Governor Speaks on Anti-Terrorism, Voting Bills

WSMV-TV has reported comments from Gov. Bill Haslam on two bills that have reached his desk after adjournment of the 2011 legislative session.
First, Haslam declares himself “much more comfortable” with a bill promoted as opposing terrorism since it was amended substantially from earlier versions.
“I like where the bill ended, quite frankly. And I wasn’t quite sure why the governor and the attorney general had those roles and whether that was appropriate, so I thought where the bill ended up will be helpful,” Haslam said.
The original bill (HB1353) included language that allowed the governor to designate terrorist organizations and also included provisions about Sharia law, the code of conduct or religious law of Islam.
But lawmakers changed the language after many groups expressed outrage, saying the bill made it illegal to be a Muslim. The plan now simply increases penalties if groups provide support to terrorist organizations.

Photo ID & Early Voting
Haslam said he backs a bill requiring that voters show a photo ID, but has misgivings about another bill that cuts two days off the early voting period next year.
While the governor supports the photo ID concept, he has concerns about lowering the number of early voting days. He knows it’s a cost to counties, but it’s usually a benefit to voters.
“My personal feeling is that a little longer early voting periods are good because it does give citizens that flexibility,” said Gov. Bill Haslam.
The state will have to pay for photo IDs if people can’t afford them or else the plan could be declared unconstitutional
Note: The main photo voter bill is SB16. The bill mandating free state-issued ID cards for voting is SB1666.

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