lobbyists

Tennessee Tech disavows study used in lobbying, financed by trucking company

The president of Tennessee Tech University has disavowed a study used to help justify the repeal of tighter federal emissions standards for a type of freight trucks, reports the Washington Post. He says that experts now question “the methodology and accuracy” of the industry-funded test.

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Lobbyists, legislators cut a deal on Sunday booze sales; House sub approves

Liquor stores would get to start selling their products on Sundays six months ahead of wine sales at other stores under legislation approved by the House State Government Subcommittee Thursday, reports the Times Free Press. That’s part of a deal on changes to state liquor laws that’s also intended to help liquor stores boost their profits otherwise.

The profits provision declares that liquor must be sold to retail customers at a price at least 20 percent higher than the wholesale cost to the store owner. State law already mandates a 20 percent markup on wine sales.

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(Jeff) Miller time at the Cordell Hull?

miller-mug2After a 12-year absence, former state Sen. Jeff Miller has returned to the General Assembly as a lobbyist for a golf cart company that he has represented as a lawyer. And he is soliciting more business.

“Many of the legislators I worked with still serve and we have remained in touch,” Miller writes in a solicitation letter “to whom it may concern” that has raised some eyebrows as it was circulated around  the Cordell Hull building.

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TMA criticizes Haslam’s ‘cookie-cutter’ opioid legislation, will lobby for revisions

Press release from Tennessee Medical Association

The Tennessee Medical Association Board of Trustees has adopted the following position on Governor Haslam’s TN Together plan for addressing the state’s opioid abuse epidemic. Our position is based on a thorough review of the proposed legislation and feedback from member physicians in various medical specialties and practice environments across the state.

·         The governor’s proposal unfairly labels and segregates patients. Definitions for “acute” and “opioid naïve” patients in the draft bill are confusing, impractical and unfair. Every person is different, yet the legislation would put some patients into multiple categories, set broad-brush restrictions and take away doctors’ medical discretion.

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Defense lawyers name new executive director

Press release from Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Jan. 30, 2018) – The Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is proud to announce Denise Lawrence as Executive Director.

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Tori Venable is new TN head of Americans for Prosperity

Press release from Americans for Prosperity

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Americans for Prosperity-Tennessee (AFP-TN), the leading grassroots advocacy organization in Tennessee with over 46,000 activists, announced Tori Venable will head the chapter as State Director.

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Knox County school board renews lobbying contract, criticizes legislators

The Knox County Schools Board of Education voted to continue paying for lobbying at the Legislature Wednesday after a discussion that included criticism of legislators, reports the News Sentinel.

“It’s been our local lawmakers pushing forward on harmful legislation that has impacted our schools and all schools in Tennessee,” said board member Jennifer Owen. “They accuse board members of only being interested in what teachers want and refuse to acknowledge the decades of experience many of us have in education.”

The board voted 7-2 to approve the funding for the lobbying group, Millsaps Gowan Government Relations. Knox County Schools will pay the group $37,500 to renew the contract it shares with the three other largest school districts across the state.  (Note: That’s known as the Coalition of Large School Systems.)

…”Our legislators refuse to listen to us in meetings and have gone so far as to insult board members in person and deny us access to meetings they have with teachers,” Owen went on. “It’s sad we need a lobbying group to let our legislators hear our concerns rather than have them shared by our own representatives.”

…’Myself personally and other members of the board have reached out numerous times to this delegation and tried to grow our relationship with them,” said board member Amber Rountree.

She said the board “does not have a relationship with the delegation where we’re on the same page.”

“I would be open to suggestions on how we can foster a positive relationship because I know I’m not the only one who has tried to work with our representatives and have a conversation that involves empirical data showing that things like Pre-K are absolutely essential,” Rountree said.

“We have experienced some adverse legislation from our delegation, but I think that speaks to our responsibility to get the types of things into legislation that we want,” Norman said. “To go ahead and spend this kind of money on a lobbyist when it’s our responsibility, I just don’t agree with it, so I’ll be voting against it.”

‘Myself personally and other members of the board have reached out numerous times to this delegation and tried to grow our relationship with them,” said board member Amber Rountree. She said the board “does not have a relationship with the delegation where we’re on the same page.”

Lobbyist Anne Carr retiring after 37 years

Anne Carr, among the first women to become an active lobbyist at the Tennessee General Assembly, is retiring after almost four decades. She started with the Tennesee State Employees Association and continued through the founding of the firm Smith Harris Carr.

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ACU legislator ratings: TN Senate more conservative than House

The American Conservative Union Foundation has produced its rating of Tennessee legislators for 2017, giving the state Senate an overall average score of 86 and the House an average of 70 percent in voting the way the group wanted on selected issues.

The average for Republicans in the Senate was 91 percent; for Democrats 57 percent. In the House, Republicans averaged 82 percent; Democrats 34 percent. One could thus draw the not-too-surprising inference that the Senate is notably more divided on a partisan basis than the House — and overall more conservative.

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Leslie Hafner leaves Harwell’s office

Press release from House Speaker Beth Harwell’s office

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Speaker of the House Beth Harwell today announced that Leslie Hafner, Senior Advisor to the Speaker, will be leaving the House of Representatives to return to the private sector.

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