News release from state Department of Agriculture:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Department of Agriculture today announced a revised Order by the State Veterinarian specifying conditions under which wild-appearing hogs are to be transported in the state.
The revised order, which went into effect June 10, is in support of legislation passed last year by the Tennessee General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Bill Haslam making it illegal to transport and release wild-appearing hogs without documentation from the department.
“Wild hogs have the propensity to reproduce in great numbers, carry diseases, destroy crops and cause serious ecological damage,” state veterinarian Charles Hatcher, DVM, said. “The new order strengthens efforts to prevent the illegal transportation and releasing of wild hogs by requiring individual animal identification and documentation for all wild-appearing hogs being moved.”
Wild hogs are typically two to three feet tall and up to five feet long with larger heads and heavier shoulders compared to domesticated breeds. Wild hogs also have smaller, pointed and heavily furred ears, longer snouts, tusks and straight tails.
The previous order exempted individual animal identification in specific cases. The revised order requires all wild-appearing swine being moved within Tennessee to have state or federally approved individual animal identification and:
Reversing a previous vote, the state Senate decided Thursday that college student identification cards will remain invalid for voting in Tennessee.
The House and Senate had adopted conflicting positions on the issue posed as part of SB125. The Senate last month voted to authorize college student ID for voting, but the House then voted to strip that provision out of the bill.
The bill returned to the Senate Thursday and Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro, sponsor of the bill, made the motion to go along with the House version that rejects student ID for voting.
The vote to adopt the House bill was 23-7. That sends the bill to Gov. Bill Haslam’s desk for his signature.
When the bill was originally before the Senate, Ketron supported the idea of making college ID valid. He said the Tennessee law requiring photo ID for voting is patterned after Indiana’s law, which has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Indiana law permits college student ID, Ketron said at the time, and to assure Tennessee’s law can withstand any court challenges, it should do the same.
The House and Senate are now officially at loggerheads over whether college student identification cards should be valid for voting.
The Senate earlier voted to change current law and make the student ID issued by public colleges and universities valid. But the House stripped that provision out of SB125 before approving the measure Monday night on a 69-24 vote.
What remains are provisions declaring that library cards bearing a photograph and issued by the City of Memphis are invalid for voting – though the state Court of Appeals ruled they could be used – and new ban on using photo ID issued by another state for voting. Current law allows out-of-state ID cards, even if they have expired.
The measure inspired somewhat heated debate. Rep. Antonio Parkinson, D-Memphis, said he felt “hoodwinked and bamboozled” by the transformation of the bill and Rep. Johnnie Turner, D-Memphis, said it was “another form of voter suppression.”
“This talk about voting suppression is just not true! I’m tired of hearing about it,” responded House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, contending the legislation is designed to stop voter fraud.
McCormick said “a state Senate election was stolen in the City of Memphis just a few years ago” and a Memphis NAACP official had talked on TV about people voting in multiple places in the past.
Reps. Joe Armstrong, D-Knoxville, and Vince Dean, R-East Ridge, questioned the provision ending out-of-state ID as valid for voting having an impact on “property rights voters.” Many cities allow non-residents who own property within the jurisdiction to vote and Dean noted some of these may be from outside the state – particularly in the Chattanooga area with the Georgia border nearby.
Armstrong said that Bill Haslam, now governor, won his first election as mayor of Knoxville by about
The House and Senate may be on a collision course over whether college student identification cards should be used in voting.
The Senate approved a bill last week to authorize the use of student ID cards issued by state colleges and universities. But the House Local Government committee rejected the provision Tuesday by adopting an amendment deleting it from HB229, companion bill to the Senate-passed measure.
In the House version, that leaves only provisions – also in the Senate bill – that prohibit the use for voting purposes of Memphis library cards and out-of-state photo identification.
The House committee deleted the college ID provision at the urging of Rep. Jeremy Durham, R-Franklin, on a straight party-line voice vote. All Democrats on the panel had themselves recorded as voting no, leaving all Republicans voting yes. The bill itself was then approved on the same basis.
Discussion in the committee followed the same lines as earlier in the Senate, where an attempt by Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, to delete the college student ID section was defeated. Durham said the college student ID can be “made up” and would put as risk the integrity of the voting system.
Rep. Mike Stewart, D-Nashville, challenged Durham to provide a single case of a college student ID being used to cast a vote improperly during “the 100-plus years” that college ID was valid for voting prior to enactment of the current law in 2001. Durham did not do so.
The Wednesday vote could put the bill on the House floor by next week. The House and Senate must agree on all details of a bill before it can achieve final passage. If the two chambers differ, a conference committee can be appointed to try and reach an agreement.
Rep. Susan Lynn, R-Mount Juliet, sponsor of the bill in the House, said she told the Senate sponsor, Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro, that House GOP colleagues did not like the college ID provision. She said he was “OK” with amending out the provision for now in the House.
A Senate vote on legislation that makes college student identification cards valid for voting was halted Thursday after Sen. Stacey Campfield raised objections, saying the cards can be easily faked and are issued to people who are not citizens of the United States.
“They’re easy to forge,” said Campfield in Senate floor debate. “Possibly, in my younger days I might have known a person or two myself who had a falsified college ID.”
Even a valid college ID, Campfield said, opens a door for fraudulent voting since foreign students can get them.
“You don’t even have to be a resident of this country to be get a college ID,” said Campfield, a Knoxville Republican whose district includes part of the University of Tennessee campus.
A vote on the bill (SB125) was postponed until next Thursday by the sponsor, Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro, after Campfield’s critical questioning of the measure, which makes several revisions to the state’s law requiring a photo ID issued by the state or federal government for voting.
Beginning this spring, Tennesseans who apply for or renew driver’s licenses also are going to have their identities checked, reports the Chattanooga TFP. Customers at driver service centers or county clerks’ offices will leave with paper “interim” licenses. Meanwhile, the state will take a week to run their pictures through photo-recognition technology and compare them against 12 million images in a database.
“It is compared to many other faces to make sure you are who you say you are,” said Lori Bullard, assistant commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. “It has a measure of security.”
Bullard said the new process and extra security checks are meant to clamp down on fraud and identity theft. As another layer of security, drivers will receive their laminated plastic permanent driver’s licenses by mail instead of at the counter of a driver service center. That helps verify where the applicant lives, Bullard explained.
The new process, called “central issuance,” is being piloted at the Hamilton County Clerk’s Office, which has been authorized to replace and renew driver’s licenses since 2004. Equipment for the process was installed Thursday.
….The change is part of a five-year effort to restructure the license application process since Congress passed the Real ID Act — a 2005 law requiring stricter, uniform requirements for issuing driver’s licenses across the nation.
All states were required to be compliance with the law by Jan. 15. Tennessee had already bought equipment to implement Real ID and had begun conducting background checks for all clerks involved in issuing licenses.
But in December, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security once again extended the deadline — though it has not released a new schedule. Only 13 states, including Tennessee and Georgia, have met the standards of the law, according to The Associated Press, while others have balked at the costs to come into compliance.
Gov. Bill Haslam has replied to a publicized letter from Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin that asked for assurances that Tennessee is taking steps to assure that voters are not denied ballot access because of a new law requiring a photo ID for voting.
Basically, it says: Yes, senator, we are taking steps. It outlines some of the law’s provisions and says voter education efforts are getting underway.
“The Department of Safety and Homeland Security is placing citizens who need photo identification for voting purposes in an ‘express service’ category. While there will still be some wait time at some centers, this should speed up the process for citizens needing photo IDS.
“The Department of Safety and Homeland Security is also working with numerous county clerks’ offices, including some in counties where no driver service centers are located, to issue photo identification cards to registered voters who need them at no charge. This should increase significantly the number of locations where voters can go to obtain photo identification.”
For full pdf text of the letter, click on this link: 091511_Sen._Durbin_Letter.pdf
WSMV-TV has reported comments from Gov. Bill Haslam on two bills that have reached his desk after adjournment of the 2011 legislative session. Anti-Terrorism
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.