Legislature

Black urges Haslam to sign ‘anti-sanctuary cities bill;’ rally urges veto of ‘mass deportation bill’

U.S. Rep. Diane Black, who is running for governor, issued a press release Thursday calling on current Gov. Bill Haslam to sign an “anti-Sanctuary Cities” bill that requires state and local law enforcement officers to assist federal immigration officials in detaining undocumented immigrants.

The Tennessee Immigration and Refugee Rights Coalition, on the other hand, held a rally at the state Capitol Thursday evening to call for a veto of the group calls a “mass deportation bill.” TIRRC says “hundreds” attended, reports The Tennessean. And the Southern Poverty Law Center sent Haslam a letter saying the bill is unconstitutional.

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Doctor who advised TN legislature decries ‘overzealous’ raid on home, offices

The Johnson City home of Dr. Tom Reach, an addiction treatment physician who has been involved in developing Tennessee legislation, and the eight recovery centers he operates in Virginia and Tennessee were raided Wednesday by federal agents, reports the Johnson City Press. Reach says the action was an “overzealous” move tied to the “current political environment” —  and noted several local politicians have visited his facilities.

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Shelby County Commission to Haslam: Veto anti-sanctuary cities bill

Shelby County commissioners approved a resolution Monday that urges Gov. Bill Haslam to veto a bill that would require local and state law enforcement agencies to work with federal immigration agents on immigration matters, reports the Memphis Daily News.

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Supreme Court chief thanks legislators for authorizing three new judges

Press release from the Administrative Office of the Courts

Nashville, Tenn. ­– The Tennessee General Assembly passed legislation this session funding three new judge positions in Tennessee. The new positions will be in the state’s 19th Judicial District, which serves Montgomery and Robertson counties; the 16th Judicial District, which includes Rutherford and Cannon counties; and the 21st Judicial District, which includes Hickman, Lewis, Perry, and Williamson counties.

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Approved bill seeks to fix $250 DUI testing fee found unconstitutional

A bill given final legislative approval last week and awaiting Gov. Bill Haslam’s signature will eliminate direct payment of a $250 fee for drug and alcohol blood tests to the Tennessee Bureau of investigation, a provision of current state law that the state Court of Appeals found unconstitutional last year. The money will now go to the state’s general fund.

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Haslam leaves open possibility of vetoing bill to protect Confederate monuments

Gov. Bill Haslam is leaving open the possibility of vetoing a bill inspired by City of Memphis’ moves to remove Confederate monuments from local parks and aimed at preventing any such actions in the future, reports the Times Free Press.

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Legislature sends governor bill backing ‘monument to the unborn”

In the last hours of the legislative session, a bill favoring erection of a “monument to unborn children” on the state capitol grounds was sent to the governor after a House-Senate dispute over wording of the measure was resolved.

Apparently, the bill is to be viewed as making a request for the monument to the State Capitol Commission; not the mandate that was included in the original version. And Gov. Bill Haslam says he and his staff will be reviewing the bill before he decides whether to sign it.

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Approved bill lets TN corporations avoid increased taxation

A bill that largely spares Tennessee corporations from an increase in state business taxes otherwise triggered by President Donald Trump’s 2017 federal tax overhaul is on its way to Gov. Bill Haslam for his signature, reports the Times Free Press.

According to a legislative fiscal note, enactment of the bill (SB2119, as amended) means the state will be giving up potential $112 million in foregone state corporate excise tax revenue over a period of several years beginning in fiscal year 2020-2021. And businesses, of course, will be spared paying that much in added taxes.

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Haslam praises legislators for passing most of his agenda (exceptions not noted)

Press release from the governor’s office

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today thanked members of the 110th General Assembly for keeping Tennessee on pace to lead the nation in jobs, education and efficient and effective government.

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Legislators act to deter any future Confederate monument removals

Legislators gave final approval Wednesday to a bill intended to block local governments from future actions like the City of Memphis’ December move to remove Confederate monuments from city parks. The bill prohibits sale or transfer of public property containing a statue without permission of the Tennessee Historical Commission and says local governments violating the new law are barred from receiving state grant funds for five years.

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