Legislative session is in full swing in Nashville and we are proud to report that all of the bills within our legislative agenda have been filed. Now it’s time to get down to business and get these bills passed.
Ballot Access Reform
As of late last week, our ballot access reform bill (HB0609/SB0651) has been filed.
Please call or email the bill sponsors, Rep Bud Hulsey and Sen Mark Pody, and thank them for carrying this legislation.
We expect this bill to be heard first in the Elections and Campaign Finance sub-committee. If it passes there, it should go to the full Local Government Committee.
We have talked to every member of the sub-committee and all seem tentatively supportive of the bill, but their support is not certain until the vote is cast. Please contact the members of this sub-committee (listed below) and ask them to support this bill:
- Rep Tim Rudd (Chairman, Murfreesboro)
- Rep Harold Love (Nashville)
- Rep Johnny Shaw (Bolivar)
- Rep Eddie Mannis (Knoxville)
- Rep Dave Wright (Corryton)
- Rep Ryan Williams (Cookeville)
- Rep John Crawford (Kingsport)
- Rep John Holsclaw (Johnson City)
Civil Asset Forfeiture
It’s looking like a promising year for meaningful civil asset forfeiture reform.
We aren’t likely to get a requirement for a criminal conviction, but Sen Frank Niceley has filed the bill in the senate, while we are still working to identify a house sponsor.
Rep Rusty Grills and Sen Frank Niceley’s bond bill (HB0059/SB0260) seems to have good traction, as does the crucially important reporting bill (HB0409/SB0452) being brought by Rep Justin Lafferty and Sen Mike Bell.
Rep Jerry Sexton and Sen Janice Bowling filed the bill to remove the cap on reimbursement for attorney’s fees (HB1254/SB1361) just under the wire this week and it also seems to have fairly wide support.
Please call or email their offices and let them know that you appreciate their efforts.
When you finish, consider calling the members of Civil Justice subcommittee and encourage them to vote to advance these pieces of legislation:
- Rep Andrew Farmer (Chairman, Sevierville)
- Rep Mike Carter (Ootelwah)
- Rep Michael Curcio (Dickson)
- Rep Johnny Garrett (Goodletsville)
- Rep Bruce Griffey (Paris)
- Rep John Ray Clemmons (Nashville)
- Rep Brandon Ogles (Franklin)
- Rep Antonio Parkinson (Memphis)
- Rep Bob Ramsey (Maryville)
Protecting Small Business
Rep Bud Hulsey and Sen Mark Pody have filed HB0700/SB0850.
This is a very strong bill that would prevent law enforcement from being used to force a business to shut down, prevent free movement, or prevent free assembly.
Rep Brandon Ogles and Sen Paul Bailey have introduced HB0037/SB1573, which would prevent the government from labeling businesses as essential and nonessential.
The former seems to be the stronger piece of legislation, but that may also make it more difficult to pass. We will give further updates as they come available. At the moment, these bills are scheduled to be heard in the Public Service subcommittee.
We have had a lot of positive conversations on our jury nullification bill. Sen Frank Niceley has filed SB833 and we are still waiting on our house sponsor to file the companion legislation.
The conversation around jurors’ rights needs to happen here in Tennessee, where we expect our legislators to understand the value of Tennesseans giving feedback to our state government.
Please thank Sen Niceley for being willing to introduce this legislation, knowing it will absolutely be attacked by state prosecutors and other legal officials.
We need your help to advance these items! Feel free to respond to this email to let us know how you would like to help. Members of our action team will be invited to help us lobby on the Hill.
Not to mention, a donation of as little as $5 a month will help us pay for our ongoing lobbying efforts, cover our operating expenses, and help fund educational campaigns around the issues you find important. Put us to work for you.
Chairman of the Board