Legislative Update, January 28, 2023



Tennessee General Assembly information, click HERE. For information on State Senators, including phone numbers and email addresses, click HERE; for House members, click HERE. For information on legislation, click HERE.
Don't forget that you can now watch the Senate committee meetings and floor sessions online by going HERE; House committee meetings and floor sessions online HERE.
Phone calls can go to the legislative Switchboard at 615-741-3011 or to the Toll Free number 1-800-449-8366+1 last four digits of office phone number (available online).


“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried.” This is according to G.K. Chesterton, who found Christians, including himself, did not put their faith into action.


I can't think of any more powerful scripture for us to pray continually as the 113th General Assembly really gets underway than 1 Timothy 2:1: Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence
I would also ask that you continue praying for Rep. Ron Gant as he continues to heal from the horrific wreck he was in last October.


I AM SO EXCITED TO INTRODUCE YOU TO: Andrew McCullough, my Wednesday intern, is a high school senior who enjoys government, engineering, and theater. Mom and Dad, Jeff and Christina and family, live in Murfreesboro and they have a ministry called JumpStart3 that puts scripture to music and pairs that with American Sign Language-based motions to help people memorize the word of God.

Andrew will be writing a paragraph each week about his experience. 

"This internship so far has been a wonderful opportunity to get to be on the ground looking at the cogs that make the governmental machine turn. It has allowed me to begin to envision government through new eyes and made me want to learn more."


Andrew and I had a real treat on Wednesday.  We happened to be in the room when the Senate Health and Welfare committee had its meeting introducing Ralph Alvarado, MD, FACP who became the 15th Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health on January 17, 2023.
When his appointment was announced, there was some talk about the wisdom of  appointing a Kentucky Senator to this position in Tennessee. I urge you to click on the graphic and watch [move the slide over to 18] the brief testimony to learn more about this remarkable man.



SB 0001by *Johnson , Yager, Haile, Bowling, White, Crowe, Bailey, Hensley, Jackson
Public Health - As introduced, prohibits a healthcare provider from performing on a minor or administering to a minor a medical procedure if the performance or administration of the procedure is for the purpose of enabling a minor to identify with, or live as, a purported identity inconsistent with the minor’s sex

HB0001 is scheduled in the House Health Subcommittee on Tuesday at 1:30pm
SB0001 is scheduled in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee on Wednesday at 1:00pm

What was publicized here in Tennessee last fall:
Gov. Bill Lee Calls For Investigation Of Vanderbilt’s Pediatric Transgender Clinic Following Matt Walsh Revelation . and the rally: Top Eight Quotes from Nashville “Rally to End Child Mutilation .

There was little doubt that legislation would be put in place. The question became: what kind of legislation, what would it accomplish and how it would stand up in the sure-to-come court challenge. There are some legitimate concerns about the present content and some changes are being prepared.  We will see if these are adequate. My heart's desire is that TN could pass a piece of legislation that could become model legislation for the rest of the country!!


SB 0003 by *Johnson , Crowe,Bowling, Haile,  Yager, Bailey, Jackson Bowling, Haile 
Obscenity and Pornography - As introduced, creates an offense for a person who engages in an adult cabaret performance on public property or in a location where the adult cabaret performance could be viewed by a person who is not an adult.

STATUS:SB0003 is scheduled in Senate Judiciary on Tuesday, 3:00pm
NOTE:  There has been some concern about this legislation among some conservatives. When I read it, the first thing I thought about was what we are trying to control fits under our HARMEFUL TO MINORS law, which, indecently, I helped to pass in 1989. When I inquired, I understood that that would be added to the text of the legislation.  What is happening IS HARMEFUL TO MINORS for sure!!



It is rewarding to see that the bill we passed last year is being useful. 
Public Chapter 1002. 

Tennessee Lawmaker Sends Letter To School Board To Clarify Laws Regarding Book Removals

The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –

In a letter sent yesterday to the Wilson County Board of Education, Representative Susan Lynn (R-Mount Juliet-District 57) attempted to clarify Tennessee laws regarding book reviews and removals.

Lynn read our article from January 23rd, 2023, that covered the board’s actions regarding The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a book that Wilson County parents say contains graphic depictions of sex acts – both heterosexual and homosexual – and suicide.

Lynn is concerned that the county’s Book Review Committee – which has yet to recommend removal of any of the twelve books that have been sent to them for evaluation – is reviewing books that are in clear violation of Tennessee Code. According to Lynn, these books should have been removed from the schools within the district by the board, and not sent to the committee at all.

“I am compelled to inform you that possession of this book in school and, making it available to minors, is in violation of Tennessee Criminal Code 39-17-902. Section (e)(2) of this part makes it abundantly clear that this book, being available to minors, is a Class A misdemeanor in violation of the state’s obscenity law,” wrote Lynn. “It appears that the School Board ignored the criminal code and has relied on TCA 49-6-3803 to make decisions about sexually explicit materials in our schools. To further clarify, the criminal code trumps a review by a book review committee and the school board.”





TN Attorney General files complaint against Department of Homeland Security, joins coalition to uphold federal law against encouraging illegal immigration
Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti this week joined a 19-state coalition in demanding the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reverse course regarding a new plan to parole hundreds of thousands of aliens into the United States.
Under the false pretense of preventing aliens from unlawfully crossing the border, DHS has effectively created a new visa program by announcing it will permit up to 360,000 aliens annually from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela to be “paroled” into the United States for two years or longer, according to a release from the AG’s office.
The program allows aliens to obtain advance authorization to enter the United States, with eligibility for employment. According to the brief, the program established by DHS “flaunts, rather than follows, the clear limitations imposed by Congress.”
Skrmetti’s office on Thursday joined a coalition of 24 state attorney generals in filing an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of a federal criminal prohibition on encouraging or inducing illegal immigration into the United States.
In the brief, the coalition asks the Court to overturn a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision striking down a federal law that makes it illegal for a person to encourage or induce non-citizens to unlawfully enter or reside in the United States.
As explained in the brief, the Ninth Circuit’s decision undermines Tennessee’s ability to enforce its own criminal laws against encouraging or inducing unlawful conduct. In Tennessee, such laws include Tenn. Code Ann. 39-13-512(4)(A) and Tenn. Code Ann. 39-16-410(a)(1).


The instability facing Tennessee's foster kids

Nashville Tennessean  January 12, 2023

Good morning! Welcome to your Daily Briefing. I'm politics and investigations editor Duane Gang.

A new report this week from the Tennessee Commission on Children & Youth has more grim news about some of our state's most vulnerable residents.

Since 2016, Tennessee has recorded the highest rates of foster care instability in the country. Instability is defined as three or more home placements for a foster youth within their first year in the system.

Nearly 34% of foster cases meet that definition in Tennessee, according to the report, more than double the overall U.S. national average of 14.9%, statehouse reporter Melissa Brown writes.

It is yet another challenge facing the Tennessee Department of Children's Services. The agency is plagued with high turnover, hundreds of kids sleeping in state offices, a troubled youth development center in West Tennessee and more.





The week in politics: Sexton pressed on speaking tour, trans bill set for committee

Melissa BrownAdam FriedmanDuane W. Gang Nashville Tennessean January 26, 2023

Welcome to The Tennessean's new weekly politics roundup, where we'll cover news from across the three Grand Divisions of the state and Washington, D.C.

Each week you can expect a combination of news and notes from The Tennessean politics team about what state lawmakers, executive office officials, Tennessee's congressional delegation and others are doing.

This week, we brought you key takeaways from Gov. Bill Lee's inauguration, Republican bills on juvenile justice and the health commissioner avoiding questions about the state declining federal HIV/AIDS funds.

Here's what else is making news.






State of the State set for Feb. 6:  Gov. Bill Lee this week announced he will deliver his fifth State of the State address to the General Assembly and fellow Tennesseans on Monday, Feb. 6 at 6 p.m. Central Standard Time. The joint session will take place in the House Chamber of the Tennessee State Capitol.



Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Sign-up for TN Eagle Forum's Daily Updates!