About Me

My photo
Business, Free Enterprise and Constitutional Issues; Pro-Life and Pro Second Amendment. Susan Lynn is a member of the Tennessee General Assembly. She serves as Chairman of the Consumer and Human Resources subcommittee and on the Finance Ways and Means Committee. She holds a BS in economics and a minor in history.

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.


Friday, January 22, 2016

Liberty Counsel's Natural Marriage Act

Video of the Liberty Counsel's Natural Marriage Act in the House Civil Justice Com this week, January 20, 2016, sponsored by Rep. Pody.

Resolution in Support of Williamson County Lawsuit

State Representative Susan Lynn has filed an House Joint Resolution in support of a lawsuit filed in Williamson County 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.  

Lynn stated that “We must remind ourselves that in United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S.___ (2013), the United States Supreme Court said that the rights of those whom they purport to marry is determined by state law including the laws of the state of Tennessee – this sudden reversal and attempt to create law is without precedent.” The Wilson County legislator further stated that “I have dozens of sponsors, and the message of my resolution is clear, we as a state have been violated, and we expect the doctrine of separation of powers and the principles of federalism reflected in our Constitution to be upheld.”

​In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs argue to the court that they believe that the SCOTUS invalidated all of Tennessee’s marriage licensure law, and that if the court has invalidated the law the plaintiffs cannot lawfully distribute marriage licenses, solemnize marriages, or be a witness on a marriage license because to do so would be violation of law. 

The lawsuit quotes the court in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. “state laws … are … held invalid to the extent they exclude same-sex couples from civil marriage on the same terms and conditions as opposite-sex couples.”  And that the SCOTUS further stated that “The Court now holds that same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry.”

However, the plaintiffs contend that Tennessee’s marriage licensure law cannot be both invalid and valid at the same time.  The court cannot opine 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. 

The doctrine of severability is reaffirmed at the federal level all the time and elision was just reaffirmed last year by the Tennessee Supreme Court, in State of Tennessee v. Crank, No. E2012-01189-SC-R11-CD, filed February 13, 2015.  It is not an unusual thing for a state court to be called upon to decide how a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court should be applied to a state law.

Rep. Lynn in expressing her agreement with the Plaintiffs argument said “The Tennessee General Assembly and the voters have voted to reaffirm traditional marriage again and again.”  Lynn went on to say that “The Plaintiffs are correct, the court cannot strike the words man and woman from our law leaving the rest of the law in place to apply to everyone.”   

The attorney for the Plaintiffs, David Fowler from the Constitutional Government Defense Fund, stated in a press release on Thursday, “At the heart of the declaratory judgment lawsuit filed today is the issue of who rules the people of Tennessee and, ultimately, all the people of the United States.” “…let me be clear about what [this lawsuit] does not assert. This lawsuit does not deny that the Supreme Court has the power of judicial review. It does not deny the power of a federal court to judge the constitutionality of a particular law. It does not deny that the Supreme Court ruled that our state marriage license law is invalid. And it is that point which leads to what this lawsuit does assert, namely, how does anyone, regardless of the sexes of the parties, get a valid marriage license pursuant to an invalid law?”

 “My resolution sends a message that we expect the doctrine of separation of powers and the principles of federalism reflected in our Constitution to be upheld by all courts.   The Supreme Court cannot declare by judicial fiat a new statutory scheme in place of the old.  The Court must leave it to the legislative branch to decide what should take the place of the scheme being stricken.” stated Rep. Lynn. “The court went far beyond judicial review; the judicial branch is denied the power to legislate to under the state and U.S. Constitutions under the doctrine of the separation of powers.”

Susan Lynn is Chairman of the House Consumer & Human Resources Subcommittee.  She lives in Old Hickory and represents House District 57, which encompasses western and northern Wilson County. She can be reached by email at Rep.Susan.Lynn@capitol.tn.gov

http://www.lebanondemocrat.com/News/2016/01/22/Lynn-files-resolution-in-support-of-Williamson-County-lawsuit.html?ci=stream&lp=2&p=1

Monday, January 18, 2016

ILLEGAL POLITICAL POLL

Dear Friends,

A poll is going out from a group that identifies itself as the "State GOP". The "State GOP" is not running a poll and has confirmed for me that this is an illegal poll.

I would like to verify from more people that the caller says State GOP. If you receive a call would you please listen for the name of the group and please let me know what is said? Apparently, someone came out yesterday declaring that he is running against me in August.

Thank you for your help, 

Susan

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Legislators Burdening Business and Not Minding Rights!

The Retail Accountability Program is an over reaching law created in 2012 that 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 idea is to look for discrepancies between wholesaler sales and retailer purchases in order to allow the department to evaluate what amount of sales tax they remit, and to aide in the enforcement of tax laws.

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.

Every single State Senator voted for the bill while only a scant few House members voted against it.
Last year the Legislature further expanded this law by passing SB107 to now include 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! 

Once again every Senator voted for the bill and only four House members voted no – Lynn, Dunlap, Sparks and Windle.

Both the 2012 Act and the 2015 expansion acknowledged the law’s very complex and burdensome reporting requirement because each authorizes the Commissioner to waive electronic filing for some businesses not equipped to submit so much data. A member of the soft drink industry reports that when he called the department to complain about this administrative-informational dragnet because his business simply does not keep the mandated information in the form that the department requires he was told that in lieu of filing electronically he could turn over all of his records to the Department!

These records were created at the expense of the business for its own operation - they have nothing to do with the business’ relationship to the government – and further the information is proprietary.
Citizens are protected from unreasonable searches and seizures by the Fourth Amendment - a search includes demands for uncompensated required information owned by the business.  This law permits such searches, and subjects businesses to penalties for failure to provide it or for inaccuracy.

The due process clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution shape the Doctrine of Procedural Due Process.  Officials in the United States are required to follow fair procedures when making rules to enact laws before depriving a person of life, liberty, and property.  The creation of procedures involves the public by way of the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act in Title 4 of the Tennessee Code – the UAPA allows enough time for the public to consider what is being required and to provide input.  I am told that the advisory instructions for this law have been modified twice by the department in a rush – which means emergency rules were used.  The process of emergency rule making is only for true emergencies – not for implementing a tax-deep dive program.

The state Legislature has permitted this draconian treatment of our Tennessee businesses both small and large with little thought of the effect of these very burdensome government regulations.  A bill has been filed to repeal part of the Act.  Let’s hope the legislators are willing to amend this abusive law that has imposed onerous, unreasonable and unconstitutional actions upon our Tennessee businesses.

Sanctity of Human Life Sunday

SoHLS_Logo.png

Today is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.

Today my pastor preached a wonderful message in support of life. As a pro-life legislator his message has caused me to reflect on the great progress we have made for pro-life in Tennessee since the terrible Supreme Court of Tennessee decision in 2000 made Tennessee's abortion regulation laws in the Tennessee Code unenforceable.

We pro-life legislators worked for years to pass SJR 127 - which finally passed the legislature because at the same time we were fighting to gain more Republican seats each year. This change in the balance of power allowed Amendment 1 to be placed on the 2014 ballot and passed. We had finally done it - we overturned the 2000 SCOTN decision, and amended our state Constitution to allow us to regulate abortion.

2015, Tennessee Right to Life asked me to sponsor the bill to re-enact our law for the licensing and inspection of abortion clinics, and I co-sponsored the re-enactment of the waiting period before having an abortion as well as informed consent.

Over the years, even without Amendment 1 we were able to do other things. In 2009, again working with Tennessee Right to Life, we figured out a way to defund Planned Parenthood of state tax dollars which I sponsored - since that time, no state tax dollars have gone to Planned Parenthood.

In 2009, I also sponsored and passed the Abortion Anti-coercion Act which requires every abortion clinic to post a sign stating that it is a felony to coerce a woman or girl to have an abortion.

After a huge floor fight I was proud to vote to kill a bill that would have criminalized undercover videos of illegal activities - the bill would have made illegal the LiveNation videos that have exposed Planned Parenthood's sale of fetal body parts and their concealment of sex trafficking. Pro-lifers and animal lovers begged legislators to vote no on the Ag Gag bill. It narrowly passed but was ultimately found to be unconstitutional because it violated the First Amendment and the Governor issued a veto.

Last summer, as a result of the LiveNation videos, I scrutinized our law and rules for abortion clinics to see if it was possible to sell fetal body parts in Tennessee. While it has been illegal since 1997 to sell fetal body parts, I wrote the Governor a letter with a great many co-signers with my concerns that there were loop holes. The Governor replied in early fall that he had made the administrative rules changes to take care of part of the problems and that we would take the legislative action too. ..all of my ideas are in the Governor's bill plus others and I will be a sponsor of the Governor's bills.

However, the pro-abortion crowd is not sitting idly by -

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.

Here is a list of the concerns;

  • Amendment 1 - Tracey E George et al v. Haslam et al: Filed in U.S. District Court of Middle Tennessee on November 7, 2014. Assigned to Federal Judge Kevin Sharp. An attempt to overturn Amendment 1.
  • Amendment 1 - Tre Hargett, Secretary of State for the State of Tennessee and Mark Goins, Coordinator of Elections of the State of Tennessee v. Tracey E. George, et al: Filed in Williamson County Chancery Court on September 1, 2015. Assigned to Williamson County Judge Michael W. Binkley. An attempt to overturn Amendment 1.
  • Pro-life Statutes - Adams & Boyle, et al v. Slatery, Dreyzehner et al: Filed in U.S. District Court of Middle Tennessee on June 25, 2015. An attempt to overturn our newly created pro-life statutes.
  • Texas Challenge - Supreme Court case Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole 2016. Challenging Texas abortion regulations such as licensure and inspections.
    • AUL Amicus Brief - Americans United for Life (AUL) amicus brief the Texas Supreme - 2016. We need this to influence the court's decision in the Texas case to not overturn the Texas laws.
  • In addition, Planned Parenthood is doing several things to fight back against the LiveNation videos.
Friends, we need a great deal of prayer to fight for the right to life. We also need your action - please speak up and educate friends and colleagues on pro-life issues. We need you to teach the children that God loves everyone - especially babies in the womb.

The United States is hardly recognizable from just the time I was born. You can help by supporting our local crisis pregnancy center, Wilson County Right to Life, Tennessee Right to Life and you can send emails or plan to come support our legislative agenda to ensure that no fetal body parts are ever sold in Tennessee. Also, our federal representatives just sent a bill to the President's desk to defund Planned Parenthood of federal dollars - which he vetoed. Please email each of them your thanks and tell them that you will be there with your support when the try again!