Tag Archives: withdraw

Haslam Draws Line in Voucher Bill Sands

Gov. Bill Haslam is prepared to withdraw his limited school voucher proposal from the Legislature if Senate Republicans carry out current plans to expand it, its sponsor says.
From Andy Sher’s report:
“It won’t be expanded, because I’ll withdraw it,” said Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville.
Norris said this isn’t a case of brinkmanship on Haslam’s part. He said he has sponsored “hundreds of bills” for the governor “and he always works with the General Assembly.”
But Norris said that Haslam “filed exactly what he thought was appropriate” in light of “all the other education reforms” he has implemented since taking office in 2011.
Last week, Haslam reminded reporters his plan came out of a yearlong task force headed by his education commissioner, Kevin Huffman.
“It’s not like we’re people who say it’s just our way or the highway, the Legislature shouldn’t have input,” Haslam said. He noted he has agreed to lawmakers’ proposed changes in areas such as limiting lawsuit damage awards.
“On this issue we really have worked hard to say this is where we really think the right place is,” Haslam said. “We think if somebody thinks something different, they should run their own bill.”
…Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey of Blountville, favors a broader bill.
But noting Haslam’s concerns, he told reporters last week, “I’m letting the committee system play out on that. Whatever happens, happens.”
He said Haslam’s bill is included in the proposed budget.
“So if you’re going to put an amendment on, it probably needs to be on the governor’s bill,” he said.
He acknowledged the possibility that Haslam could yank his bill.
“I could vote for either bill when it comes to the floor,” Ramsey said. “Obviously my preference is a more expansive one. But it doesn’t matter to me one way or the other. I’d like to pass something.”

Sponsor Drops Push to Strip Vanderbilt of Police Powers

A bill that would strip Vanderbilt University of its police powers is being dropped by its sponsor after an opinion from the Tennessee attorney general that it violates the U.S. constitution, according to Chas Sisk.
State Rep. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon, announced Monday that he will withdraw House Bill 1150. The measure would have taken away the Vanderbilt University Police Department’s ability to make arrests and enforce criminal laws unless the school abandons its “all-comers” nondiscrimination policy.
“I want to be sure to stand up for our students’ religious rights without overstepping our state authority,” Pody said in a prepared statement announcing he would not pursue the bill. “At this point, I am still not satisfied with the ‘all-comers policy’ at some private institutions. However, it needs to be addressed in a different way.”
Vanderbilt has battled with several student groups over a requirement that all organizations it recognizes abide by the university’s nondiscrimination policy. Religious groups say the policy tramples on their freedom of worship.

Norris Withdraws Memphis Annexation Bills

State Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris said Thursday that he will withdraw two controversial annexation bills after the state attorney general opined that both are likely unconstitutional because they would apply only in Shelby County, reports the Commercial Appeal.
“As anticipated, the attorney general has confirmed these bills are constitutionally suspect. They will be withdrawn during next Monday’s meeting of the state Senate,” Norris said.
Norris, R-Collierville, last week pulled the bills from their second of three required readings while he awaited an advisory opinion by Tennessee Atty. Gen. Robert Cooper.
One bill would remove a large swath of East Shelby County from Memphis’ annexation reserve area; the other would require annexations initiated by any municipality in Shelby County to win approval, in referendums, of a majority of people being annexed and voting in the referendum.
The bills have prompted the Memphis City Council to initiate annexation proceedings toward the Fisherville area containing more than 17,000 people east of Cordova to the Fayette County line. That move is likely to be halted if Norris withdraws the bills.
The attorney general’s opinion says both bills are “constitutionally suspect” because they attempt to alter the statewide law that governs municipal annexation but only in one county, Shelby.

‘Netflix Bill’ to Stand As Is

The revision planned for last year’s controversial “Netflix bill” has been deemed unnecessary by the legislation’s sponsor, according to TNReport.
House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, who withdrew the rewrite bill from consideration Wednesday, said prosecuting lawful account sharing was not the intent of the bill.
“For you to be breaking the law it required criminal intent — and…sharing inside the family under the terms of the subscription agreement certainly cannot, and does not, meet that test,” said the Chattanooga Republican.
Netflix, and other subscription services, have user agreements that allow sharing and for account sharing to be considered criminal intent, the individual in question would have to be making money from the act. The original bill was carried by McCormick with, he said, the intention of protecting intellectual property rights of musicians by limiting the sharing of passwords for subscription-based services like Rhapsody.
…The bill was perceived by some to potentially make it illegal for family members and close friends to share their passwords for subscription video services like Netflix…After reviewing the subscription agreements and the language of the bill, McCormick said that a revision isn’t needed.