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Business, Free Enterprise and Constitutional Issues; Pro-Life and Pro Second Amendment. Susan Lynn is a former member of the Tennessee General Assembly. She served as chairman of the Government Operations Committee and the Commerce Committee. She holds a BS in economics and a minor in history. She is the Chairman of the American Legislative Exchange Council's Commerce Task Force.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Restroom Bill


SENATE BILL 2387

                                                                                                                 By Bell



HOUSE BILL 2414



By Lynn









AN ACT to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 49,

relative to student restrooms and locker rooms.



            WHEREAS, courts have recognized a constitutional right to privacy that includes a right not to be compelled by the Government to undress or be unclothed in the presence of members of the opposite sex.  See, e.g. Cumby v. Meachum, 684 F.2d 712 (10th Cir. 1982); Lee v. Downs, 641 F.2d 1117 (4th Cir. 1981); York v. Story, 324 F.2d 450 (9th Cir. 1963); and

            WHEREAS, the regulations implementing Title IX specifically allow schools to “provide separate toilet, locker room, and shower facilities on the basis of sex.”  34 C.F.R. § 106.33.

            WHEREAS, in 2015 a federal court held that a “University’s policy of requiring students to use sex-segregated bathroom and locker room facilities based on students’ natal or birth sex, rather than gender identity, does not violate Title IX’s prohibition of sex discrimination.” Johnston v. Univ. of Pittsburgh of Com. Sys. Of Higher Educ., 2015 WL 1497753, at 1 (W.D. Pa. Mar. 31, 2015).

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE:

            SECTION 1.  Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 49, Chapter 2, Part 1, is amended by adding the following language as a new section:

               Public schools shall require that a student use student restroom and locker room facilities that are assigned for use by persons of the same sex as the sex indicated on the student’s original birth certificate.

SECTION 2.  Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 49, Chapter 7, Part 1, is amended by

adding the following language as a new section:

                        Public institutions of higher education shall require that a student use the restroom and locker room facilities that are assigned for use by persons of the same sex as the sex indicated on the student’s original birth certificate.

SECTION 3.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a law, the public welfare requiring it.

Rep. Susan Lynn joins Americans United for Life, Defending Health and Safety Standards for Women vulnerable to abortion industry abuses

“Winning this case is very important because of its potential to negatively impact Tennessee law.” Rep. Susan Lynn

WASHINGTON, D.C. (02-03-16) – State Representative Susan Lynn joined a coalition of more than 460 Republican and Democratic office holders represented by Americans United for Life and the Bioethics Defense Fund in an amicus curie (friend of the court) brief filed today in the most significant abortion case before the Supreme Court in decades, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, formally known as Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole.  In the brief and on behalf of the officeholders, AUL demonstrates to the Court that state efforts to protect women through reasonable health and safety standards must be upheld for reasons of common sense and medical reality.
“It is very important for us to submit this amicus brief because the laws we passed in Tennessee as a result of Amendment 1 could be overturned should the plaintiffs win this case.” said Rep. Lynn.  AUL President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest commended Lynn as “a champion for both women and their unborn children” and observed, “At every turn, the abortion industry fights health and safety standards that offer real protection to women, going to court to keep profits high and standards low and ignoring the severe medical risks to women exposed to the reality of abortion in America. AUL’s legal team is proud to stand with men and women from across the country – more than 460 Republicans and Democrats – who are working to protect life in law in their states.”

“This historical case provides an important opportunity for the Supreme Court to affirm its support of laws that protect women’s health,” Dr. Yoest noted. “After more than four decades of the abortion industry’s recalcitrant opposition to meaningful oversight, the Supreme Court must unequivocally affirm that it meant what it has said as far back as Roe: states may regulate abortion to protect a mother’s health.”

The case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellersted, involves Texas House Bill 2, a measure enacted in 2013 with a number of life-affirming provisions.  Placing profit above women’s health, abortion providers challenged provisions requiring them to meet the same health and safety standards as ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs), as well as to have admitting privileges at a local hospital.  In June 2015, the Fifth Circuit upheld the provisions, and abortion providers appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court in their continued effort to avoid compliance with the commonsense requirements.

AUL has been active in this case since its inception.  In addition to providing expert consultation on the constitutionality of HB 2 before and after it was enacted, AUL filed an amicus brief in the Fifth Circuit on behalf of Texas Legislators. 

AUL’s current brief was filed on behalf of Rep. Susan Lynn and more than 460 other public officeholders from states with provisions similar to the Texas health and safety standards.  The brief demonstrates that the Supreme Court has promised “wide discretion” to state lawmakers in the regulation of abortion and gives significant deference to legislative determinations as to the medical necessity for enacting health and safety regulations.  Here, both the legislative record and the evidence before the trial court confirm that the State of Texas acted in the best interest of women, and the Supreme Court must uphold HB 2.

For more on the health risks of abortion for women, click here:

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Governor’s Voucher Bill the Moral Choice


By State Representative Susan Lynn


Why should legislators consider voting for a law that will more than likely never affect their districts?  The Governor’s School Voucher bill will not affect 95% of all school districts in Tennessee – especially not Wilson County Schools.  So why vote for the bill?

Some might answer - because if we support the Governor the Governor will support us.  I definitely give the Governor credit for being much more objective than that.

Last week the school voucher bill was in the committee on which I serve – Finance, Ways and Means.  We heard a great deal of testimony.  Many were afraid of what vouchers might do to school operational funds, and to the remaining students.  One father was very insulted that his child’s school was labeled a “failing school”, and he did not want the option of school vouchers to be available no matter what. 

All of the advocates for the vouchers were African American, and most of them had children in failing schools.  These have been failing for as long as anyone can recall.  They are schools where on average only 47% of the children entering graduate; where the highest ACT score is a 14; where 93% of the students are not proficient in math or ELA. 

These parents came to plead for a future for their children.  These parents and their children live in communities with the 53% who do not graduate – where far too many end up unemployed, on government assistance, in gangs, on drugs, in jail or dead.  The fear and pain of these parents was very evident.

I have a district with great schools, committed staff and teachers and dedicated parents.  So why should I care about the Governor’s school voucher bill when it is estimated to effect only 2.9% of all students in the state?  I believe that I should care because we preach about the American dream to children all the time when we know full well that thousands are locked in failing schools with literally no way of ever reaching that dream.  Morally, providing these students with a school voucher option is the right thing to do. 

Rep. Susan Lynn represents the 57th legislative district in the Tennessee state House.  Lynn is chairman of the Consumer and Human Resources General Subcommittee and also serves on Finance Ways and Means Committee.








New state education standards ready for review

Published in the Lebanon Democrat on Jan 29, 2016 at 4:00 PM

In response to the concerns of citizens and to legislation passed by the General Assembly, the state Board of Education has created new math and English/language Arts standards and is working on new history and social studies standards.  The state BOE is now requesting your comments.    
 
Standards list grade-specific instructional information that exemplify what students are expected to know and be able to do by the end of a given grade or course. In 2010, the state BOE adopted and implemented the Common Core Math and English/language arts standards.  The current social studies standards were approved in 2013 and first implemented in the 2014-15 school year.  
 
Due to an outcry from citizens who expressed a dislike of the Common Core Standards, in 2014 the General Assembly voted to get rid of them and have the state BOE create new standards.  In 2015, many citizens were very displeased with the current history/social studies standards so last fall on their own, the state BOE voted to start the process to create new history and social studies standards a full six years early.
 
State Rep. Susan Lynn who voted to get rid of the Common Core state standards says that she wants to make sure that citizens know how to find and review all of the new standards.  “I want to make sure that this time my voters are aware that they have a voice in the development process.  I urge citizens to take this opportunity to review these standards and respond with their comments to the state Board of Education.” Said Lynn.
 
The state BOE has set up several websites for public review of the standards;
 
K-12 Mathematics;
 
 
K-12 Social Studies Standards;
 
To comment and for more information visit; http://tn.gov/sbe/topic/standards-review
 
“We insisted that we have a very transparent process – I am very pleased that the state BOE is making this information so widely available.”  commented Lynn.

https://www.lebanondemocrat.com/News/2016/01/29/New-state-education-standards-ready-for-review.html

Shocking Videos Enlighten us to Policy Needs

Last summer the Center for Medical Progress' investigative videos of Planned Parenthood shocked and sickened us.  As a pro-life legislator, I immediately searched our law and rules in order to determine whether or not the selling of fetal body parts might be possible in Tennessee. 

Our state law makes it a crime to sell fetal body parts.  However, I saw areas of concern that I shared with Governor Haslam.  He acted immediately to investigate which led him to make several changes to the rules governing abortion facilities, as well as to commence immediate inspections of all clinics. 
However, what cannot be fixed by rule is that the law does permit the abortionist to accept reimbursement for any costs associated with the preparation, preservation, transfer, shipping, or handling of an aborted fetus or fetal remains - this is exactly what we saw happening in the Center for Medical Progress' videos.  This strikes me as wrong  not only because of the potential for abuse but because medical disposal needs are generally part of the cost of doing business so why should reimbursement of these costs be permitted?
Another concern that I see is that because some abortionists like Planned Parenthood are non-profit organizations, it is possible for tissue disposal companies to perhaps make large contributions to these non-profits which might, in effect, constitute payment for the fetus’. 
Therefore, I have filed a bill to prohibit payment for the costs associated with the preparation, preservation, transfer, shipping, or handling of an aborted fetus or fetal remains, and to disallow large contributions by the tissue disposal companies to the non-profits with whom they do business. 
The Governor has also filed a very good bill as well to cover other important matters, and I am a co-sponsor of this legislation.  I am proud to be a pro-life legislator and appreciate how very fortunate we are to have a pro-life Governor in Tennessee and an overwhelmingly pro-life General Assembly. 
Rep. Susan Lynn represents the 57th legislative district in the Tennessee state House.  Lynn is chairman of the Consumer and Human Resources General Subcommittee and also serves on Finance Ways and Means Committee.

Status of SR 109

Many people believe that the state legislature selects which roads will be constructed - we do not - we fund TDOT's budget. TDOT plans the roads based on the priorities submitted to TDOT by the Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO).

Our MPO is the Nashville area MPO; an organization made up of several counties in the Nashville region - Davidson, Maury, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson counties. It consists of a 19 member board made up of the county and city mayors from this region. 

The mayors' job on the MPO is to create the plan of prioritized road projects, and to submit these needs to TDOT.  TDOT then chooses which projects to fund in a given budget year. The General Assembly's role is to fund TDOT with state tax dollars. TDOT also receives federal tax dollars.

Status of the SR 109 Widening Project

This extremely important and very large public safety project is in the final phase.  Except for this final leg, the entirety of the road from I 65 to the north to SR 840 in the south is complete, including the new and very beautiful bridge.



Road construction projects move through 4 phases; design, environmental permits, land acquisition and then construction.  The SR 109 project is currently in the land acquisition phase; parcels are at this time being purchased for the widening of the road. 



Several community meetings have taken place with the affected landowners and more will occur. Each parcel is a separate real estate transaction, therefore, each landowner has met with TDOT in order to understand how much land is being taken, what will happen to their driveways, and in some cases, the entire home is being purchased because the new road will leave so little frontage that the state must purchase the home as well.  Land owners are provided a plan, a purchase contract and a price.  Any disagreements over price or the taking must be worked out - sometimes in court so this process tends to take the most amount of time. 

As you might imagine, it can be difficult to totally compensate someone for putting a highway in their front yard.

The engineering and the environmental studies are complete so as soon as all of the parcels are acquired, TDOT will commence construction.

The MPO and TDOT are very aware of the dangers on this road, and TDOT is working as fast as they can to come to agreeable terms with the property owners. 

Unfortunately, increased traffic volume between SR 840 and I 65, coupled with increased residential growth in the area, speed and perhaps distractions have caused the accidents to escalate.  But we can all commit to slow down, to be extra courteous to other motorists and to keep our attention only on the road while the land owners are finalizing their transactions.  And most of all, please remember to pray for travel mercies for your family and for others.    

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Plan to Halt Same Sex Marriage in Tennessee Flow Chart

I am supporting attorney David Fowler's work in a lawsuit asking a Williamson County court to decide if the SCOTUS did indeed invalidate marriage licensure law in Tennessee last June.

This flowchart will help you understand how the lawsuit may unfold;

David Fowler Flow-Chart to Halt Marriage

Monday, January 25, 2016

State Social Studies Standards Public Review Website

Links in this letter are below.
_________________________________________________________
Links in this letter: https://apps.tn.gov/tcas/
______________________________________________________

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Liberty Counsel Natural Marriage Defense Act

Last week Rep. Pody ran the Liberty Counsel's Natural Marriage Defense Act in the Civil Justice Subcommittee.  Here is the text of the Counsel's bill.

Please click here to see the committee meeting.

 

 





Weekly Wrap - Week 1


Tennessee Legislature Kicks Off Second Half Of 109th General Assembly



The Second Regular Session of the 109th General Assembly kicked on January 12th in Nashville.  

We will face many issues again this year - so please email or call me with your concerns.



Last week a very hot topic of concern was the Liberty Counsel's Natural Marriage Act in the House Civil Justice Committee sponsored by Rep. Pody.

Please watch the video on the link above - the debate is gripping.  Republican Rep. Carter explains should a lawsuit be filed to challenge the imposition of gay marriage in Tennessee, passing the Natural Marriage Act would render the lawsuit moot - because should the TN law change, the current law would no longer exist.



A Williamson County lawsuit that asks the court for a declaratory judgment on whether the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated all of Tennessee’s marriage licensure law with the Obergefell decision in June of last year.  Rep. Susan Lynn has fled a resolution to support the citizens.

The plaintiffs contend that the SCOTUS' decision clearly said that Tennessee’s marriage licensure law was invalid and also that Tennessee must now marry same sex couples.  However the plaintiffs contend that a law cannot be both invalid and valid at the same time.  The court cannot decide that Tennessee’s marriage licensure law is invalid because it mandates that marriage is between a man and a woman – therefore striking that provision – and then go on to decree that what this now means is that Tennessee must from hence forth marry same sex couples.  Doing so violates the doctrine of severability (elision in state court). 

To violate severability or elision means that a court cannot strike one part of the law if it would give a new meaning to the law that the legislature never intended for the law to have.  In such a case, the court must strike the entire law leaving the legislature free to either reenact the law without the unconstitutional provision or choose not to act at all.

Tennessean article on lawsuit.




Please review and comment on the newly proposed math and English / language arts state education standards.  These new standards were created pursuant to Public Chapter 423 which repealed the Common Core standards and directed the state Board of Education to create new math and ELA standards for grades K-12.  A video is also available on the link in this title. 





Two lawsuits are challenging Amendment 1 and another is challenging our new clinic licensure law, facility inspection, hospital admitting privileges for abortion providers and informed consent provisions for women and girls considering abortion.

Further, a Texas lawsuit is challenging Texas abortion regulations. If successful, the Texas lawsuit could impact Tennessee's abortion laws. I have become a part of the defense of the Texas lawsuit by signing my name to an Americans United for Life amicus brief in support of keeping Texas abortion regulations.




The Retail Accountability Program was created in 2012 and expanded in 2015.  The Act mandates wholesalers and retailers of beer and tobacco to electronically report all of their sales and purchase transactions between each other to the Department of Revenue. The 2015 expansion now includes ALL Tennessee businesses selling other categories of tangible personal property.  This means that the Department of Revenue can force any wholesaler and any retailer to report their sales and purchase transactions between each other to the department.  An extraordinary over reach of government equipped with fines if the report is not submitted! 


I was not in the General Assembly in 2012 or else I would have sounded the alarm on this unprecedented bill which virtually allows a revenue agent a seat inside each business on a daily basis.  I was one of only 4 House members to vote no last year.  Hopefully this will be repealed.




The American Conservative Union, the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots conservative organization, announced this week that Rep. Susan Lynn has been awarded the coveted ACU Award For Conservative Excellence for being among the top conservatives in the State of Tennessee.

“I’ve always fought for conservative values, and I have done so since first elected.” says Lynn. “I’m truly honored to have this award and recognition.”

The award, which is presented to those members of the Tennessee General Assembly who scored between 90 and 100 percent on the ACU State Legislative Rating scorecard, is the organization’s highest and most revered honor available to lawmakers.  Lynn's score for 2015 was 100%.  All ratings can be found at acuratings.conservative.org.




Tickets, Admission
Enacts the "Fans Anti-Counterfeit Ticket (FACT) Act"
Motor Vehicles
Enacts the "Charitable Vehicle Prep Tag.
Children
Permits a parent of a newborn to opt out of a antibiotic ointment at birth.
Dept. of Health
Requires a report from the commissioner of health if the commissioner accessed to Tennessean's medical records.
Students
Requires students to use restrooms and locker rooms that are assigned sex shown on the students' birth certificate.
Refugee Resettlement
Requires the Tennessee office for refugees to notify the state of any refugee resettled in this state who has lived in a country that is a state sponsor of terrorism.
Workers' Compensation
Revises various workers' compensation and drug-free workplace provisions.
911 Boards
Requires removal of members for failure to attend at least 50 percent of all regularly scheduled board meetings.
Local Government
Authorizes local governments to prepare biennial budgets.
Local Government
Increases number of members on some boards of zoning appeals.
Fire Prevention
Prohibits certain flame retardants in children's products and residential upholstered furniture.
Textbooks
Revised curriculum in textbooks and instructional materials regarding founding documents.
Abortion
Revises provisions governing fetal tissue obtained as a result of a medical or surgical abortion.
Fluoride
Revises reports due from utility districts.
State Sovereignty
Urges Congress to recognize Tennessee's sovereignty under the 10th amendment to the Constitution.
General Assembly Statement
Expresses disagreement with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.



A total of 42 bills have been filed on behalf of the administration, but the above pieces of legislation represent the governor’s priorities;

Fetal Remains Act - Addressing concerns regarding the selling of fetal remains.

Efficiency in Handgun Permit Process - Improving the process and lowering the fee.

FOCUS Act - Organizing, supporting and empowering public colleges.

Higher Education Authorization Act - Drive to 55 and for-profit higher education.

Public Safety Act of 2016 - Governor’s Task Force on Sentencing and Recidivism.


As always, please call or email me if I can help you: 615-596-2363.

REP LYNN'S LEGISLATIVE AGENDA

Bills filed by Rep. Susan Lynn
for second half of the 109th General Assembly

Tickets, Admission
Enacts the "Fans Anti-Counterfeit Ticket (FACT) Act"
Motor Vehicles
Enacts the "Charitable Vehicle Prep Tag.
Children
Permits a parent of a newborn to opt out of a antibiotic ointment at birth.
Dept. of Health
Requires a report from the commissioner of health if the commissioner accessed to Tennessean's medical records.
Students
Requires students to use restrooms and locker rooms that are assigned sex shown on the students' birth certificate.
Refugee Resettlement
Requires the Tennessee office for refugees to notify the state of any refugee resettled in this state who has lived in a country that is a state sponsor of terrorism.
Workers' Compensation
Revises various workers' compensation and drug-free workplace provisions.
911 Boards
Requires removal of members for failure to attend at least 50 percent of all regularly scheduled board meetings.
Local Government
Authorizes local governments to prepare biennial budgets.
Local Government
Increases number of members on some boards of zoning appeals.
Fire Prevention
Prohibits certain flame retardants in children's products and residential upholstered furniture.
Textbooks
Revised curriculum in textbooks and instructional materials regarding founding documents.
Abortion
Revises provisions governing fetal tissue obtained as a result of a medical or surgical abortion.
Fluoride
Revises reports due from utility districts.
State Sovereignty
Urges Congress to recognize Tennessee's sovereignty under the 10th amendment to the Constitution.
General Assembly Statement
Expresses disagreement with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.

REP LYNN NAMED TOP CONSERVATIVE IN TENNESSEE

Mt Juliet, Tenn., January 25, 2016 – The American Conservative Union, the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots conservative organization, announced this week that Rep. Susan Lynn has been awarded the coveted ACU Award For Conservative Excellence for being among the top conservatives in the State of Tennessee.

“I’ve always fought for conservative values, and I have done so since first elected.” says Lynn. “I’m truly honored to have this award and recognition.”

The award, which is presented to those members of the Tennessee General Assembly who scored between 90 and 100 percent on the ACU State Legislative Rating scorecard, is the organization’s highest and most revered honor available to lawmakers. Lynn's score for 2015 was 100%. All ratings can be found at acuratings.conservative.org
.

Newly Proposed State Education Standards

PLEASE REVIEW AND COMMENT


Below is the video presentation of the newly proposed math and English / language arts standards which were created pursuant to Public Chapter 423

The Act repealed the Common Core standards and directed the state Board of Education to create new ELA standards for grades K-12.

Please review the new standards on the following links and comment below.

MATH


ENGLISH / LANGUAGE ARTS


VIDEO OF PRESENTATION




ELA and Math Standards:
Pursuant to Public Chapter 423 we are presenting to you the Tennessee English Language Arts (ELA) and Math standards as recommended by the Standards Recommendation Committee (SRC). As you know, the SRC consists of 3 appointees by the Lieutenant Governor, 4 by the Governor and 3 by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. This committee was chaired Kingsport Superintendent, Lyle Ailshie, an appointee of the Lt. Governor. The committee has met seven times since last August, in person and by conference call. After lengthy revision work, the SRC will make a final recommendation on Tennessee standards next week to the State Board for consideration on first reading. The process of revising these ELA and Math standards has been comprehensive, detailed, and extremely transparent. In total, the SRC and educator advisory teams considered more than 166,552 reviews and 27,353 comments on these standards from Tennesseans all across the state. I want to thank the legislators and legislative staff who joined the educator teams, and SRC members for their meetings at different points in time over the last several months. Every meeting was open with public notice given.

CTE Standards:

The CTE Standards Review process was not covered in PC 423 and occurs in multiple steps, including research and data gathering (such as regional, state, and national labor and workforce data), skill alignment, program of study development, and writing and reviewing. We utilize secondary teachers, postsecondary educators, business and industry standards, and national benchmark standards as part of our review. Once standards are approved for first reading by the Tennessee State Board of Education, an open public comment period begins on the standards. The feedback is gathered and revisions are made to the standards to address common themes found in the feedback. Once these revisions are completed, the standards are submitted to the Tennessee State Board of Education for final reading.


State Board of Education’s Commitment to Transparency and Engagement: 
Last year the General Assembly passed P.C. 448 authorizing the State Board to have up to two of their quarterly meetings outside of Nashville. In July ETSU played host to the board’s regularly scheduled meeting and gave our members time to meet with superintendents, educators, legislators and citizens of Upper East Tennessee. In October, our own Dr. William Trout, who represents the 9th congressional district on the board, hosted us at Rhodes College where he serves as President. From The Mountains of East Tennessee to the City of Memphis our board has been engaged and active in 2015, and will continue to take this commitment to transparency and engagement seriously in the year to come.