Action Item: Movement on 4 Important Bills

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The Tennessee General Assembly will be taking action on four important bills this week.  These bills cover a wide range of issues, including health care, greenhouse gas regulation, Real ID, and firearms.  It is critical to contact state legislators as soon as possible to express support for these bills.

SB3177/HB2417 – Health Care Choice Act

The Health Care Choice Act would allow Tennesseans to purchase health insurance across state lines and would expand the number of health care plans available for purchase from 127 in Tennessee to potentially more than 5,000 plans nationwide.  See the article Senator Kelsey Files Health Care Choice Act for more details on this bill.

The bill will go before the Senate Commerce, Labor & Agriculture Committee on Tuesday, March 16 and the House Government Operations Committee on Wednesday, March 17.  Contact the members of these committees listed below and encourage them to support the bills.

Senate Commerce, Labor & Agriculture Committee
Sen. Jack Johnson, Chair:  (615) 741-2495,
Sen. Dewayne Bunch, Vice –Chair: (615) 741-3730,
Sen. Charlotte Burks, Secretary: (615) 741-3978,
Sen. Mae Beavers: (615) 741-2421,
Sen. Tim Burchett: (615) 741-1766,
Sen. Bill Ketron: (615) 741-6853,
Sen. Steve Southerland: (615) 741-3851,
Sen. Eric Stewart: (615) 741-6694,
Sen. Reginald Tate: (615) 741-2509,

House Government Operations Committee
Rep. Susan Lynn, Chair: (615) 741-7462,
Rep. Mike Kernell, Vice-Chair: (615) 741-3726,
Rep. Jim Cobb, Secretary: (615) 741-1450,
Rep. Mike Bell, (615) 741-1946,
Rep. Glen Casada: (615) 741-4389,
Rep. Karen Camper: (615) 741-1898,
Rep. Stacey Campfield: (615) 741-2287,
Rep. Barbara Cooper: (615) 741-4295,
Rep. Lois DeBerry: (615) 741-3830,
Rep. G. A. Hardaway: (615) 741-5625,
Rep. Jason Mumpower: (615) 741-2050,
Rep. Gary Odom: (615) 741-4410,
Rep. Mike Turner: (615) 741-3229,

HB3287/SB3159 – Regulatory Programs for Greenhouse Gas and Motor Vehicle Fuel Economy

This bill, sponsored by Rep. Susan Lynn in the House and Sen. Jack Johnson in the Senate, requires approval of the state legislature before any regulatory programs regarding greenhouse gas or motor vehicle fuel economy can be implemented in Tennessee.  This would effectively provide a check against the Cap and Trade system that the federal government seeks to implement.

HB3287 will be heard before the House Conservation and Environment Committee’s Environment Subcommittee on Tuesday, March 16.  The Senate bill, SB3159, has been referred to the Senate Environment, Conservation & Tourism Committee but has not yet been calendared for review.  Contact the committee and subcommittee members listed below and express your support.

Environment Subcommittee of House Conservation and Environment Committee
Rep. John Tidwell, Chair: (615) 741-7098,
Rep. Mike Bell: (615) 741-1946,
Rep. Willie Butch Borchert: (615) 741-6804,
Rep. George Fraley: (615) 741-8695,
Rep. Brenda Gilmore: (615) 741-1997,
Rep. David Hawk: (615) 741-7482,
Rep. Ron Lollar: (615) 741-7084,
Rep. Joe McCord: (615) 741-5481,
Rep. Michael Ray McDonald: (615) 741-1980,
Rep. Frank Niceley: (615) 741-4419,

Senate Environment, Conservation & Tourism Committee
Sen. Steve Southerland, Chair: (615) 741-3851,
Sen. Ken Yager, Vice-Chair: (615) 741-1449,
Sen. Eric Stewart, Secretary: (615) 741-6694,
Sen. Tim Barnes: (615) 741-2374,
Sen. Charlotte Burks: (615) 741-3978,
Sen. Mike Faulk: (615) 741-2061,
Sen. Doug Jackson: (615) 741-4499,
Sen. Jack Johnson: (615) 741-2495,
Sen. Jamie Woodson: (615) 741-1648,

HB1426/SB1934 – Real ID Nullification

HB1426 would prohibit the state of Tennessee from implementing the Real ID Act of 2005 passed by the U.S. Congress.  The Real ID Act requires states to comply with a nationalized standard for ID cards such as drivers licenses.  There are concerns that these standards could compromise privacy, in addition to the expense imposed upon the states to implement the program.

The Senate companion, SB1934 was passed by the state Senate during the 2009 session.  The bill, sponsored by Rep. Frank Niceley, will be reviewed by the House Transportation Committee’s Public Safety Subcommittee on Tuesday, March 16.  Contact the members of the subcommittee listed below and encourage them to support the bill.

Public Safety Subcommittee of House Transportation Committee
Rep. Vince Dean, Chair: (615) 741-1934,
Rep. Tony Shipley, Vice-Chair: (615) 741-2886,
Rep. Ty Cobb: (615) 741-3005,
Rep. Chad Faulkner: (615) 741-3335,
Rep. Pat Marsh: (615) 741-6824,
Rep. Ben West: (615) 741-6959,

SB2391/HB3240 – Authority of Governor to Commandeer Firearms During a State of Emergency

Passage of SB2391 and its companion bill HB3240 would remove the authority of the governor to commandeer firearms and related items during a state of emergency, similar to what happened during the state of emergency caused by Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana.  While this is not a Tenth Amendment issue, it is a vital issue for freedom loving Tennesseans.

The bill will go before the full Senate for a vote on Monday, March 15 and before the Criminal Practice and Procedure Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, March 17.  Please contact your state senator as well as the members of the subcommittee listed below to express your support. [Update: The full Senate vote on this bill was reset on the calendar to April 5, 2010]

Criminal Practice and Procedure Subcommittee of House Judiciary Committee
Rep. Eric Watson, Chair: (615) 741-7799,
Rep. Janis Baird Sontany, Vice-Chair: (615) 741-6861,
Rep. Eddie Bass: (615) 741-1864 ,
Rep. Karen Camper: (615) 741-1898,
Rep. Judd Matheny: (615) 741-7448,
Rep. Barrett Rich: (615) 741-6890,

Lesley Swann is a Co-Host for Tenther Radio and the state chapter coordinator for the Tennessee Tenth Amendment Center. She is a native of Anderson County, Tennessee.

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