Friday, December 12, 2014

Buzz for 12-12-14

Crucial Deadline Looms For The Uninsured

Ramsey wants to limit new Tenn. abortion laws

Sen. Kelsey, Rep. DeBerry File Bill Aimed at "Racial Profiling"

TN U.S. House delegation splits — 4 yes, 5 no — on $1.1 trillion budget bill

Tennessee’s U.S. House delegation split in voting for the $1.1 trillion budget bill approved by a 219-206 margin Thursday.
Yes votes came from Republican Reps. Diane Black, Stephen Fincher, Chuck Fleischmann and Phil Roe.
No votes were Republican Reps. Marsha Blackburn, Scott DesJarlais and John Duncan along with Democratic Reps. Steve Cohen and Jim Cooper. LINK

Ramsey wants to limit new Tenn. abortion laws

The approval of a constitutional amendment to give the state Legislature more power to regulate abortions in Tennessee may have opened the floodgates to proposals from Republican lawmakers in the upcoming session, but Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey said Thursday that he doesn't expect most of them to be enacted.
The Blountville Republican told a news conference in his legislative office that he expects the Legislature to focus only on restoring laws on mandatory counseling, a waiting period and clinic regulations, all of which were struck down as part of a 2000 state Supreme Court decision that abortion was protected in the Tennessee Constitution as part of a woman's fundamental right to privacy.
Ramsey said he opposes a proposal to require women seeking abortions to undergo an ultrasound between one and three days before the procedure. LINK (Subscription)

Sen. Kelsey, Rep. DeBerry File Bill Aimed at "Racial Profiling"

The information on it is skimpy so far, and the effect of it may ultimately be no more than that of a resolution of good will, but two Memphis legislators filed a bill on Thursday that, ostensibly at least, is aimed at racial profiling by Tennessee law enforcement officials.

The bill, identified in a accompanying press release from the Senate Republican Caucus with its title caption and a Senate bill number, reads as follows, in its entirety:

SB 0006 by *Kelsey. Human Rights - As introduced, enacts the "Racial Profiling Prevention Act"; requires each state and local law enforcement agency to adopt, on or before January 1, 2016, a written policy that prohibits racial profiling. - Amends TCA Title 4; Title 38, Chapter 1 and Section 49-7-118.

State Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) and state Rep. John DeBery (D-Memphis) are the co-sponsors. LINK

America’s working families: Divided we fall

Working people built America. Now look what has become of it. We were born into a land of opportunity and broadly shared prosperity. We will grow old in a very different place.
Beginning in the 1970s, our nation transitioned from an economy driven by production to one based on consumption. Manufacturing declined, while the service and financial sectors rose to prominence. This process has been a disaster for America’s working families. We’ve traded jobs with living wages that facilitated upward mobility for minimum wage positions at Wal-Mart or temp work at Amazon.
Today, we live paycheck to paycheck, often only one unforeseen expense or period of unemployment away from financial ruin.
American workers are stuck on an economic treadmill. We’re better educated, work longer hours, and are by some measures more productive than past generations, but we can never get ahead. Instead, we have to work harder every year just to maintain our standards of living. So we run until we drop, knowing that even if we make it to the end of the race, we won’t enjoy the same retirement security as senior citizens today.
Of course, everyone isn’t a loser in our economy. Those at the very top are doing quite well. Obscene fortunes are being made even as most Americans are struggling. Our so-called recovery illustrates this point — corporate profits have surged, but they haven’t trickled down. Instead, about 85 percent of America’s anemic post-recession income growth has gone to the top 20 percent of wage earners, and the gap between executive and employee compensation has continued to widen.
We’ve become a nation where the rich get richer, the indigent receive a few services, and working people are lashed and ordered to row harder to keep the country going. LINK

Good Start for Lee Harris

 On Tuesday, as Presdent Obama was on his way to Nashville for a speech on the immigration issue, Harris issued a statement of greeting: "As people of a state known for its Southern hospitality, we could not be more proud to welcome those immigrants who choose to make Tennessee their home, and to welcome President Obama here today. We thank those immigrants for their many contributions to our state, just as we thank the president for sharing his views and addressing this very important issue."
Harris' statement of welcome was well-considered, generous, and — most importantly — forthright on a sensitive issue regarding which too few public officials, either Democratic or Republican, had much useful to say during the recent election season.
As anyone who has observed City Council proceedings over the past four years knows, Harris is seldom at a loss for words. He is even prone — to tell it like it is — to jump the gun on an issue once in a while. In this case, and, we trust, in many more to come, these tendencies (which, like all other human attributes, have both a high side and a low side) will serve Harris and his constituents well, for political rhetoric in Tennessee, once a haven for redoubtable orators, has taken a distinct turn for the worse — toward the mealy-mouthed or the spiteful, depending on which side of an issue was being taken.
Witness: U.S. Representative Diane Black (R-6th) accused the president of having "chosen Nashville as a destination to publicly thumb his nose at the American electorate that just rebuked him in the last election" and said, further,"The Obama presidency has been a disaster and can't end soon enough." State Represntative Andy Holt (R-Dresden) said: "Enjoy your stay, and we soon hope to see you in court soon." By comparison, the often vitriolic U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-7th) was almost courtly: "I share in the frustration Americans have with this president and will continue to do everything in my power to stop his executive amnesty. Enough is enough."
All this as a response to a presidential executive order that cracks down on the hiring of undocumented workers and strengthens border security, while it provides a path to "earned citizenship" with numerous legal hoops for serious and productive immigrants to jump through. LINK

Crucial Deadline Looms For The Uninsured

Time is running out to get healthcare coverage by the beginning of the year under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Nashville city leaders are making a big push to encourage people to sign up.
Katelyn Carrack has health insurance again after going without it for three years.
“I work for Family and Children Service,” she explained. “I'm a crisis intervention specialist and I'm a social work student.”
As a part time employee, she doesn't get coverage. Commuting nearly an hour to see a doctor at school is inconvenient. Instead she's re-enrolling for the ACA, that many refer to as Obamacare.
“I paid $19 a month for healthcare and it's great,” Carrack said.
Volunteers at the Financial Empowerment Center are helping people sign up. If you enroll by Monday, December 15 health coverage will begin on January 1, 2015. LINK

Crockett Policy Institute

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