Legislative Update, February 23, 2019

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).

"There's a tendency to throw aside old values as belonging to an earlier generation. Don't discard those values that have proven, over the period of time, their value. Just believe in those values that made our nation great and keep them: faith, family, hard work, and, above all, freedom."  Ronald Reagan, Speech at Illinois State Fair, Springfield, Illinois, August 12, 1986. 

I am so delighted to report that Rep. Jeremy Faison is recovering nicely from the surgery he had on his head wound last week. Bless his heart, Rep. Tim Rudd was back at the Capitol this week, all bandaged up from his surgery putting skin graphs in place over some of his burns.  He still has a long way to go for sure. You will want to continue to pray for both these lawmakers that their healing and recovery will be uneventful and complete very soon.


Tuesday, on the hill, was filled with productivity, determination, and knowledge. The majority of the day was spent continuing to lobby upcoming legislation we either support or oppose. From meetings discussing abortion and our bill, to gambling and marijuana, there was never a dull moment. In fact, there was definitely some tension as Planned Parenthood spent the day attempting to ”Take the Hill”, and advocate for abortion. However, it was delightful to see so many come and defend the most innocent of all! My favorite quote of the day was, ”What Satan means for evil, God will use for good.” This is unquestionably true! Ultimately, my experience has been outstanding so far, and I can't wait until next week!


The flood of rain in Nashville did not keep the Tennessee General Assembly from meeting on Wednesday. I sat still in the Public Health Subcommittee. Rep. Micah Van Huss stood calmly answering questions about his bill to ban abortion after a heartbeat is detected(HB0077). Nashville Rep. Vincent Dixie asked if the bill allowed a victim of incest or rape to have an abortion. Rep. Van Huss plainly stated, “I do not believe the justice for the sins of the father or mother should be carried out on an innocent baby.” Rep. Dixie looked taken aback, so he moved on to a new question. He made a comment about how long it takes a women to know she is pregnant and that this bill would make it impossible for her to have an abortion when she would want it. Rep. Van Huss responded, “I believe that killing a baby, no matter what his age, is evil.” Shortly after the questioning ended, the subcommittee voted on the bill and it passed. Although God allows for floods, he always follows it with a rainbow.


SB1236 Pody, Hensley, Jackson, Johnson, Roberts, Lundberg, Niceley, Reeves, White, Southerland, Bowling
HB 0077 by *Van Huss, Cepicky, Hill M, Moon, Eldridge, Griffey, Sherrell, Calfee, Crawford, Zachary, Todd, Hill T, Reedy, Hall, Rudd, Ragan, Smith, Hulsey, Doggett, Howell, Byrd, Leatherwood, Williams, Powers, Carr, Weaver, Casada, Littleton, Moody, Sparks, Sanderson, Cochran, Carter, Kumar, Hazlewood, Halford, Holt, Coley, Haston, Sexton J, Baum, Farmer, Keisling, Ogles, Terry, Whitson, Hurt, Gant, Helton, Bricken, Vaughan
Abortion - As introduced, prohibits abortions from the point a fetal heartbeat is detected; requires fetal heartbeat testing prior to an abortion; creates exceptions
STATUS:  HB77 was completely re-written voted out of the subcommittee on a voice vote with Rep. Dixie requesting to be recorded as voting No; Rep. Miller requesting to be recorded as Present, Not Voting. The exchange between Rep. VanHuss and Rep. Dixie was priceless.
ACTION: HB77 is scheduled in Health Committee for 2/26/2019. If you click on the Committee link, you will notice that many on them are co-sponsors on HB77.  If you want to contact any of the others, you can click on the lawmaker's picture, and under it, you will see "Email Legislator".


SB 1407 by *Bell, (HB 0658) by *Curcio
Law Enforcement - As introduced, limits the authority of a community oversight board to the review and consideration of matters reported to it and the issuance of advisory reports and recommendations to agencies involved in public safety and the administration of justice.
STATUS:  HB658 was in House Criminal Justice Subcommittee on Wednesday, where, after a VERY SPIRITED debate, it passed by a voice vote with Reps.Camper, Parkinson requesting to be recorded as voting No.  It is scheduled in House Judiciary on Tuesday morning.  SB1407 is scheduled in Senate Judiciary on Tuesday afternoon. 
ACTION:  You will want to contact the members of House Judiciary Committee and the members of Senate Judiciary Committee and URGE each of them to vote YES on the respective bills. 

Why a balanced approach is needed for all community oversight boards | Opinion .

Below are three of the MANY gambling bills that have been proposed for the 2019 General Assembly. We are absolutely opposed to any EXPANSION of gambling in our state.  

SB 0016 by *Akbari, (HB 0001) by *Staples
Gambling - As introduced, authorizes sports betting in this state only in jurisdictions that approve sports betting by local option election; imposes a 10 percent tax on gaming revenue; distributes 40 percent of the tax to the general fund for general appropriations, 30 percent to Tennessee colleges of applied technologies and community colleges for equipment and capital projects, and 30 percent to local governments for education and infrastructure; establishes the Tennessee gaming commission to regulate sports betting; authorizes the commission to collaborate with the Tennessee bureau of investigation for purposes of enforcement

NOTE: Supporters argue that 'they are already doing it' and that it will make money for the state.  Well, whatever you legalized you get more of - legal and illegal!! Is that good for our citizens? Our families? Did you know that a few years ago TN didn't have hardly any facilities to deal with gambling addiction.  Now, just with the lottery, fantasy football, and whatever illegal gambling folks are doing, you can see the number of gambling rehab places available. The state getting some tax money makes it seem more acceptable. What will legal gambling do to sports itself?
If legalized gambling is the future, our sports are really in trouble .


HJR0102 by Griffey.
Constitutional Amendments - Proposes an amendment to Article XI, Section 5 of the Constitution of Tennessee, to allow for bingo games conducted by 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(19) organizations to meet a charitable, not for profit, or community service purpose.
The Abstract summarizes HJR0102 as introduced.
NOTE:  Tennessee HAD bingo and then came Operation Rocky Top, where legislators went to jail; two targets committed suicide, 50 people were convicted; several politicians were incarcerated including the Majority Leader of the State House. I don't think this is a place we need to go again.


HJR 0130 by *Miller,
Constitutional Amendments - Proposes amendment to Article XI, Section 5 to allow the legislature to authorize casinos and games of chance associated with casinos to be operated in Tennessee.
NOTE:  The only way then Sen. Steve Cohen could pass the Constitutional Amendment to permit a state lottery was to carefully exclude ANY KIND of casino-type of gambling.

ACTION:  All three of these bills are in the Departments & Agencies Subcommittee for 2/27/2019. Please click on the committee link, then the picture and  then the 'Email Legislator' link and URGE the lawmakers to vote NO on all three bills.


Comptroller Pulls Back Curtain Behind UT Knoxville’s Sex Week Programs .

Randy Boyd: UT does not support Sex Week .

Tennessee bill would require school districts to provide free feminine hygiene items .

Lighting strikes Tennessee Tower .

Integrity and Consistency Matter with Sexual Misconduct Allegations, Speaker Glen Casada .


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