Tag Archives: sanderson

House Kills Judicial Redistricting Bill

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A proposal to redraw Tennessee’s judicial districts for the first time since 1984 was killed on Friday when House members voted against it.
The lower chamber voted 66-28 to defeat the measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Jon Lundberg of Bristol. The companion bill was approved 27-4 earlier this month.
The plan from Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey of Blountville would affect 22 counties in eight districts. The number of judicial districts has been reduced from 31 to 29.
Most of the House members against the measure said they felt if they were being dictated to by the Senate, particularly Ramsey.
“This bill came from the Senate, plain and simple,” said Rep. Bill Sanderson, R-Kenton. “They have been dictating from the get go how this session should run. Let’s draw a line in the sand. Vote no on the bill, because it’s not our bill.”
The proposal included input from the public and stakeholder groups and would have created separate judicial districts for Rutherford and Williamson counties because of population growth in the Nashville suburbs over the last three decades.
Two judicial districts in northeastern Tennessee made up of Lake, Dyer, Obion and Weakley county would be merged into a single district. Meanwhile, Coffee County would cease to have its own district and instead be folded into one with Cannon, Warren and Van Buren counties.
Ramsey has said the changes were not expected to affect the positions of existing judges, but that the elimination of two judicial districts will reduce the positions of two prosecutors and public defenders.
He estimated the cost savings of eliminating those four positions would be more than $600,000.
Rep. Tim Wirgau said before Friday’s vote that he’d like to see the measure held off for at least a year and lawmakers consider a plan where redistricting is done every two years or longer.
“Let’s put something in place so there’s a standard,” said the Buchanan Republican

Lawmaker Protests ‘Numerous Cases’ of Denying Unemployment Benefits

Back during the legislative session, there was a push to put new restrictions in place on people drawing unemployment benefits. (See prior post HERE, for example.) Now, with reelection campaigns underway, the Dyersburg State Gazette says at least one lawmaker is concerned about the handling of benefits – or lack thereof – for workers who deserve them.
Earlier this week state Rep. Bill Sanderson sent a letter to Gov. Bill Haslam about the challenges residents in his district are facing in trying to communicate with Labor and Workforce Development.
…”I have heard of numerous cases where proud members of this community who have lost their jobs due to no fault of their own have requested relief from the State only to be denied after an exhaustive 10-14 week review process,” said Sanderson in his letter dated Oct. 19. “This process should take less time. This is extremely frustrating and only complicates matters for all parties involved.”
Sanderson goes on to state that he believes northwest Tennessee’s best days are ahead of it. A thought that may be supported by the latest unemployment figures and the completion of the Port of Cates Landing, which is bringing with it a renewed hope that the economy in the area will be jump-started.
In terms of unemployment numbers, 11.3 percent of residents in Dyer County reported in September that they are currently unemployed. As critics have pointed out, this does not include the number of individuals that have stopped looking for work or whose benefits have lapsed as is the case for World Color employees. However, the Labor Department’s unemployment figures and job creation data is currently the only method of determining unemployment rates in a particular area.

Some Republicans Surprised to Get Democratic Opponents?

Three school teachers have qualified as Democratic candidates against incumbent Knox County Republican state legislators in a deadline day move that surprised some GOP leaders, reports Georgiana Vines.
They are Anthony Hancock, a former University of Tennessee football player who filed in the seat now held by Republican Rep. Steve Hall; Jerome Miller, who will be running against state Rep. Ryan Haynes; and Evelyn Gill, a special-education teacher who will be opposing state Sen. Becky Duncan Massey,
Gloria Johnson, Knox County Democratic Party chairwoman and herself a legislative candidate to succeed retiring state Rep. Harry Tindell, said the party recruited “folks that we thought would be good.” Two Republicans are seeking Tindell’s 13th District seat — Vanderbilt Brabson and Gary Loe. Nick H. Cazana is running as an Independent.
Johnson, Hancock and Gill are all teachers in the Knox County school system.
Hancock said Saturday that he had been active in the Tennessee Education Association as a special-education teacher at Bearden Middle School for nine years, but running for the Legislature will be the first time to be active for the general public, he said.
Hancock said he had been encouraged by the activity of the “Wisconsin 14” — 14 state senators who spent three weeks in Illinois last year protesting Gov. Scott Walker’s budget package, which included eliminating most collective bargaining rights for public employees. The governor faces a recall election in June.
Gill said she, too, will be running on an education platform. Miller could not be reached for comment about his campaign.

Also, this excerpt from a roundup story on local elections in the Dyersburg State Gazette:
One interesting race that locals are commenting on is for the House District 77 seat that is held by Rep. Bill Sanderson (R). Local businessman, Mark Oakes, has thrown his hat in the ring and will face Sanderson as a Democrat. Thoughts were Sanderson, whose district now encompasses all of Dyer County, would run unopposed. Sanderson, an Obion County native, beat Democrat Judy Barker in the 2010 election.

Beer Self-Checkout Ban Checks Out of Subcommittee

A bill to prohibit sale of beer through self-checkout lines at supermarkets was approved by a subcommittee Wednesday over the objections from store lobbyists who said it is unnecessary.
The sponsor of HB3568, Republican Rep. Bill Sanderson of Kenton, said teenagers were using a tactic called “swipe and swap” to buy beer through self-checkouts and, as pointed out by his 15-year-old son, this has been publicized on television shows. Basically, the youngster brings a six-pack of soft drinks and a six-pack of beer to the checkout, swipes the soft drinks, then bags the beer and leaves.
Dan Haskell, lobbyist for the Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association, and Jarron Springer, both said there is no indication of such practices afoot in Tennessee and all checkouts are monitored by employees. The identification of anyone with beer is routinely checked, they said.
Rep. Ryan Haynes, R-Knoxville, asked the two sides to “sit down together and try to work this out” with a compromise before the bill comes up in the full State and Local Government Committee.