Some Opinons on Recent TN Legislating

The Unelected Deciding Legislation?
Excerpt from a Tennessean editorial: Yes, we registered voters elected these senators and representatives. But we did not elect the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the National Chamber of Commerce, the National Rifle Association and the Eagle Forum. But they wrote many of these bills. These groups and their operatives are not from Tennessee, and frankly, they do not care about Tennessee except in how our acceptance of these bad bills serves their agendas.
If you’re looking for an actual vast conspiracy, this is pretty close.
Such “model” legislation, as it is known, is cooked up by these organizations to bring their extreme goals to fruition on a national scale. They only need to entice key legislators, usually with campaign contributions, to carry their bills for them as if they were their own — as if they were intended for the good of the people of Tennessee. They seldom are.
Through their bills, they are able to get laws passed that the majority of the people of this state would never approve of. So far, Tennesseans have let this happen, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Rep. Mike Turner, D-Nashville, knows that. Last year, he introduced legislation to require that bills connected to such out-of-state organizations publicly identify as such. The bill was quickly quashed. But the more residents of this state who know of this sleazy practice, the more likely it will end, through the ballot box or through a call for accountability like Rep. Turner’s.

Holding Hands = ‘Gateway Sexual Activity’
Excerpt from a Wendi Thomas column: House Bill 3621 and its companion Senate Bill 3310 would keep teachers or groups from promoting “gateway sexual activity,” defined as “sexual contact encouraging an individual to engage in a non-abstinent behavior” as if teenagers ever needed a nudge to get their freak on.
The fuzziness of the language has earned the bill, which has passed in the Senate but not the House, the moniker “No Holding Hands” bill.

Open Government: Step Forward, Step Back
From a News Sentinel editorial: The cause of open government met with mixed success last week in the Tennessee Legislature.
The effort by the Haslam administration to close public access to information about companies receiving state grants apparently has been derailed, but a measure that would keep secret applicants for top university and college positions is all but assured of passage.
On No-Sign Bill
Pat Nolan commentary on Gov. Bill Haslam’s reasons for not signing the evolution bill: Those statements are certainly good reasons not to sign the bill, but aren’t they also good reasons not to allow the bill to go into law at all? It would appear the only justification offered for why this ought to go into our legal canons is that it was approved with “bipartisan support, passing the House and Senate by three-to-one majorities.”
That seems more a political reason to allow the bill to go into effect rather than a good public policy rationale.

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