The “Addison Sharp Prescription Regulatory Act of 2013,” named after a Knoxville Catholic High School graduate who died of a prescription drug overdose, won final approval in the House and Senate in the windup of the legislative session.
Theh bill (SB676) makes multiple changes to state laws dealing with prescription drugs, including a mandate that no more than a 30-day supply of some frequently-abused drugs can be issued by a pharmacist at one time. It also requires the state health commissioner to develop a “standard of care” for dealing with commonly abused medications and requires all medical professions to have two hours of training every two ears on tho standards, once issued.
Jessica Akhrass, Addison Sharp’s sister, and Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch were among those actively pushing for passage at the Legislature. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Bill Dunn, R-Knoxville, and Sen. Ken Yager, R-Harriman, who described it as a good step forward toward curbing the growing abuse of prescription drugs.
A federal court judge Wednesday denied the City of Memphis’ request for an immediate order to force Shelby County election officials to accept the new public library photo identification cards for voting purposes.
Further from Richard Locker: However, U.S. Dist. Judge Kevin H. Sharp did schedule a full hearing on the issue for Aug. 2 and also encouraged state officials to notify election officials that they should not discourage people with the new library photo cards from casting provisional ballots in the Aug. 2 elections and its early voting period, which ends Saturday.
Lawyers for the city told the judge that they took two people with the library cards to vote at three different early voting precincts and they were discouraged from casting provisional ballots at all three but were finally allowed to vote after about 20 minutes of discussion at each location.
Deputy state Atty. Gen. Steve Hart acknowledged that out of 35,963 early votes cast in Shelby County, only two have been by provisional ballot.
But people who cast provisional ballots must go to the election commission within two business days after the election — in this case, by Aug. 6 — to present valid photo IDs as required by state law this year for the first time, or else the votes will not be counted.
The City of Memphis and a Memphis resident, Daphne Turner-Golden, filed a lawsuit in federal court here Tuesday arguing that the new Memphis-Shelby County Public library photo ID cards should be valid for voting purposes because they are issued by a “state entity,” as required in Tennessee’s new voter photo ID law, which went into effect this year.
“The library is a state entity. The municipality is a state entity,” Deputy City Atty. Regina Morrison Newman told reporters after the 50-minute hearing. The plaintiffs asked for a temporary restraining order to force the election commission to accept the library cards as a valid photo ID for voting purposes.
Judge Sharp denied that request, saying the plaintiffs did not prove there would be immediate and irreparable harm if the order was not issued. He said that as long as people are allowed to cast provisional ballots until a full hearing can be held Aug. 2 — election day — whatever harm there is won’t be irreparable.
But the judge also added that he is “concerned” that the Tennessee legislature “decided to fix a problem that doesn’t appear to exist and made it more difficult for people to vote.”
— Note: A statement from Secretary of State Tre Hargett is below.
Now, I’m not saying that she’s founded in fact (see THIS, for example) but Trace Sharp has made an art form of sorts in satirizing the famous “Gateway Sexual Activity” bill. Recommended look-see, HERE and HERE.
Nashville lawyer Kevin Sharp was confirmed on Monday as a federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, reports The Tennessean. The vote was 89-0 with 11 members not voting. Sharp was nominated by President Barack Obama in November. His nomination was controversial among some Tennessee Democrats, who preferred Nashville lawyer Kathryn Barnett.
But Sharp breezed through his nomination hearing in early March before the Senate Judiciary Committee. In late March, the committee unanimously recommended his nomination to the full Senate.
Sharp, 48, served in the Navy for almost four years and earned his law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1993. Since 2003 he has been a partner at Drescher & Sharp. His practice has focused largely on employment law.