Crockett Buzz for 3-5-15
TN Senate Dems Criticize Haslam, Lawmakers for Opposition to FCC Municipal Broadband Ruling
Tennessee's Latest Bill Bans Nonexistent Muslim 'No-Go Zones'
State committee kills veteran hiring preference bill
State senator accused of hitting ex-wife with car
According to the order of protection, Hensley's ex-wife says she is in fear of his anger but had no choice but to call 911 to protect herself and her family.
The order says that on Feb. 18, Hensley's ex-wife, Gina, said she was moving into her new home in Hohenwald following their divorce when Hensley showed up and claimed she had taken items that did not belong to her.
At some point, she said she was standing by the driver's side door of Hensley's car with him behind the wheel.
In the report, Hensley's ex-wife said, "Joey put his vehicle in reverse and hit me with the door, knocking me (sideways). I yelled out, 'Stop Joey, you are going to run over me.'"
She claims Hensley then tried to shut the door, hit her again with the door and "Joey then stated he would be back."
Hensley said it didn't happen that way.
"She was telling me to leave, so I was trying to leave. She was standing in the open door, and she claimed that the door hit her before I could back out," he said.
Hensley claims the door did not hit her.
His ex-wife wrote in the order that she called 911 and got the order of protection after, "I had been in fear of Joey's anger and that his actions would escalate into physical abuse." LINK
Education: Tennessee’s Under-Funded Mandate
The honest to God truth is the past five years in education policy have been predicated on a wish that the wizard turns out to be as wonderful as we thought he might be. But just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, the power to get what you want doesn’t lie in some all powerful external thing…it lies with us. We’ve been sold a bill of goods.
Its not the first bill of goods, and it likely won’t be the last.
But the promise we’ve been promised isn’t happening and won’t happen until we acknowledge that there’s more to education than warehousing kids, or threatening school districts. Unions aren’t the problem…and they may not be the solution either. The problem is simple: We’re not fulfilling the broad range of promises our elected officials have made to the public, and we haven’t been doing that for a very long time. Now we’re seeing the fruits of that inaction. LINK
Tennessee's Latest Bill Bans Nonexistent Muslim 'No-Go Zones'Muslim communities in Tennessee may soon be penalized for allegedly being too unwelcoming of those who don't practice the Islamic faith.
The issue centers around "no-go zones." In January, a pundit on Fox News claimed that there were neighborhoods in France and the United Kingdom that had been taken over by Muslims and were off-limits to others. The claim, however, was false, and the network apologized.
But last month, Tennessee state Rep. Susan Lynn (R) and state Sen. Bill Ketron (R)introduced legislation in the House and Senate aimed at ridding the state of no-go zones, or, as the bills describe them, "contiguous geographical area[s] consisting of public space or privately owned public space where community organizing efforts systematically intimidate or exclude the general public or public workers from entering or being present within the area." LINK
Tennessee lawmakers should not approve school vouchersYet again, Tennessee lawmakers are pushing school vouchers, a failed idea that’s been proven to take money out of already cash-strapped public schools and unproven to boost student achievement.
After several years of infighting within the Republican Party over competing plans, the Senate Education Committee recently voted to approve the most extreme version yet.
Its future remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: a voucher plan such as the one passed could have grave consequences for our students, our schools and our taxpayers.
I am a mother of three Nashville public school students and I serve as president of Tennesseans Reclaiming Educational Excellence (TREE), a grassroots volunteer group of parents and educators who support quality investment and transparency in public education.
We oppose vouchers because they have no track record of improving student achievement. They are also a distraction from the real investments that would bring lasting educational improvements to all public schools.
Milwaukee, Wis., has had a voucher program since 1990. According to a 2012 study by the Public Policy Forum, only 57 percent of voucher school students scored proficient or higher in reading, compared with 60 percent of Milwaukee public school students. In math, only 41 percent of voucher students reached proficiency, compared with 50 percent in public schools.
And vouchers don’t just affect the academic outcomes of the students who accept them. LINK
Tennessee Lawmakers — Led By Republicans — Debate Post-Ferguson ResponseTennessee lawmakers are getting ready to vote on a bill that would require police departments to officially ban racial profiling.
The measure is the first of several filed in response to the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., last summer. Many are backed by Republicans.
The Senate is scheduled to hold a final vote Thursday morning on Senate Bill 6, the Racial Profiling Prevention Act. The measure would mandate that every police department in Tennessee write official policies that ban profiling explicitly.
The proposal has not been controversial. The Tennessee Highway Patrol and most local police departments already have procedures in place to prevent profiling.
But the measure's sponsor, Sen. Brian Kelsey (R-Memphis), says Tennessee, with its troubled history on race, can’t assume all police don’t profile.
“If we are able to convince Tennesseans that, in fact, the police is not the enemy, then going forward their job as police officers will be a lot easier.” LINK
Haslam: Ways to Discuss Race Other Than Facebook
Gov. Bill Haslam says there should be more open conversations about race and that there are means of discussion other than Facebook.
The Republican governor was referencing a Facebook post by Republican Rep. Sheila Butt of Columbia.
Butt’s post called for a “Council on Christian Relations and an NAAWP.” It was a comment on a Jan. 26 open letter from the Council on American-Islamic Relations urging potential Republican presidential candidates to reach out to American Muslim voters.
Critics say “NAAWP” has been used by white supremacist organizations and stands for the “National Association for the Advancement of White People.” LINK
State committee kills veteran hiring preference billA bill that would have allowed employers to give hiring preferences to veterans has failed in the Tennessee Legislature.
The bill, sponsored in the House by Rep. Joe Pitts, D-Clarksville, would have allowed such preferences for honorably discharged vets, their spouses, widows and widowers.
The House version failed Wednesday "on a quick voice vote with no questions or discussions" in the Consumer and Human Resources Subcommittee.
On Feb. 11, the Senate version, sponsored by Sen. Mark Green, R-Clarksville, passed in subcommittee and was referred to the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee.
"Stating we 'support our veterans' is lip service and is not enough," Pitts said.
Pitts said the legislation is dead for the 2015 session, though he remains committed to continuing to push for passage, "if not this year, then in 2016."
"It is always greatly disappointing when we miss an opportunity to help our veterans and their families," Pitts said, "and (Wednesday) it was clear some members of the committee were not in the mood to help."
The bill is not a mandate to give preference to veterans, it merely allows business owners to do so. But business interests fought behind the scenes to block the bill, Pitts said. LINK
TN Senate Dems Criticize Haslam, Lawmakers for Opposition to FCC Municipal Broadband Ruling
Press release from the Tennessee Senate Democratic CaucusNASHVILLE – Tennessee lawmakers should embrace competition when it comes to broadband services, not work to limit consumer choice, Democratic leaders said.
“Anyone who has spent hours on the phone with a service provider to dispute a bill or get proper services knows consumers need more choices when it comes to Internet service,” Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris said. “It is disturbing to see lawmakers act so quickly to limit consumer choice when Tennesseans are demanding more.”
Last week the Federal Communications Commission ruled that Chattanooga’s EPB could provide lightning-speed Internet outside the municipal power distributor’s service area. The move would mean new options for consumers in the Chattanooga area and increased broadband speeds, which are a critical tool for economic development outside of major cities.
However, the governor, the attorney general and other lawmakers have stood in opposition to consumer choice, even considering a lawsuit against the federal government at great cost to the taxpayer.
“Communities like mine in rural West Tennessee don’t care so much about these technicalities,” said House Democratic Leader Craig Fitzhugh. “They care less about service areas and more about having access to fast, reliable Internet. If a provider wants to bring that to my constituents, I don’t think I want the state to get in the way.”
The decision whether to sue the FCC on this issue will be a true test of the attorney general’s independence.
“With the FCC ruling, consumers consider this matter settled,” Sen. Harris said. “No one wants to see our attorney general give in to demands from lawmakers who want to play politics rather than do what’s best for consumers and our economy.”
Crockett Policy Institute