Tag Archives: july

‘Guns in parking lots’ and bunch of other legislation took effect today as new laws

By Lucas Johnson, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A measure that allows people with handgun carry permits to store firearms in their vehicles no matter where they are parked is among a number of new state laws that take effect Monday.
The gun law will go into effect despite questions about what it means for employment law in Tennessee — the measure allows workers to store guns in cars while parked in their employers’ parking lots.
The state attorney general said in a legal opinion released in May that under the law, employers would still be allowed to fire workers who violate gun bans.
Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey disagreed with the opinion, saying in a statement that the “General Assembly created a clear statutory right allowing permit holders to lawfully keep a firearm stored in their car while at work.”
“Any employer explicitly terminating a permit holder for keeping a gun locked in his car would violate the state’s clear public policy, opening himself or herself up to legal action,” the Blountville Republican said.
Other measures taking effect include a law that allows school districts to let people with police training be armed in schools, and one that would require incoming students at public higher education institutions to show proof they’ve had meningitis shots.
(Note: Full list of laws taking effect today is HERE.)

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If you’re into reading up on new Tennesee laws…

A bunch of new laws enacted by the General Assembly take effect on July 1. The full list, with the official “caption” description of each, is posted on the legislative website HERE.
A list compiled by Darlene Schlicher of the Senate Republican Caucus – not all-inclusive but pretty close – has more detailed descriptions in many cases. It is HERE.

TN Unemployment Rate 8.4% in July, Just Above National Rate

News release from Department of Labor and Workforce Development:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Commissioner of Labor & Workforce Development Karla Davis announced today Tennessee’s unemployment rate for July increased to 8.4 percent, up from the June revised rate of 8.1 percent. The national unemployment rate for July 2012 was 8.3 percent, 0.1 percentage point higher than the June rate.
Economic Summary:
Tennessee’s July unemployment rate is the highest since December 2011, but is still 1.0 percentage point below one year ago.
Total nonfarm employment increased 6,400 jobs from June to July. There were increases in local government, education/health services, and durable goods manufacturing.
There were small declines this month in administrative/support/waste services.
Over the year, nonfarm employment increased 32,900 jobs, with increases in durable goods manufacturing, government, and health care/social assistance.

State Ends Fiscal Year With $563 Million Revenue Surplus

News release from Department of Finance and Administration:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee revenue collections continued their upward trend in July, but at a much slower pace compared to recent months. Finance and Administration Commissioner Mark Emkes today announced a net positive growth of 4.46% over July collections of one year ago. Overall July revenues were $880.9 million, which is $9.9 million more than the state budgeted.
July marks the 12th consecutive month this year in which total collections have exceeded the budgeted estimates. July sales tax collections represent consumer spending that took place in the month of June.
“We continue to believe the growth in sales and corporate tax collections indicates a very slow economic recovery in Tennessee, but we also continue to see mixed results at the national level,” Emkes said. “The latest published leading economic indicators show that the U.S. economy decelerated in the second quarter, which causes concern at the state level.
“We’ll close fiscal year 2012, which ended June 30, with a revenue surplus which will help maintain a balanced budget in fiscal 2012-2013.”

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TN Unemployment 9.8 Percent in July

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee’s July unemployment rate of 9.8 percent remained unchanged from the previous month.
State Labor Commissioner Karla Davis says “statistics behind the unchanged unemployment rate show a slight drop in employment numbers along with an overall decline in the labor force.”
The national unemployment rate for July was 9.1 percent, down from 9.2 percent the month before.
According to a survey of businesses, monthly employment increases came in mining, logging and construction, up 1,900 jobs; local government educational services, up 1,400; hospitals, up 900 jobs; and durable goods manufacturing, up 900.
Food services and drinking places decreased by 1,600 jobs, and state government also declined by 1,600.

State’s Tax Collections Up a Bit Again in July

News release from Department of Finance and Administration:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee revenue collections continued a very modest growth trend in July. Finance and Administration Commissioner Mark Emkes today announced a net positive growth of 1.17% over July collections of one year ago. Overall July revenues were $843.3 million or $19.9 million more than the state budgeted.
July marks the 12th consecutive month this year in which total collections have exceeded the budgeted estimates. July sales tax collections represent consumer spending that took place in the month of June.
“The year-to-date growth in both sales and corporate tax collections indicates a very slow economic recovery in Tennessee, and it means we must continue to cautiously move forward in managing the state’s budget,” Emkes said. “Additional concern for us at the state level is that economic indicators are showing a very slow national recovery.”
On an accrual basis, July is the twelfth month in the 2010-2011 fiscal year.
The general fund was over collected by $2.3 million, and the four other funds were over collected by $17.6 million.

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Troopers Saturate Highways as Tennesseans Travel This Weekend

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Susan Bosserman of Harrisonburg, Va., is getting ready to throw two suitcases and a packed cooler into her 2006 silver Honda Accord for a July 4 weekend trip to East Tennessee.
She and husband Fred will be driving six hours to Crossville for a family reunion, and then on to Pigeon Forge in the Smoky Mountains. On the agenda: Hiking, fishing, canoeing “and a lot of food cleanup.”
The two will join an estimated 619,500 Tennesseans who’ll be on the road over the long holiday weekend.
“We’ll be aware of the state troopers,” she said. “And we hope others are too.”
The troopers, in fact, will be out in force. A statement from the Tennessee Highway Patrol said there will be “saturation patrols as well as sobriety and driver license checkpoints across the state.”
Three hundred and seventeen troopers will be working Friday, 270 on Saturday, 266 on Sunday and 283 on Monday.

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TN Has 508 New Laws Taking Effect Friday, July 1 (with link to the list)

According to a list prepared by legislative staff, there are 508 new state laws that take effect on Friday, July 1. (Link to the list is available at the bottom of this post.) Today there are several media reports on this, focusing on one topic or the other.
A sampler:
From the Commercial Appeal: On Friday in Tennessee: The old “Move Over” law for motorists is expanded and a new “Move On When Ready” law for students goes into effect. Laws against cyberbullying are enhanced. And motorists must be more careful around bicyclists and pedestrians.
People who get entertainment-subscription services fraudulently can be charged with theft, so don’t share the passwords to your streaming-video movie subscriptions. “Sky lantern” fireworks are outlawed. And it will be legal for mothers to breastfeed their children over 12 months old in public places. (They’ve had that right since 2006 for babies under a year old.)
Scores of new state laws go into effect on July 1, Tennessee’s traditional date for most of its new laws. Some new laws take effect on other dates, however, such as the sweeping changes in the state’s liability laws, which go into effect Oct. 1. And a new law requiring photo IDs to vote is effective Jan. 1.

From the Memphis Business Journal: A key business lobby win in the state legislature will take effect Friday, shifting workers’ compensation requirements in favor of employers. Before the close of its legislative session in May, the Republican-controlled Tennessee General Assembly passed Senate Bill 1785/House Bill 2047.
Under the legislation, employees who are injured and failed or refused to take a drug test must meet a higher burden of proof in filing for workers’ compensation. Proponents of the legislation, which included business leaders and Republicans, have long argued that the shift is needed to ensure claims for workers compensation are founded and not the fault of employees who are on drugs.
While the legislation garnered weak opposition, some workers’ advocates said it shifted too much power toward employers in situations where drugs may have had nothing to do with an injury.

From the Associated Press: Laws that create tougher tenure requirements for teachers and crack down on terrorism are among a number of new measures that take effect in Tennessee on Friday.
The tenure law and anti-terrorist legislation are probably the most contentious of the bunch. Both drew protesters to the Capitol throughout their legislative process. The tenure law requires a teacher to be on the job five years instead of three to get tenure and creates a way for job security to be revoked for poor teaching performance.
Critics of the law say the evaluation system to be used is suspect and that it hasn’t been determined how best to rate educators whose subjects aren’t covered by the state’s value-added test scoring program.

The full list of 508 new laws (or public chapters as they are known until incorporated into the Tennessee Code book) is available by clicking this link: effective_07_01_11[1].rtf

Roundup of Anti-Crime Bills Taking Effect July 1

From Darlene Schlicher of the Senate Republican Caucus staff:
Numerous anti-crime bills are among a host of new laws scheduled to take effect on July 1. The General Assembly passed several bills cracking down on illegal drugs, sex offenders, gang violence, terrorism, and domestic violence before adjourning the 2011 legislative session that will take effect as the new month begins, as well as two key bills dealing with the court process.
“We made significant progress in attacking crime this year,” said Senate Judiciary Chairman Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet), whose Committee hears legislation dealing with crime, corrections and the court process. “We passed several major public safety initiatives that will take effect in July, including legislation to fight meth use in our state and new laws to tip the scales towards the side of justice for victims of crime.”

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