Legislative Update, February 21, 2009

 LEGISLATIVE ACTION  ALERT                   

February 21, 2009                                                              
Tennessee General Assembly information here.
To email legislators, look on the left side of the page, select Legislators then select House Members or Senate Members, or ‘Find My Legislator’.

Phone calls can go to the Legislative Switchboard: (615) 741-3011 or to the Toll Free number 1-800-449-8366+1+ last four digits of office phone number (available at the same location).

It may be the will of heaven that America shall suffer calamities still more wasting and distresses yet more dreadful. If this is to be the case, it will have this good effect at least: it will inspire us with many virtues, which we have not, and correct many errors, follies and vices which threaten to disturb, dishonor and destroy us. The furnace of affliction produces refinement, in states as well as in individuals. And the new governments we are assuming in every part, will require a purification from our vices and an augmentation of our virtues or there will be no blessings....But I must submit all my hopes and fears to an overruling Providence; in which as unfashionable as faith may be, I firmly believe."                        John Adams, July 3, 1776


On Tuesday, Brenda Moore, assistant to Reps. Jimmy Matlock and David Hawk is having surgery to correct a problem with a knee-replacement she had previously. Speaker Pro-Tem Lois DeBerry (D-Memphis) was at the Plaza this week but needs our continued prayers. Speaker Williams’ mother is out of the hospital, but continues to have a number of serious health problems.

In 2005, it was my distinct pleasure to have a fine, homeschooled, young man, Nathan Bell, as my intern. His Dad, Mike, is now the state representative from Riceville. Nathan joined the Marines last year and is at Fort Knox in tank school. When he completes his training (mid-March) he will go to Camp LeJeune, then possibly overseas. It was so good to have him visiting with two of his buddies at Legislative Plaza on Tuesday. [This is a good reminder to pray for all of our men and women in military service to our country.]


With the direction of our state and country hanging in the balance, it is pivotal in these uncertain times that Tennessee Eagle Forum continue to provide the leadership that has been its hallmark since its founding in 1972.  We depend heavily upon the COMMITMENT of all of our subscribers to continue advancing pro-family causes and fighting the fight. Your involvement is vital in three ways: Take the information you receive to act on it, share the information with others encouraging their participation, and provide the financial resources needed to continue this unique service. Please go to Tennessee Eagle Forum, scroll down on the left and make a donation through PayPal or send your check to 3216 Bluewater Trace, Nashville, TN 37217.
We now have the House number and numerous co-sponsors with more to come and will soon be moving the bill.
*SB 0850 by *Black 
Burks, Gresham, Beavers, Ketron, Crowe, McNally, Burchett, Tracy, Ramsey, Yager.
HB 1552 by *Harwell
Campfield, Bell, Brooks K, Shipley, Maggart, Lundberg, Matheny, Eldridge, Montgomery, Lynn, Hawk, Swafford, Cobb J, Hensley, Dennis, McCormick, Rowland, Harrison, Evans, Floyd, Tidwell, Dean.
In 2000, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that our State Constitution contains a fundamental right to abortion even broader than that affirmed by “Roe v. Wade” at the federal level. As a result, common sense state laws passed by the Tennessee Legislature were immediately stripped away including informed consent for women considering abortion, a 48 hour waiting period, and hospitalization for second and third trimester abortions. Sadly, the consequence of that decision is that Tennessee is one of the most wide-open states in the nation regarding abortion. For additional information, go HERE.
As you know, amending our State Constitution is the only way we have to ‘neutralize’ the effect of that court decision. SJR 127 is the proposed amendment to accomplish that task. It has been passed four times in the Senate and failed four times in the House.
To bring you up-to-date, as soon as the Senate Joint Resolutions get to the number 127, we will once again go forward with the proposed amendment, so ‘stay tuned’. Your help will be needed.
Rep. Henry Fincher (D-Cookeville) has introduced an amendment that writes into the Constitution exceptions and funding for abortion.  We DO NOT want to do that -- the time to discuss exceptions is after we successfully amend the Constitution. The place to put any exceptions or taxpayer funding for abortion is in state statutes not the Constitution. The goal of amending the Constitution is to return it to the neutral position it was in for 130 years prior to the 2000 Supreme Court Decision, not to write abortion into it! WE MUST KEEP OUR EYES ON THE PRIZE!
Constitutional Amendments - Adds new provision to Article I to provide that nothing in Constitution of Tennessee secures or protects right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion except in cases involving rape, incest, or health of the mother

*HJR 0104 by *Campfield General Assembly, Statement of Intent or Position - Affirms Tennessee's sovereignty under the tenth amendment to the United States Constitution. 

*HJR 0108 by *Lynn
Memorials, Congress - Urges Congress to recognize Tennessee's sovereignty under the tenth amendment to the Constitution

Criminal Offenses - As introduced, classifies as a Class A misdemeanor, subject to a fine only, the unauthorized implantation of an electronic identification and/or tracking device or mark placed on any human being. 

*SB 0173 by *Ketron ( HB 0640 by *Maggart
Election Laws - As introduced, requires citizenship status to be proven prior to registration to vote and requires certain procedures to ensure identity and citizenship status prior to voting
SB 1231 by *Bunch ( *HB 1150 by *Kelsey)
Judges and Chancellors - As introduced, requires election of judges in accordance with state constitution; abolishes judicial selection commission.
SB 0825 by *Marrero B ( *HB 0763 by *Turner M
Sex Discrimination - As introduced, enacts "Pay Equity in the Workplace Act of 2009."
*SB 0640 by *Marrero B ( HB 1532 by *Favors)
Hospitals and Health Care Facilities - As introduced, enacts the "Emergency Care for Rape Victims Act."
*SB 0209 by *Marrero B ( HB 0368 by *Richardson)
 Drugs - As introduced, enacts "Medical Marijuana Act of 2009."
SB 0253 by *Marrero B ( *HB 0335 by *Richardson
 Criminal Procedure - As introduced, adds as an advisory enhancement factor to sentencing that defendant intentionally chose victim of crime based on gender identity or expression.
SB 1819 by *Herron ( *HB 1404 by *Turner M)
Election Laws - As introduced, authorizes same day voter registration; allows county election commissions to establish vote centers that would allow a registered voter in that county to vote at any center regardless of the voter's precinct. 
Election Laws - As introduced, authorizes same day voter registration. - Amends TCA Title 2.
About 100 members of TEP (homosexuals, lesbians, transgendered) converged at Legislative Plaza to lobby their legislators. Those issues include legislation that has been proposed to limit adoptions only to married heterosexual couples; allowing transgender persons to change the gender listed on their birth certificate; including transgender in the current state statue on hate crimes; and a bill proposed that would prevent elementary and middle school teachers from talking about homosexuality.
Just thinking: If we had a lobby day on the Hill, would conservatives have 100 folks show up to visit with their legislators?
Elderly Persons - As introduced, establishes a missing senior alert program in Tennessee.
To acquaint her colleagues with the very worthwhile proposal, Sen. Black (R-Gallatin) presented SB 15 in the Transportation Committee this week. However, because of the significant fiscal note, she put the bill in the General Subcommittee to await the possible identification of the necessary funds.
State Rep. Kelsey wants Bredesen to reject stimulus money

Lawmaker says aid won't help state now

Tennessee Rep. Brian Kelsey said Thursday that he is proposing a resolution that would urge Gov. Phil Bredesen to refuse any money from the federal economic stimulus package. House Democratic Leader Gary Odom

of Nashville responded with a letter to Bredesen requesting that Kelsey and any lawmakers who sign onto the resolution have their districts cut out of any stimulus spending.

Stimulus package neglects housing, says Sen. Corker
Senator says package has too much spending

By Juanita Cousins
FRANKLIN — The federal stimulus package has too much social spending that doesn't address the needs of the housing market, Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker said Thursday.
"The fact is that housing led us into this crisis that ended up migrating into the financial system, and if we are going to change what is happening in our economy right now, you cannot do so without focusing on our credit markets and focusing on housing," Corker said.
The Republican senator's message on housing issues and why he opposed the federal stimulus bill was well received at a luncheon with some 350 Middle Tennessee real estate agents and closing attorneys.