Legislation signed into law by Gov. Bill Haslam on 4/24/12, as listed by his communications office staff:
Senate Bill No. 673 (Tracey, Ford, Henry, Herron, Kyle, Marrero)
This bill authorizes the issuance of the new Music City Alumni Chapter of Western Kentucky University specialty earmarked license plate.
(Passed Senate as Amended 28-0; Passed House as Amended 96-0; Senate Concurred in House Amendment 29-0)
Senate Bill No. 1447 (Tracy)
This bill specifies that all records containing the results of individual teacher evaluations administered pursuant to the policies, guidelines, and criteria adopted by the state board of education would be treated as confidential and would not be open to the public.
(Passed Senate as Amended 28-0; Amended Bill Passed House 93-0, present not voting-1)
Here’s the latest batch of bills signed by Gov. Bill Haslam, dated 4/23/2012 and released by his office today:
House Bill No. 2237 (Sargent)
This Bill extends the causes for which a teacher may be dismissed to suspensions.
(Passed House 96-0; Passed Senate 31-0)
House Bill No. 2281 (Dunn)
This Bill adds an element to the offense of theft of a home improvement services provider.
(Passed House 97-0; Amended Bill Passed Senate 32-0; House concurred in Senate amendment 92-0)
Here’s a list of bills signed by Gov. Bill Haslam, as released on 4/17/12:
House Bill No. 3856 (Butt)
This Bill authorizes the remainder of proceeds from the Maury county wheel tax after all indebtedness for road paving projects has been paid, to be paid into the highway capital projects fund for highway and bridge capital projects.
Passed House 93-0; Passed Senate 30-0
House Bill No. 3833 (Butt)
This Bill provides that the Maury County Board of Education will have 11 members rather than 10 members. The members will be elected from school districts coextensive with the county commission districts. The terms will be four years.
Passed House 97-0; Passed Senate 30-0
Here is the latest bacth of bills signed into law by Gov. Bill Haslam, as provided by the governors office on March 30:
House Bill No. 2830 (Ryan Williams)
This bill permits private probation providers who meet certain qualifications to contract with the department of correction to supervise Class E felony offenders who are granted probation.
(Passed House 78-13; Passed Senate 27-3)
House Bill No. 3053 (McDaniel)
This bill designates as confidential and not subject to open records laws any records obtained by or disclosed to a municipality or county by a cable or video service provider for the purpose of an audit or review.
(Passed House 93-0; Passed Senate 33-0)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A proposal to repeal Tennessee’s new voter ID law was killed by a Senate panel on Tuesday.
Members of the Senate State and Local Government Committee voted 3-6 against the measure (SB2139) sponsored by Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Lowe Finney of Jackson. The companion bill was to be heard in a similar committee later in the House.
The law requires a photo ID in order to vote. Supporters say it’s needed to protect the ballot box from fraudulent voting.
“Our world has changed … since 9/11”, said Republican Sen. Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro, a member of the committee and sponsor of the new law. “To board a plane you have a photo ID, to pick up your child at school you have to have a photo ID. This is a tool to help.”
State Elections Coordinator Mark Goins said he favors the new law because it does provide a tool that wasn’t there before to more thoroughly identify the person seeking to vote.
“It’s kind of like when you’re speeding, you need a radar gun to prove that someone’s speeding,” he said. “This is basically a radar gun if someone comes in now we’ve got their photo to compare.”
However, critics contend the requirements to comply with the law are excessive and confusing, and could actually deter people from voting.
Finney said he’s in favor of keeping the ballot box pure, but he believes the requirement places a burden on thousands of Tennesseans who don’t have a photo ID. For instance, he said some counties don’t have places to get the specific ID, meaning an individual may have to go miles out of their way to try to get one.
“We should be about helping people vote and not putting up more bearers or hurdles,” Finney said.
Mary Mancini, executive director of Tennessee Citizen Action, said she was pleased to see the number of people who came out Tuesday to support the bill, and her organization will continue to encourage them to vote despite the bill’s failure.
“The most important thing to tell people is to never let anybody at a poll tell you that you can’t vote,” she said. “And that’s our number one message right now to get out there. There’s always a way for you to vote.”
Most forms of state or federally issued identification are acceptable at the polls. About 20,000 people have received government IDs for voting since the law was approved last year, according to state election officials. Note: Senate Democratic Caucus news release below.
The surge in social conservative legislation dealing with sex, religion and guns, reports Chas Sisk, gives Republican lawmakers a chance to show where they stand and could help them head off the biggest challenge they face to re-election this year — a primary opponent who accuses them of having done too little to advance conservative causes. The pace of socially conservative bills has accelerated, as a deadline approaches for candidates to declare their candidacy this fall. Democrats are using the attention paid to those issues as a chance to attack Republicans as being more concerned with policing morality than managing the state’s economy.
“They’re preoccupied with sex up here,” Nashville Rep. Mike Turner, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said last week. “We’re about ready to put the turbans on and put the women in burkas, if we keep going at this rate.”
But Republicans are more likely to face a political reward than pay a price for their stances. Newly redrawn district maps mean most of them are safe from Democratic challengers, and they probably will be able to ride the coattails of U.S. Sen. Bob Corker and the Republican presidential nominee at the top of the November ticket.
…For many Republicans, the biggest threat they face is the emergence of a primary opponent who attacks them for not being conservative enough. Republican lawmakers who can cinch the nomination in August face few obstacles to another term in November.
The deadline to enter the primary is April 5, and it may be no accident that legislators have turned to social issues at the same time they — and their potential opponents — are gathering signatures to appear on the ballot in the fall.
…Democrats have tried to capitalize on social issues by portraying themselves as the party of moderation.
“We’re making national news on all these crazy things. It’s just not good for the state of Tennessee,” said Turner, the Democratic Caucus chairman. “The social conservatives have control of the Republican Party. The conservative party used to be the party of the establishment. They’ve now become the anti-establishment party.
“It seems like they’re against everything, but when you win elections you have to stop playing politics. … They’re not governing.”
Republicans bristle at such comments. In the same week lawmakers debated abortion, evolution and sex education, they noted that they also worked out a plan to abolish the state’s estate tax by 2016, which they say will create jobs by encouraging wealthy retirees to remain in the state.
The House also advanced a Haslam administration bill to expand the state’s incentives for job creation, and they proceeded with legislation sought by business that calls for random audits of unemployment claims to make sure people are still looking for work. That bill also would bar inmates and people who fail a workplace drug test from receiving unemployment benefits.
“They’re not a distraction to me,” Harwell said of social issue legislation.
Here is a list of bills recently signed by Gov. Bill Haslam, released late Friday by the governor’s office:
Senate Bill No. 2175 (Johnson)
This is the Comptroller’s TIF bill, which is referred to as the “Uniformity in Tax Increment Financing Act of 2012.”
(Amended Bill Passed Senate 31-0; House Passed Amended Bill 95-0; Senate concurred in House Amendment 31-0)
Senate Bill No. 2192 (Southerland)
This bill makes the appropriate changes to the code to reflect the renaming of the Senate Environment, Conservation and Tourism committee as the “Senate Energy and Environment committee.”
(Passed Senate 22-9, present not voting-2; House Concurred in Senate Bill 92-0, present not voting-2)
Senate Bill No. 2205 (Norris, Yager, Faulk)
This is an administration bill. It grants certain employees of the Department of Corrections law enforcement authority, including the authority to carry firearms, where previous law did not.
(Passed Senate as Amended 31-0; Passed House as Amended 95-0; Senate concurred in House Amendment 32-0)
Senate Bill No. 2242 (Norris, Bell)
This is an administration bill. If revises current code regarding highway- utility relocation plans, which under current law required that when the department of transportation is informed of an existing utility facility, the department had to provide the owner of the facility with at least two (2) sets of complete project plans by certified mail or hand delivery.
(Passed House 91-0; Passed Senate 33-0)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Two key pieces of legislation in Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s anti-crime package have passed the Senate.
A proposal that would increase penalties for violent crimes committed by groups of three or more people was unanimously approved 30-0 on Monday evening. A measure that would enhance penalties for gun possession by people with previous felony convictions was also unanimously approved 29-0.
The companion to both proposals is waiting to be scheduled for a vote on the House floor.
A proposal that would require mandatory jail time for people with repeat domestic violence convictions has stalled in the finance committees of both chambers because of cost concerns to local governments
By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A House panel on Wednesday advanced one Democratic proposal to change Tennessee’s new voter ID law, but rejected a second bill and delayed a third.
The House State and Local Government Subcommittee voted 4-3 in favor of a measure that would allow people without government-issued identification to vote after being photographed at the polling place.
House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley, said the bill would eliminate the need for voters who don’t have the proper ID to cast provisional ballots.
The favorable vote appeared to surprise Republican leaders on the panel. Absent members and Republican Speaker Beth Harwell were quickly summoned to stop additional measures from advancing.
Harwell, who can vote in any House committee, told The Associated Press afterward that she wanted to ensure the Republican majority was able to defend the law passed last year.
Here’s a list of bills, provided by the governor’s office, that were signed into law by Gov. Bill Haslam Tuesday and Wednesday.
Senate Bill No. 1680
This bill is the Carmen Burnette Act of 2012. The intent of the bill is to clarify an existing provision of the code regarding the teaching of CPR in lifetime wellness class in Tennessee junior and high schools. This bill does not require that students become certified in CPR, but it states that they should simply become familiar with the techniques of CPR.
(Passed Senate 31-0; Passed House as amended; Senate concurred in House amendment 30-0)