Legislative Update, April 2, 2011

LEGISLATIVE ACTION  ALERT                   
April 2, 2011                                                                                

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).

How can he [one] be free if the fruits of his labor are not his to dispose of, but are treated, instead as part of a common pool of public wealth? Property and freedom are inseparable: to the extent government takes the one in the form of taxes, it intrudes on the other.           ~~ Barry Goldwater

I especially request prayers for Sen. Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro). As you recall, because of the ‘lamestream’ media’s TOTAL misrepresentation of our anti-terrorist legislation, his picture and the fabrications about the legislation literally went around the world even causing Al Jazeera to show up at the Plaza trying to get an interview. Sen. Ketron, one of 16, will be in Berlin, Germany, next week to study immigration. Berlin is where the Muslim recently yelled Allah Akbar before
killing two US Airmen. Please pray for protection for Sen. Ketron and the entire group as they travel. On a personal note, we are taking my husband and his broken foot to a different doctor on Wednesday; prayers appreciated.

SB 0113 by *Johnson ( *HB 0130 by *Maggart)
Teachers, Principals and School Personnel - As introduced, abolishes teachers' unions ability to negotiate terms and conditions of professional service with local boards of education.
STATUS: HB 130, as amended, was in House Finance Subcommittee where it passed 7-6-1:
Representatives voting aye were: Brooks K, Johnson C, Matheny, McCormick, McDaniel, Sargent, Harwell -- 7.
Representatives voting no were: DeBerry L, Fitzhugh, Naifeh, Odom, Tindell, Shaw -- 6.
Representatives present and not voting were: Harrison -- 1.

Kudos to Speaker Beth Harwell:
HB130, amended, passes Finance Sub with help of Speaker Harwell
The Bill passed because Speaker Beth Harwell took the extraordinary measure of exercising her prerogative to cast a vote even though she is not a regular member of the committee.
Republican Chairman Mike Harrison offered two amendments, both of which failed due to Speaker Harwell's votes. On the
final vote for the bill Republican Chairman Mike Harrison passed and Speaker Harwell voted YES and the bill passed 7-Aye 6-No 1-Pass.
The House version of the bill has been amended so that it does not completely abolish collective bargaining for teachers. The Senate version has the original language specifying a complete ban. Article and Video
ACTION: HB 130 is scheduled in House Finance Ways and Means on Tuesday. Find the members

*SJR 0127 by *Beavers, Kelsey, Bell, Norris, Ketron, Crowe, Southerland, Yager, Campfield, Johnson, Woodson, Ramsey, Overbey, Tracy, Gresham, Summerville, Faulk, WatsonConstitutional Amendments - Proposes 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; states that the people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother.
STATUS: It was a bit anti-climatic, but still very satisfying to see SJR 127 once again, pass the Senate Judiciary committee. It was sent to the Calendar Committee on a 6-3 vote:
Senators voting aye were: Beavers, Bell, Campfield, Kelsey, Overbey, Yager -- 6.
Senators voting no were: Barnes, Ford, Marrero -- 3.
REMINDER: As long time subscribers will remember, getting this important proposed amendment to the Constitution through the State Senate has never been a problem. The State House was where it was always stalled until the 106th General Assembly when finally it was successfully moved through the process. We look forward to getting it through the 107th General Assembly by the required 2/3rds vote this year.
          Proposed Constitutional Amendments must pass by a simple majority in one General Assembly. Then after the next election that same language must pass the next General Assembly by a 2/3rds vote, then go on the ballot at the next Gubernatorial election where it must receive 50% +1 of the votes cast in the Governor’s race.        

SB 0632 by *Ketron ( *HB 0600 by *Casada)
Business and Commerce - As introduced, enacts the "Equal Access to Intrastate Commerce Act." This pro-business and pro-taxpayer legislation provides that no local government can impose on any business or person, other than a local government’s own employees, any personnel practice, definition or provision relating to discrimination or discriminatory practices that deviates from the requirements of state law. It also makes null and void any nonconforming requirements imposed prior to the legislation’s effective date. The legislation does not affect anti-discrimination policies that businesses voluntarily adopt for the operation of their business.
STATUS: HB 600 will be in the House Commerce Subcommittee on Wednesday.
ACTION: Legislation protecting against discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression has as it' goal a "genderless society," where gender differences are blurred. Nashville is headed in that direction.  Watch the one-minute video at
www.genderdoesmatter.org. After watching this video, you can go HERE to find committee members to urge them to support HB 600.

SB 0893 by *Watson ( *HB 0368 by *Dunn)
Teachers, Principals and School Personnel - As introduced, protects a teacher from discipline for teaching scientific subjects in an objective manner. Summary can be found
STATUS: HB 368 was in House Education on Tuesday where the debate became rather intense. Rep. John DeBerry (D-Memphis) really challenged a Vanderbilt professor’s presentation, not once but twice. Go
HERE to see the committee meeting, scroll to the bill number (HB368) below the ‘screen’ and click on that number.
         At the end of the debate HB368 was voted out of Education on a Voice Vote - Ayes Prevail Rep.(s) DeBerry L, Fitzhugh, Naifeh requested to be recorded as voting No.
On Thursday morning, this legislation was in the Calendar and Rules, where it passed on a Voice Vote - Ayes Prevail Rep.(s) Fitzhugh, Naifeh requested to be recorded as voting No.
ACTION: HB 368 is scheduled on the House floor on April 7th. Find your House member
HERE and urge him or her to support this important academic freedom proposal.

*SB 0127 by *Campfield ( HB 0173 by *Casada)
Judges and Chancellors - As introduced, requires election of all judges, including appellate and supreme court judges.
COMMENT: This has been an on-going debate for several years. The TN Constitution specifically requires the ‘election’ of appellate and Supreme Court judges. A number of years ago the General Assembly instituted the ‘retention election’ of judges and pretended that the ‘retention’ vote met the ‘election’ requirement. Our position has always been that we should either follow the Constitution (novel concept) or change the Constitution. But let’s not pretend we are following the Constitutional mandate, when we are not.
STATUS: SB127 was in Senate Judiciary on Tuesday where some pointed debate and high drama unfolded. It is definitely worth watching. Go
HERE then click on SB127 on the list below the ‘screen’. When the vote was finally taken, it was tied. Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey walked in to cast the tie breaking vote in order to move the bill along on:
Senators voting aye were: Beavers, Bell, Campfield, Kelsey, Mr. Speaker Ramsey -- 5.
Senators voting no were: Barnes, Ford, Marrero, Overbey -- 4.
Senators present and not voting were: Yager – 1
Ramsey Tips Deadlocked Committee in Favor of Electing Judges

*SB 1528 by *Norris ( HB 2012 by *McCormick)
Teachers, Principals and School Personnel - As introduced, changes date by which assignments for the following school year and notices of termination must be sent to school personnel from May 15 to June 15; specifies that director of schools must decide if a teacher is qualified for an open position; changes various requirements for obtaining tenure.
TN Senate gives final approval Gov. Haslam’s teacher tenure bill, sending it to his desk

*SB 0325 by *Beavers ( HB 0234 by *Maggart)
Drugs, Over the Counter - As introduced, requires pharmacies and pharmacy personnel to use a national record keeping system to log certain drug sales and changes the rate at which an individual may buy methamphetamine precursors.
STATUS: SB 325 is scheduled for the Senate Floor on April 7th. HB 234 is scheduled on the Health and Human Services Subcommittee on Tuesday.
ACTION: If this is an issue you care about, the Consumer Healthcare Products has a put up a website that allows you contact your lawmakers urging them to support this bill. Go
HERE for details.

The very important bills below were passed by the House Subcommittee this week and will be in the full State and Local Committee on Tuesday. You can go
HERE to contact committee members to support all three bills.

The very important bills below were passed by the House State and Local Subcommittee this week and will be in the full State and Local Committee on Tuesday at 1:30, Room 16.  You can go HERE to contact committee members.

*SB 0780 by *Ketron ( HB 1380 by *Carr)
Immigration - As introduced, enacts the "Lawful Immigration Enforcement Act." 
STATUS: HB1380 passed the subcommittee without amendment and will be in the full Committee on Tuesday.

SB 1669 by *Tracy ( *HB 1378 by *Carr)
Immigration - As introduced, enacts the Tennessee Lawful Employment Act.
STATUSHB 1378 was amended in the Subcommittee on Wednesday. It still holds to the premise that in order for an E-verify component to be an effective part of the solution it must be mandatory and must have a mechanism for enforcement.  It will be heard in the Full State and Local Committee on Tuesday. 

SB 1325 by *Johnson ( *HB 1379 by *Carr)
Immigration - As introduced, enacts the "Eligibility Verification for Entitlements Act."
STATUS: HB 1379 was amended to fulfill the requirements set forth by federal law as well as attempting to deal with a large fiscal note, then passed the subcommittee.  It will be in the full committee on Tuesday.
If you can attend the meeting, please do. However, please take the time to contact the committee members HERE and urge them to support all three of these measures.