Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Crockett Buzz 3-4-15

What did the governor say today on guns, race, vouchers, etc? Well, not much, but….

3500 Tennesseans receive incorrect photo ID due to printing error

Huge Stakes As Supreme Court Takes Third Crack At Obamacare

Obama promises veto of Alexander-sponsored bill to reverse NLRB rule

Republicans controlling the Senate moved Tuesday to try to reverse a new National Labor Relations Board rule that would shorten the time between a union’s request for representation and the vote on whether to certify a union.
But the White House promised to veto the measure just before the Senate’s 53-45 party-line vote.
Senate Republicans are employing a little-used process that allows Congress to pass a bill to try to reverse agency regulations without the threat of a Democratic filibuster. A final vote is likely on Wednesday.
But the promised veto by President Barack Obama would kill the effort since it takes a two-thirds vote by both the House and Senate to override him.
The White House statement said the NLRB’s “modest reforms will help simplify and streamline private sector union elections, thereby reducing delays before workers can have a free and fair vote on whether or not to form or join a union.”
Republicans countered that the new policy would allow unions to force “ambush elections” that limit the ability of employers to make the case against a union. Bill sponsor Lamar Alexander said the rule would shorten the time between a union petition and a representation election from the current median of 38 days to as few as 11 days.
The new rule would also give unions the email addresses and telephone numbers of workers to more easily communicate with them in advance of a vote. LINK

Lawmakers learn more about 'Right to Try' legislation

Terminally ill patients could have the option of trying experimental medicines to prolong their lives. The Right to Try Act could speed up the process for such patients to get the medicine they need. Tues. 3-3-2015 WBIR
Tennessee lawmakers are considering a bill that would give terminally ill patients access to medicines that are not yet federally approved.
Right to Try laws are already in place in Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, and Missouri.
Tennessee is now one of 27 states that are considering the law this year. A public hearing was held in Nashville on Tuesday afternoon.
Medical professionals say the proposed "Right to Try" bill could be a game-changer when it comes to patient rights.
"It would give patients who are already terminally ill one last hope for recovery and maybe some additional time with their families and their loved ones," said Annette Mendola of the University of Tennessee Medical Center.
Under current guidelines, obtaining access to investigational medications is a long and time-consuming process. LINK

Are Tennessee Students Over-Tested? Task Force Named To Find Out

The amount of testing in Tennessee’s public schools is under scrutiny, with the state’s new education commissioner naming a task force Monday to complete a review by this summer. Parents frequently tell commission Candice McQueen that there is “too much testing,” according to an education department press release. “In places that I’ve been across the state, I’m hearing that we have a lot of assessment, we have lots of data, but I’m not sure we’re using it for the purpose it’s potentially intended, or we don’t know what it’s being used for,” McQueen tells WPLN during a tour of Stewarts Creek High in Smyrna. LINK

3500 Tennesseans receive incorrect photo ID due to printing error

Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security today announced that it had re-issued new permanent driver licenses or photo ID cards to citizens who recently received a card with incorrect content due to a printing error.
The driver licenses or ID cards were incorrectly issued with the phrase “Not for Federal Identification” to 3,500 Tennesseans. The cards were issued to citizens who applied or renewed their driver license or ID card at state driver services centers on February 17 through February 19.
The department is in the process of sending a new permanent card, without the misprint, to those affected.
Citizens who received the misprinted card will soon receive a letter that explains the misprint and requests the incorrect card to be returned to the department. A self-addressed and stamped envelope will be included with the letter. LINK

What did the governor say today on guns, race, vouchers, etc? Well, not much, but….

Gov. Bill Haslam had a media availability Tuesday wherein he fielded questions on multiple topics, though saying nothing really novel about anything. Richard Locker sorta rounded up the gubernatorial commentary HERE in notable fashion and the following includes excerpts from his story and a a sample of other media reporting on what the governor said today.

Not sure yet about gun bills, via Andrea Zelinski:
Gov. Bill Haslam says he hasn’t decided what position he will take on bills rehashing unresolved terms of the past gun legislation.

Lawmakers have filed bills that would resurrect from recent years both the so-called “guns in parks” and “guns in trunks” debates that have pinned legislators between gun rights advocates and either businesses or municipalities.

“We’re having some discussions now. We have not come down with a final decision on what we’re going to do,” Haslam told reporters after a speaking engagement at Lipscomb University Tuesday, adding he’ll have a position on at least some of the legislation this week.

The governor said he met Monday with mayors from the state’s four largest cities about some of the legislation and said the focus is on “who owns the property and who gets to make that” decision about whether guns are allowed in parks or parking lots. There is more from Tom Humphrey but there are subscriptions.

The end of Tennessee Temple in Chattanooga

Tennessee Temple University is moving -- not across town to Woodland Park Baptist Church, as planned a year ago, but 300 miles away, to merge with Piedmont International University, a private Christian college in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Temple's 15-member board of trustees is expected to approve a vote on the issue today. Trustees at Piedmont unanimously approved the merger Monday.
Students have the option to move to Piedmont with assured admittance and continue their education at a discounted price, but the merger effectively means that come May 1, Tennessee Temple University will no longer exist.
Students talked Monday about how they would cope with the change, whether it's transferring to another local college or going to North Carolina. Athletes today make up a little more than half of Temple's enrollment, and most students come from Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia.
"I invested two years and have to go somewhere else," said sophomore Kristin Pankey. "My credits may not transfer -- that's what a lot of people are worried about."
But after months of worries and rumors, third-year student Corey Lester said he's just happy to finally know the school's fate. LINK

Education: Tennessee’s Under-Funded Mandate

Back in the dark days of 2013, I wrote a series of posts (123) that delved into the issue of education funding.
The posts were written in a time where the County Commission was trying to beat down the new Unified School Board, to keep their budget tight so the County wouldn’t have to raise taxes to fund their part of education.
The debate featured a lot of red herrings, trojan horses, and outright lies…most foisted upon the School Board by folks who aren’t there anymore, but who, ironically, are or were involved in trying to build up a municipal school district now…through tax increases (Yes, I’m talking about you Mayor Bunker and your former City Manager Chris Thomas).
Through those posts, I sought to show regular folks just how the money comes in, what the money goes for, and that much of the debate about the money was just plain out of line.
Now there’s a new debate about funding brewing, in school board meetings across the state. This time, the State of Tennessee itself is in the crosshairs, and it couldn’t come at a better time. LINK

Huge Stakes As Supreme Court Takes Third Crack At Obamacare

 Obamacare faces its strangest challenge yet when the Supreme Court takes up the law for the third time Wednesday, but the oddity of the lawsuit shouldn’t obscure the cataclysm that a loss for President Barack Obama would provoke.
The Supreme Court case is the latest legal effort by political opponents of the Affordable Care Act to ruin Obama’s signature domestic achievement. If successful, the suit would tarnish Obama’s legacy, foment infighting among Republicans, aggravate bitter partisanship between the GOP Congress and the White House, and threaten chaos in the health insurance market. But the worst consequences would fall on the estimated 9.6 million people who would lose their health insurance.
The lawsuit, King v. Burwell, isn’t like the previous two Obamacare cases that came before the Supreme Court. Three years ago, in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s four liberals inupholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate that most Americans obtain health insurance. The Supreme Court last year weakened Obamacare’s birth-control coverage rule in Hobby Lobby v. Burwell, a case with religious-freedom implications. LINK

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