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Legislative Bills of Interest in the 2010 Session

I have been researching some bills that have been proposed in the current legislative session. Being a tight budget year, most of the bills have no fiscal note. Please let your elected officials know your opinions on each of these  bills.

I have included links to each of the proposed bills, and provided a list of legislators to allow you to further research the issues.

Campaign Finance

Federal Election CommissionFollowing the lead of the supreme court’s recent ruling, House bill 2537 was introduced by Rep. Casada (R.)  The bill eliminates current restrictions that prohibit corporations from making political contributions. In an apparent effort to address the potential risk that foreign corporations could influence elections in the state with campaign contributions, Democrat Mike Turner has introduced HB 3182, which prohibits foreign corporations from using funds to aid either in the election or defeat of any candidate for office.

“Sin” Related

HB 2444 is the much talked about “wine in grocery store bill.”  Rep. David Shepard (D) is promoting convenience and free market competition, but the liquor store lobby has deep pockets.  It has failed before, but with no fiscal note attached, could this be the year for passage?

Rep. Curry Todd (R) not only doesn’t like the changes in the city of Clarksville’s charter, he also doesn’t like alcohol being bought after midnight.  His bill, HB 3637, prohibits the sale, distribution, or consumption of alcoholic beverages, wine, or beer between the hours of midnight and 8:00 a.m. at any establishment or facility receiving a license or permit to operate by the state, county, or municipality.

Sen. Doug Jackson (D) thinks maybe the third year is the charm to pass his bill that has become affectionately known as the “Girls Gone Wild” bill, SB 0257.   It prohibits cable television or satellite television company from advertising or promoting material that it knows to be obscene or harmful to minors.  The bill made it out of committee, but how will it be enforced?

Senator Beverly Marrero (D) has proposed two bills regarding marijuana.  The main bill, SB 0209, enacts the “Medical Marijuana Act of 2010,” which has been touted as the most restrictive medical marijuana use legislation in the nation.  On a Nashville based political TV show, radio talk show host Steve Gill commented Tennesseans can’t buy wine in a grocery store, so getting marijuana at a Walgreens seems highly unlikely.

Other Areas of Interest

(Bangor Daily News/John Clarke Russ)
(Bangor Daily News/John Clarke Russ)

In an effort to save money in a tight budget year, Sen. Doug Jackson (D) has found an interesting way to fund education – by cutting meals for prisoners.  SB 2756 states “..that inmates are entitled to two meals per day unless a physician determines that more than two meals are medically necessary for the inmate’s health; provides that any savings to the department from implementation of this act is to be appropriated by the general assembly for educational purposes.”   Can anyone see a future court case here?

HB 2059 bans computer chips being installed in humans, without proper authorization.  Rep. Susan Lynn (R) might be stoking the fires of conspiracy theorists, but I would like to know more about the bill.  For example, for an elderly Alzheimer patients an implanted chip could save lives….but who is allowed to do the authorizing.

Senator Delores Griffin (R) has proposed SB 2890.  This bill ” allows a full-time POST-certified law enforcement officer to carry issued but blank subpoenas during course of official duties; permits the officer to complete and serve the subpoena at the scene of a crime or during the course of an investigation.”  Blank subpoenas?  Another bill that if passed will end up in court.

How to contact your legislators

Find your Senator at http://www.capitol.tn.gov/legislators/

Blayne Clements
Blayne Clements
I am a 30 something graduate from Austin Peay State University, where I graduated in 1997 with two majors (Accounting and Finance). I am a very happily married man, with one beautiful daughter. I enjoy a professional life of public service and a personal life of travel, reading, music, and always trying to learn from others.
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