children

Alexander and Corker: Stop separating parents and children detained at U.S. border

Statements from U.S. Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee on the Trump administration policy of separating children detained at the U.S./Mexico border from their parents, as reported by the Times Free Press:

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House and Senate send governor ‘significantly watered down’ juvenile justice reform (updated)

Gov. Bill Haslam’s “Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2018” has been approved by both the House and Senate after multiple revisions that Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Jeff Yarbro said on the Senate floor left it “significantly watered down” and perhaps not even deserving its title. Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris basically agreed, saying Yarbro’s comments were “well taken” – but both also agreed the measure is at least a “small step” in the right direction.

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Senate votes to urge — rather than require — erection of a TN ‘monument to the unborn’

A House-approved bill mandating erection of a monument to unborn children on the Tennessee state Capitol grounds was amended in the Senate Monday to instead just voice support for the idea. After the revision, the measure was approved 23-3 and sent back to the House.

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Bill to ban motorist smoking with child passengers aboard fails by one vote in Senate

A bill allowing police to cite adult motorists who are smoking in vehicles with children present fell one vote short of passage in the state Senate Wednesday. The Times Free Press reports the measure touched off a fierce debate about health versus personal freedom.

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Democrats’ bill to ban underage marriage killed, replaced by GOP version

A Democrat-sponsored bill to prohibit marriage of persons under age 18 was killed Tuesday in a Senate committee and replaced with a Republican-sponsored measure that allow those aged 16 and 17 to wed with parental permission – so long as the newlyweds are within four years of being the same age.

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Bill making killer kids eligible for parole brings prosecutor protests, recalling 1997 triple murder

A bill that would make juvenile murderers eligible for parole after 30 years even if sentenced to life in prison has won approval of a House committee while touching off outspoken opposition from those recalling a 1997 triple slaying in Greene County, reports the Greeneville Sun.

HB274, filed last year by Rep. Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis) and Sen. Becky Massey (R-Knoxville), cleared the House Criminal Justice Committee Feb. 28 after being amended to require 30 years in prison instead of 20, as proposed in the original version. It is on notice for a hearing this week in the House Finance Subcommittee. The bill’s fiscal note estimates that it could eventually save the state more than $4 million in incarceration expenses.

District Attorney General Dan Armstrong calls it “the Lillelid Injustice Bill” because it could apply to two juveniles convicted in the 1997 murders, though they received three consecutive life without parole sentences plus 25 years.

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House Republicans reconsider killing of child bride bill

State House Republicans are reconsidering the killing of a bill to prohibit marriage of children under age 18, reports The Tennessean. The measure sponsored by Democratic Rep. Darren Jernigan of Nashville was previously punted until 2019 on motion of House Majority Leader Glen Casada, who acknowledged he was acting at the request of Christian conservative leader David Fowler.

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Haslam unveils legislation on juvenile justice reform, UT board downsizing

Press release from the governor’s office

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced his legislative agenda for the 2018 session, continuing his focus on leading the nation in jobs, education, and efficient and effective government.

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TN Supremes give Dad custody of kids after Mom’s move to Moonlight Bunny Ranch

Press release from Administrative Office of the Courts

Nashville, Tenn. – In a case involving the custody of two minor children, the Tennessee Supreme Court determined that Father had established that a material change of circumstances had occurred and that it was in the children’s best interests for Father to be designated as the primary residential parent.  The Court also reviewed the Court of Appeals’ immediate issuance of the mandate and its order for custody to be transferred from Father to Mother within twenty days.

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Fed funding of health insurance for 74,000 TN children threatened; TN Democrats see ‘political games’

Absent action soon by Congress, funding for a federal program that provides health insurance coverage to 74,000 Tennessee children and pregnant mothers could soon run dry, reports the Times Free Press. State officials, including Gov. Bill Haslam, are worried about the possibility.

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