs the state of Tennessee.
The bill asks for data about how many clients the agency has enrolled in TennCare and how many students they have helped enroll in public schools who receive English Language Learner services which are paid for primarily by the state and local governments.
Amended language may be found HERE.
Rep. Rick Womick and our attorney, Joanne Bregman, did an excellent job presenting this proposal.
As a "bona fide citizen" of TN (you will have to watch the video to understand) you really owe it to yourself to watch the committee interaction. Click HERE, then on left side of screen, scroll down and click on HB1326. I PROMISE, you will be astounded!!
HB1326 barely survived the House State Government Subcommittee on a 2-1-2 vote. It DOES NOT get any closer than that. Reps. voting aye were: Butt, Evans -- 2. Reps. voting no were: Shaw -- 1. Reps. present and not voting were: Sanderson, Williams K -- 2.
This clearly shows the INTENSE opposition we are encountering. That is why we must have ALL HANDS ON DECK for this bill.
HB1326 is now in the House State Government Committee and these members need to hear from you in a polite and respectful manner. Urge them to support this important legislation: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
SB1325 is scheduled in Senate State and Local Committee on Tuesday, March 26th, at 10:30.
ACTION: Committee members need to know that you support this legislation. As always be polite and respectful: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org.