Tag Archives: require

Franklin County Jumps Ahead of Legislature in Regulating Meth-Linked Drugs

Franklin County has moved ahead of the Legislature by adoption of local ordinances to require a prescription for cold medications containing pseudoephedrine, reports the Chattanooga TFP. The General Assembly has debated the idea, but has not enacted it (though Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey recently said he expects a “huge push” in next year’s session, HERE)
Cowan, Decherd and Estill Springs are the remaining municipalities in the county set to pass new rules on pseudoephedrine-based cold medicines as law enforcement takes a new step in the battle against methamphetamine.
Pseudoephedrine is the primary ingredient in meth production.
“The only way it’s going to be successful is if the entire region does this,” Winchester police Chief Dennis Young said. The new, countywide rules will be a first among Tennessee counties.
Young said officials from Franklin County are meeting with neighboring counties, Grundy County being the next stop over the next few days.
…”Tennessee this year is reclaiming No. 1 in the nation in the production of meth,” Young said. Missouri was the top-ranking state, but more than 70 cities in Southern Missouri implemented regulations similar to those being pursued in Franklin County.
“This dramatically reduced their meth labs,” Franklin County Sheriff Tim Fuller said.
“Our Legislature is having a problem getting a law passed, so we’re taking baby steps to do what we need to do here.”
Current Tennessee law restricts the sale of pseudoephedrine-based cold medicines by placing them behind the counter. Buyers must present a valid ID and sign a log for products containing the precursor.
“We’re not making it a controlled substance,” Fuller said. “The state of Tennessee has already said that it can be sold with a prescription, and, if you sell it without a prescription, the statutes say that there are guidelines on how it can be sold.”
Local rules fit those guidelines, he said.

House Gives Final OK for Home Schoolers in Public School Athletics

The House gave final approval Monday night to legislation that will require all public schools to allow home school students to participate in their athletic events.
The House approved the measure 69-24 under sponsorship of Rep. Roger Kane, R-Knoxville. It earlier had passed the Senate unanimously with Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, as sponsor and now goes to the governor for his expected signature.
Under current law, the Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association has developed a policy for home-schooled children trying out for public school teams, but it is left for each school system to decide whether the allow them to participate. Campfield says that roughly half do so. The bill (SB240) requires all systems to open their athletic doors to home-schooled children.
The TSSAA, which is the governing body for school athletics, has opposed the bill. Home-school organizations have pushed the idea for several years.
“This is just making it an even playing ground for everyone who is involved in sports,” said Kane.
In debate, House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh said he was concerned with setting a precedent of giving “the benefits of public schools” to those who are not enrolled in those schools. He questioned whether virtual school students would be next and, if the Legislature enacts a voucher system, whether students with a state voucher attending a private school will be going to public schools for athletics.
Rep. Joe Towns, D-Memphis, said the bill will erode local school board authority in favor of rules developed by TSSAA as body that “nobody elected.”
Kane said the parents of a home-school student “do pay taxes to the state and they do take a burden off the local school system” by not enrolling in it.
Rep. Bill Dunn, R-Knoxville, argued in support of the measure. He said that youngsters from all sorts of backgrounds typically play together at younger ages on nonschool teams, “then suddenly when we get into high school we start segregating them” and “excluding children” because they are home-schooled.
“I think we’re here (as legislators) to help kids get benefits,” Dunn said. “If they can benefit, why would we deny them.”

Bill Requires More Proof of Job Search to Get Unemployment Benefits

Governor Bill Haslam is backing a proposal to make people getting unemployment benefits prove they’re looking for a job, reports WPLN.
The measure would require those getting unemployment to list where they’re looking for work. The state would conduct random audits to make sure they try in several places each week. The bill would also cut people off unemployment rolls if they botch a job offer by failing a drug test, or refusing to take one.
The proposal enjoys support from Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey, and Governor Haslam says he’s on board as well.
“I think the direction Lieutenant Governor Ramsey is going is 100 percent right.”
Haslam says he and Ramsey briefly discussed the measure this week.
“I told him I’d do our homework with our department to try to understand cost to state government, impact, and then be back to weigh in on that probably next week.”
A legislative estimate says overhauling the state’s system to track and audit people getting unemployment will take more than a $100 thousand.