Lifetime Handgun-Carry Permits to Become Available in TN
Lamar Bends Over For Ceiling Fan Lobby
Black leads bid to block ban on reproductive discrimination in D.C.
Haslam tired of hearing ‘inside-the-Capitol type stuff’ on inept dealings with LegislatureTennessee Gov. Bill Haslam was riding high. He swept all 95 counties in his re-election bid, then his peers picked him to be chairman of the Republican Governors Association.
But that momentum came to a crashing halt just days into a special legislative session he called in February, when lawmakers unceremoniously rejected Haslam’s signature proposal to extend health coverage to 280,000 low-income Tennesseans.
And Haslam bookended a tumultuous legislative session by reversing his previous opposition to a bill allowing handgun carry permit holders to be armed in all local parks, playgrounds and ball fields. Haslam in his earlier role as Knoxville mayor had supported a ban on guns in city parks.
To House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, the governor’s failure to veto the guns bill was an “an absolute failure of leadership.” And the Ripley Democrat has urged Haslam to call repeated special sessions to force lawmakers to reconsider the Insure Tennessee proposal.
Meanwhile, Republican leaders saw little reason to fear retribution for working against the administration on the Medicaid expansion and gun measures, given Haslam’s non-confrontational approach to governing. That has raised questions in the halls of the Legislative Plaza whether Haslam’s is just too nice to exert his will with lawmakers. That’s a charge that the governor is tired of hearing. LINK
Black leads bid to block ban on reproductive discrimination in D.C.A Tennessee lawmaker is leading an effort by conservatives in Congress to block a new District of Columbia law that bans discrimination based on reproductive choice.
Rep. Diane Black, R-Gallatin, says the law, which takes effect on Saturday unless Congress disapproves, is an affront to religious freedom. She has introduced legislation to reverse it.
The House passed Black's bill late Thursday night, 228-192.
Her involvement has drawn criticism from a member of the Tennessee delegation who supports the law. Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Nashville, said Black's bill to reverse the D.C. law "treats women like second-class citizens."
The Reproductive Health Nondiscrimination Act passed the D.C. City Council unanimously and was signed by the mayor in January. It would bar employers from acting against workers based on their use — or a family member's use — of any drug, device or medical service related to reproductive decisions, such as fertility treatments, contraception or abortion.
Congress has the power to reverse D.C. laws but hasn't done so in more than 20 years. LINK
Pat Nolan: Capitol View CommentaryThe Governor has dismissed the plea (TENNESSEAN, April 30) saying: “We could keep calling special session after special session…But I think the only impact would be frayed nerves and hot tempers (as lawmakers reject the plan).
I suspect the Governor is correct. I also hope he follows through on something else he was quoted as saying: “I think we're going to do a better job of educating people over the summer and then try to find a different path.”
But I am not sure all the education needed is for the public alone. Increasingly I have people coming up to me expressing bewilderment for why lawmakers won't approve INSURE TENNESSEE especially with the federal government providing almost all the funding the next few years.
Telling them they don't like Obamacare does not satisfy for those asking. “Do they think those receiving care aren't their constituents?” I am not sure about that. But it seems pretty clear lawmakers think they are hearing more from opponents of the plan and not those supporting.
That is feeding a fear among legislators (particularly Republicans) that if they don't vote against INSURE TENNESSEE (i.e. Obamacare) they will get a strong challenge in their primary re-election. Now, let's be clear. That doesn't mean they fear losing their seat to a Democrat. It means they fear they will lose to another Republican.
Unless that fear can be addressed it may not matter how much public education is done, unless Republican voters can be convinced INSURE TENNESSEE is a good program and they are convinced to call and tell their lawmakers they are Republican voters and they want INSURE TENNESSEE passed. LINK
Morning EnergyI can’t pass this up: Tennessee must have quite the ceiling fan lobby. As we mentioned earlier this week, Rep. Marsha Blackburn has introduced measures to defund DOE’s work to improve the efficiency of ceiling fans in recent years. So, it stood out to ME that one of the bills on the ENR agenda today is one from Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander to “remove the authority of the Secretary of Energy to amend or issue new energy efficiency standards for ceiling fans.” LINK
Despite vow, new GOP leader may delay leaving statehouseThe newly elected head of the Tennessee Republican Party is considering keeping his seat in the state legislature until November, despite a promise to resign if elected party chairman.
But by potentially delaying his resignation, Rep. Ryan Haynes expects to save as much as $200,000 that would be needed for a special election.
"Politically, all of us want to make sure that seat remains in GOP control. But philosophically, I think all of us are interested in minimizing the cost of that transition to taxpayers," Haynes, R-Knoxville, told members of the Republican State Executive Committee in an email this week.
Haynes was elected chairman of the party April 11 after former Chairman Chris Devaney resigned. Haynes narrowly defeated fellow Rep. Mary Littleton, R-Dickson, in the race. Vanderbilt University professor Carol Swain, who wrote a controversial opinion piece in The Tennessean, also ran, receiving three votes of the 63 votes cast.
During his campaign Haynes pledged to resign from his seat at the statehouse if he won. Williamson County SEC member Becky Burke also campaigned for the post, but pulled out of the race and endorsed Littleton on the day of the election.
In a statement Thursday she said she supports Haynes but expects him to resign "immediately." LINK
Lifetime Handgun-Carry Permits to Become Available in TNTennesseans who want to sign up for a permit to legally carry firearms in public will soon have the option of making that government-issued permission slip valid for their entire lifetimes — for a $500 fee.
Republican Gov. Bill Haslam this week signed the measure into law. It was sponsored by Republicans — Sen. Frank Niceley of Strawberry Plains and John Holsclaw of Elizabethton — but passed on lopsided bipartisan votes in both chambers. LINK
Crockett Policy Institute
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