Nashville, TN – Several bills sponsored by Tennessee State Representative Joe Pitts (D-Clarksville) moved along in committees last week. This is a general update on the bills and events on the Hill from last week.
House Bill 1514/Senate Bill 1730 (Sen. Kerry Roberts (R-Springfield) the bill that will create the memorial sign program in honor and memory of innocent victims killed by drunk and/or impaired drivers, known as the Tyler Head Bill, passed the Transportation Full Committee and is headed to the Finance, Ways and Means Sub Committee.
House Bill 1513/Senate Bill 1658
(Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) is a proposal from the Tennessee Sheriff’s Association to allow county governments to give to retiring full time deputies their service weapon (pistol) that was carried in the line of duty. Montgomery County Sheriff John Fuson, an active member of the Tennessee Sheriff’s Association, requested we sponsor this legislation on behalf of his retiring deputies. This legislation cleared the Finance, Ways and Means Sub Committee on Wednesday and will be heard in Finance, Ways and Means Full Committee on March 1st.
House Bill 1512/Senate Bill 1485
(Rep. Joe Pitts (D-Clarksville) changes the “missing citizen alert program” to the “Care Alert Program” by expanding the definition of individuals that constitute a “missing person” for purposes of the Care Alert Program. Under the proposal, a disabled person, would qualify to be included in the Care Alert. This legislation was the idea of Margaret Davis, a constituent, and mother of an autistic adult son, JT. She was concerned the “missing citizens alert program” known as the Silver Alert, left out citizens 18 years of age or older who have an intellectual, developmental, or physical disability.
Over the summer of 2015, we met with Tennessee Department of Safety, Tennessee Department of Transportation, TBI, and Chiefs of Police to develop this legislation. The legislation cleared the House Health Sub-committee this week and will be heard in House Health Full Committee on March 2nd.
Ms. Davis was also instrumental in the “Emergency Contact” information being available for all Tennesseans with Driver’s Licenses or I.D. Cards. To access this program, simply go to http://tn.gov/safety/, click on “Online Driver Services”, log in and go to “Add an Emergency Contact”.
“I encourage all citizens with a family member who has an intellectual disability or is elderly to utilize this very important feature,” said Rep. Pitts (D-Clarksville). “If your love one is involved in an accident or for any reason law enforcement is called, law enforcement now will have the access to call the “Emergency Contact” to inform them what has happened to their love one.”
House Bill 1433/Senate Bill 1452
(Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) was scheduled to be heard on the House Floor today. This legislation would require, beginning with disclosure statements filed for the 2016 calendar year and calendar years thereafter, the current credit score range of candidates for and appointees to the offices described below:
Each member of the general assembly;
Each delegate to a constitutional convention called to consider a new constitution or amendments to the Constitution of Tennessee;
The district attorneys general and the public defenders for each judicial district;
Each candidate or appointee to a local public office as defined in 2-10-102;
Credit score range shall be disclosed by selecting one (1) of the following ranges:
- 700 and above
- 699 to 650
- 649 to 550 or
- 549 to 1
When Representative Sexton was recognize for his bill, without explanation, he rolled the bill for 4 weeks.
Austin Peay State University participated in the Posters-at-the-Capitol Day on the Hill this week. The goals of Posters-at-the-Capitol is two-fold – to expose legislators to undergraduate researchers and to expose undergraduates to their legislators. APSU’s students were led by Dr. Linda Barnes, Director of the Honors Program, Dr. Alicia White, President of APSU and Provost Rex Gandy.
“I would also like to inform you that if you should a family member suffering with Alzheimer or dementia, there are groups available to help you help your family member,” Pitts said.
The Alzheimer Association is an excellent resource for assistance. Simply click the link for a list of services that are provided: www.alz.org/altn/in_my_community_support.asp