The first 2022 legislative session convened on January 11, 2022, and ends soon, on April 21. With less than 6 weeks left to be productive in the first session of 2022, it was a busy week in the Tennessee General Assembly with a barrage of bills rushed for passage before the end of this session. Some representatives will continue to work and connect with their constituents, while many will just enjoy their citizen’s paid leave.
SB2290 which prohibits higher education from teaching divisive concepts was rolled to Monday, March 14th, so you still have time to contact our Senators (see last week’s Action List). Its companion bill, HB2670, passed out of committee and was voted on by the full House on Monday, March 8th.
- HB2557 prohibits schools from knowingly entering into an agreement with an individual or entity that performs abortions, induces abortions, provides abortion referrals, or provides funding, advocacy, or other support for abortions passed out of committee and will be voted on by full House tomorrow.
- The charter schools bill that has generated much opposition (HB2833) was rolled again to Tuesday, March 8th, so you still have time to speak up on that one (see last week’s Action List).
- HB1588/SB0412 that would enact a Red Flag/ERPO law failed in committee.
- HB1283/SB0023 that would allow a student ID to be used for voting failed in committee.
In addition to the bills in the Action Lists, here are some noteworthy ones on this week’s schedule. We suspect some of these bills will be rolled to a future week, so watch for them to return.BAD BILLS
- SB2440/HB2569 does away with affirmative action in public employment, education, and contracting
- HB1871 promotes natural immunity against COVID-19 as being as protective as vaccination.
- HB2835/SB2696 bans hormonal therapy for prepubertal minors based on gender identity issues.
- HB2416/SB2281 requires drugs that can induce abortions be given in person and prohibits pharmacies/doctors from providing the drug via courier, delivery, or mail service.
- HB0800/SB1216 prohibits state textbook and instructional materials commission from recommending use of materials that normalize, support, or addresses LGBTQ issues or lifestyles.
- HB2328/SB1953 exempts companies involved in surface mining and quarrying from local and regional zoning regulations if certain conditions are met.
- HB1735/SB2291 lowers handgun ownership age from 21 to 18 years.
- HB1944/SB1944 allows libraries to be sued for containing books/material that could be deemed as obscene and harmful to minors. This is part of the book banning movement in TN and last week out-of-staters gave false testimony in committee hearings about contents of TN libraries.
- HB2331/SB2558 requires a paper trail for voting machines starting in January 2024.
- HB0561/SB0018 changes revocation of voting rights following a conviction to a temporary suspension.
Actions for Week of March 6, 2022
- Oppose HB2246/SB2077 – This seemingly innocuous bill has been amended to allow the construction of the crude oil Byhalia Connection Pipeline through the historic Black Southwest Memphis community. It also preempts/voids ANY actions by local planning commissions, county commissions, city councils or any other boards that would interfere in any way with the siting and development of fossil fuel infrastructure in TN. The bill is before the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee on March 8th. Please contact these committee members with your feedback. You can also send group emails via this link. Note that several local legislators are on these committees.
- Oppose HB2314/SB2300 – This bill is before the TN House Health Subcommittee on Tues, March 8th. It redefines “child” to include an embryo (from fertilization to birth) for the purposes of child abuse, neglect, or endangerment. In other words, if you don’t know you’re pregnant and you drink alcohol or go zip lining, you could be criminally charged with embryo abuse. Please contact these committee members with your feedback.
- The Administration is cracking down on power plant pollution, encouraging clean manufacturing, and trying to stop the purchase of gas-powered postal vehicles by the USPS. Since USPS is planning to move ahead, watch for a lawsuit to be filed.
- Additional oil leases supported by the Administration have been halted in court.
- The US Justice Dept. is suing Missouri over a state bill that blocks Missouri state and local law officials from enforcing federal gun laws.
- Houses of worship are building affordable housing on their properties in Atlanta, Miami, Baltimore, New York and elsewhere.
- The president signed a bill that overhauls the laws pertaining to the sexual misconduct in workplace.
- Educate Yourself
- Gov. Lee wants to open 100 new charter schools in the State. Learn about the terrible track record of charter schools in TN and how they negatively impact local schools. Consider following @AmyFrogge on Twitter. You can read about charter school profiteering here.
- Hillsdale College is the private entity that Gov. Lee wants to start 100 charter schools in the State.
- Its president was recently criticized for his racist comments and the school has lauded Putin as a great statesman.
- Hillsdale also promotes an inaccurate portrayal of the Civil Rights movement.
- And its founding president, George Roche III, had a 19-year affair with his daughter-in-law, who eventually committed suicide.
- The ACLU is requesting Gov. Lee release its records regarding the Hillsdale partnership because of serious constitutional concerns.
- BEWARE of the “informed patriotism” and “American exceptionalism” that Gov. Lee wants taught in TN schools, which would be facilitated by charter schools.
- Details on Gov. Lee’s $9 billion proposal to change how the State funds K-12 Education are provided in these articles. Teacher raises are included in the proposal. Funding varies based on student needs.
For the full schedule click here, the Huddle Calendar.
Mar 9th, Wed 1:30-3:30PM: Moms Demand Action Phone Banking. Click this link for more information and to sign up. Mar 10th, Thurs Noon-4:30PM, Miseducation of TN: Censorship and Critical Race Theory Symposium. Sponsored by UT College of Law. Event is on Zoom and free to non-credit seeking attendees. For detailed information, click here. Zoom link is available here. Mar 12th, Sat 10AM-1PM: Pistol Creek Cleanup. Sponsored by Keep Blount Beautiful and Ijams River Rescue. Two Locations: 255 W. Edison, Howe St. Park, Alcoa and near end of Kelvin Rd, Alco. Volunteers should wear long pants and closed-toed shoes. In case of poor weather, rain date is scheduled for the following Saturday, March 19th. Register here for Howe Park clean up and here for Kelvin Rd clean up. Mar 22th, Tues 11:30AM-1PM: BCEAC Luncheon Meeting. For agenda and Zoom link contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://bceac.org/. Dues are $20 per year and can be paid online via the website. Mar 25th, Fri 1-2PM: Voter Rights & Voter Suppression Zoom Discussion. Speakers are Sophie Bjork-James, Charlane Oliver, and Sen. Jeff Yabro. This event is produced in partnership with Vanderbilt University Grand Challenge Initiative on Racial Justice & the 3rd Reconstruction, led by Dr. Paul C. Taylor. Register here. Facebook event. Mar 26th, Sat 11:45AM: Blount County NAACP Meeting. To obtain Zoom link contact email@example.com. This meeting is followed by the BC United Meeting at 1PM. To obtain Zoom link contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Apr 4th, Mon: Last Day to Register to Vote in Blount County Primary. Apr 7 & 8, Thurs 12-4PM: Defense Against Disinformation: Strategic Communications for Science Advocates. Sponsored by Union of Concerned Scientists. Day 1, virtual training on how to counter disinformation and take meaningful action in your community. Register here. April 8th Day 2 virtual training on how to counter disinformation and take meaningful action in your community. Register here. Apr 13-28th: Early Voting Blount County. See website for locations and hours. You must present a valid photo ID to vote. For more information, click here. Apr 26th, Tues. Last Day to request Absentee by mail Ballot Request in Blount County. May 3rd, Thurs: Primary Election in Blount County. Polls open 8AM-8PM. Vote at your assigned precinct. You must present a valid photo ID to vote. For more information, click here. Visit Maryville Huddle Women’s March Coalition of East Tennessee; and Facebook.
ABOUT Women’s March: The Women’s March Coalition and Huddles are community- and issue-based groups born of the women’s rights movement that ignited on January 21st, 2017, which was the first day of the 45th presidency. That day, millions of women from across the country converged on Washington D.C. for the first Women’s March. From there, the Women’s March Coalition was organized and is a nationwide united front of Huddles/Huddlers across the United States on shared national and the concerns of local Huddles. To find or establish a Huddle near you, go to womensmarch.com.