SPECIAL ALERT: Legislative Update, February 13, 2016

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).

"The titanic freedoms which we once enjoyed have been cut loose from their Christian restraints and are becoming a force of destruction leading to chaos.....All morality becomes relative, law becomes arbitrary, society moves toward disintegration....compassion is swallowed up by self-interest.....As....the memory of the Christian consensus which gave us freedom within the biblical form is increasingly forgotten, a manipulating authoritarianism will tend to fill the vacuum.....An elite, an authoritarianism as such, will gradually force form on society so that it will not go in to chaos - and most people would accept it." Francis Schaeffer, 1984 - "The Great Evangelical Disaster"

Sen. Janice Bowling, (R- District 16) lost her mother last week. Please remember her and her family.  Rep. Bob Ramsey (R-District 20) is still out after surgery.  You will want to continue to remember him.  Also, remember Rep. Rick Womick (R-District 34). His mother is not doing well. I continue to urge you to pray for our leaders:  "First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity." 1 Timothy 2:1-2  They really do have an important and weighty responsibility on their shoulders.

NOAH'S CORNER: Unfortunately, living in Cookeville on the Plateau, where they got snowed in two days in a row, Noah was unable to get to Nashville on Tuesday or Wednesday.  I sure did miss him.


If I were to sum up my day this week, it would be odd. We started our day as usual visiting legislators or setting a time to come back. We did however have a scheduled meeting with the Deputy Governor. When our time with him expired, he asked us if we also wanted a few minutes with the Governor, who happened to be in. We had a pleasant, but short conversation with Governor Haslam and got to thank him and the Deputy for their work on fighting Planned Parenthood. Numerous other things happened to make our day “odd” -- one was practically being stalked by a reporter from BuzzFeed. [Right: Mary Gov. Haslam and Deputy Gov. Jim Henry]

It was our pleasure to present Rep. Rick Womick with the National Eagle Award personally signed by Founder and CEO, Phyllis Schlafly.  Rep. Womick was nominated and received this prestigious award for his dedicated work on the Common Core issue in our state.  He was a committed, persistent and passionate warrior. 
All of the qualities that made him the fighter pilot that he was, made him a courageous and fearless legislator. He is a personal friend and he will be missed. We had planned to make the presentation at our "On Eagles' Wings" biennial Conference last October, but Rick was unable to attend.

SB 1657 by *Tracy , Briggs
HB 1728 by *Sexton C , Marsh, Lundberg, Brooks K, McManus, Travis, Powers, Johnson, Casada
Election Laws -As introduced, adopts the interstate compact to elect the president by national popular vote.

Indeed, the money flowing into NPV tells a very different story about who wants this “reform” and why. Koza—who hit the jackpot when he patented the scratch-off lottery ticket and then convinced states to sell them—has reportedly pledged $12 million to his organization. Koza has given tens of thousands of dollars to various Democratic Party committees and liberal candidates; he was an Al Gore elector in 2000. New York businessman Tom Golisano, who has also pledged millions to NPV, is quick to point out that he is a registered Republican—even though he supported John Kerry and gave a cool $1 million to the Democratic National Convention in 2008.

NOTES:  In 2010, the House State and Local Subcommittee held a hearing on the NPV bill that was before that committee. Former TN Democrat Party Chairman, Randy Button and Former TN Republican Party Chairman Bob Davis were there to support this proposal. They had brought with them Ray Haynes, a former republican legislator from California to testify in favor of this scheme. So this is not new. Bob Davis is now actively lobbying for SB 1657-HB1728. You can read a summary bill HERE.

George Soros and his son Jonathan really like it.  The Heritage Foundation has written an excellent paper AGAINST it.  The Republican National Committee, the State Executive Committee of the TN Republican Party, the Tennessee Federation of Republican Women have all passed strong resolutions AGAINST it. Attorney John Ryder, Tennessee's National Committeeman and legal counsel for the RNC has written an excellent article AGAINST it.  Do we see a pattern here?

  • Tennessee would “lose power” under a NPV.
    • According to an RNC report, 20 states would “gain power” and 30 would “lose power” based on their ratio of population to current number of electors.
    • Tennessee’s “power” would decrease by 3.1%.
    • Of the 20 states who stand to “gain power” through a NPV, 16 voted for President Obama in 2012.

For additional Resource Materials, go HERE.

STATUS:  SB1657 is on the calender of the Senate State and Local Committee at 10:30 on Tuesday morning

So far only BLUE states have passed this legislation whose electoral votes total 165.  They only need 270 electoral votes to put this terrible plan in place. Let's make sure that Tennessee's 11 votes are not added to that total.  PLEASE contact the members of this committee and urge them to vigorously OPPOSE this bill.

SJR 0467 by *Ramsey , Norris, Ketron, Beavers, McNally, Roberts, Green, Bailey, Bell, Bowling, Briggs, Gardenhire, Haile, Jackson, Johnson, Kelsey, Niceley, Southerland, Stevens, Tracy, Watson, Yager, Hensley

General Assembly, Statement of Intent or Position - Urges the commencement of legal action, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief, from the federal government's mandated appropriation of state revenue and noncompliance with the Refugee Act.

This may be one of the most important pieces of legislation that is passed in the General Assembly this year (see articles below).  With the help of the Thomas More Law Center this resolution could change the face of the Refugee Resettlement program.  Once passed, Tennessee could become the plaintiff in the lawsuit, then 'let the games begin'.
STATUS:  With 22 sponsors, the resolution is assured passage. That being said, as you can see from the graphic on the right, the Plaza will probably be filled with opponents of the proposal. 
This resolution does not address whether or not Tennessee 'welcomes' refugees.  This is about the LAW and whether the federal government has to follow the law and whether state's rights will be respected. Join us in Room 12 to show your SUPPORT for our legislators as they work toward recovering state sovereignty!!

Lt. Gov. Files Resolution in Tennessee State Senate to Sue Feds Over Refugee Resettlement
by Michael Patrick Leahy22 Jan 2016
The state of Tennessee is one step closer to suing the federal government over the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program. Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey filed Senate Joint Resolution 467 (SJR 467) in the State Senate on Thursday.
The resolution states “that the Tennessee General Assembly directs the Attorney General and Reporter of the State of Tennessee to initiate or intervene in one or more civil actions on behalf of the State of Tennessee or, in the alternative, seek appropriate relief in a federal court of competent jurisdiction regarding the failure of the federal government to comply with the Refugee Act of 1980.”
If the Attorney General of Tennessee fails to act, the General Assembly (the official name for the two houses of the Tennessee State Legislature, the State Senate and the House of Representatives) is authorized to initiate the lawsuit on its own.
“[U]pon receipt of notice from the Attorney General and Reporter declining the initiation of or intervention into a civil action described in this resolution, the Speaker of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives are authorized to employ outside counsel to commence a civil action effectuating the purposes of this resolution,” it states.

Why 12 States Hold Key to Constitutional Challenge to Refugee Resettlement Program
by Michael Patrick Leahy8 Dec 2015

Twelve states hold the key to a constitutional challenge to the increasingly controversial U.S. Refugee Resettlement program.
In states where governments have withdrawn from the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program the program is now run by private charities contracted by the U.S. Department of State under the statutorily questionable “Wilson-Fish alternative program.As Breitbart News has reported previously, the Thomas More Law Center, a well respected public interest law firm, is looking for one brave governor from among these twelve states (Alaska, Alabama, Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont) to step up and act as the plaintiff in the case.The constitutional argument is that the federal government, without the permission of these 12 Wilson-Fish states, has “commandeered” state funds by placing refugees in their states, thereby obligating states to pay Medicaid expenses for the refugees, in violation of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, which states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

SB 2540 by *Norris , Haile
HB 1537 by *McCormick , Brooks K, Brooks H, White M, Forgety, Kane, Moody, Matlock, Coley, Byrd, Williams, Dunlap, Lamberth

Education - As introduced, permits parents and teachers access to their students' questions and answers on state-required summative assessments; requires LEAs to communicate to stakeholders the purpose of locally required standardized assessments and how the local assessments differ from required state assessments; eliminates two state-required examinations, one in the eighth grade and one in the tenth grade; makes other changes with respect to student assessment.

NOTES:  This is a step in the right direction.
Among other things: Beginning in the 2016-2017 academic year, the DOE shall provide LEAs access to their students’ Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) and end of course assessments including students’ answers. Requires LEAs to provide a student and student’s parents or guardian with TCAP and end-of-course assessments with answers upon request. Prohibits the release of: any assessment information that will be necessary to validate future assessment administrations; items that are currently being field tested; or related items that are currently protected by copyright statute. Teachers shall also have access to their students’ test data and answers.
STATUS:  HB1537 is in House Finance, Ways & Means Subcommittee Wednesday.  It has a fiscal note of over $800K but seems to be included in the Governor's budget, so that bodes well for it's passage. Bills like this are just another example that parents and teachers are making a difference.
ACTION: You can voice your support to the committee members.

HJR 0529 by *Lynn , Carter, Sargent, Brooks K, Howell, Alexander, Keisling, Rogers, Zachary, Butt, Moody, Byrd, Williams, Travis, VanHuss, Smith, Durham, Lollar, Jenkins, Halford, Sexton J, Weaver, Womick, Casada, Brooks H, Eldridge
General Assembly, Statement of Intent or Position - Expresses disagreement with the U.S. supreme court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.
STATUS:  In the Subcommittee, HJR529 was amended and passed out.  You can read the new language HERE.  HJR529 will be in the House Civil Justice Committee on Tuesday. 
ACTION:  Please let the committee members you support this important.  Some of the members are co-sponsors, thank them.

By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A proposal to create a school voucher program stalled in the House on Thursday despite efforts to drum up support among wary rural lawmakers by limiting the areas of Tennessee where parents could receive state money to pay for private school tuition.
Republican Rep. Bill Dunn of Knoxville became emotional when he announced from the well of the House chamber that his multiyear effort to offer school vouchers to parents of children in failing schools did not have enough votes to clear the GOP-controlled chamber.
The chamber did not take up a series of proposed amendments, including one that would apply the measure only to Tennessee’s four largest counties, or even to just Shelby County in the southwestern corner of the state.

By Eric Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — If it’s up to the Republican speakers of the state House and Senate, the more than half-million Tennesseans with permits will soon be able to carry guns inside the legislative office complex.
The proposal announced Thursday comes as lawmakers in Arizona, Florida and Wyoming are also considering loosening gun restrictions at their statehouses this year.
But Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration is raising concerns about the proposed change in Tennessee. Haslam said in an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday that he wants to keep the gun ban within the state Capitol building, which is connected to the Legislative Plaza via an underground tunnel.
“We don’t think that people should be able to bring weapons in here,” Haslam said. “This is a secure building. We’ve got metal detectors; we’ve got troopers with guns.”
Haslam said it would create a logistical problem in figuring out how to rescreen visitors to the legislative office complex when they enter the Capitol building.