Tag Archives: Sherry Jones

Voices From Around The State

The one where Rep. Mike Turner responds to Gov. Bill Haslam’s new plan” to change the personnel policies of Tennessee state employees would eliminate preference given to military veterans and spouses of deceased and disabled veterans.” My grandfather who was a Marine in WWII in Saipan and my dad who was in the Air Force during the Bay of Pigs thank you. LINK
“Now, more than ever, we need to be helping our military and their spouses find jobs. They have put their lives on the line for all of us in Tennessee. The governor’s proposal to eliminate preference given to our military and their spouses does not treat our veterans with the respect they deserve,” Turner said.
If you didn’t know, state legislators receive $173 a day for per diem. Sen. Mark Norris isn’t fond of Sen. Lowe Finney’s idea. LINK

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A proposal to freeze Tennessee lawmakers’ expense reimbursements rates has been delayed in the state Senate amid concerns about rising gas prices.

The bill sponsored by Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Lowe Finney of Jackson would make lawmakers forgo future increases in their daily expense allowance and their mileage reimbursements.

A letter to the editor from Emilee Fields of Goodletsville in today’s Tennesseans looks at caps on damages against the nursing home injury and share her personal story. LINK


Considering that Tennessee ranks near the bottom in nursing home care, placing limits on the ability of families who have lost loved ones to sue for neglect and malpractice will only cause Tennessee’s ranking to plummet further.

As care providers, it is their responsibility to CARE for their patients. Instead of making it more difficult for families to sue, complaints of neglect should be more thoroughly investigated. Establishments that are found to be negligent need to be closely evaluated and suffer the consequences of their actions.

The Tennessee Human Rights Commission is saying discrimination has not stopped. LINK


Discrimination still exists in Tennessee, it just looks different than it did 30 years ago, a state official says.

There no longer are signs prohibiting any racial or ethnic group from entering a business, but people are being denied access to housing and employment opportunities, said Beverly Watts, executive director of the Tennessee Human Rights Commission.


Rep. Craig Fitzhugh has added an amendment to the Don’t Say Gay bill, which was rolled yesterday for a week. LINK


Democratic House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh of Ripley said he’s planning to introduce an amendment that clarifies the bill won’t interfere with the anti-bullying statute that was passed last year.


Quick Hits

  • Video of State Reps Jeanne Richardson Richardson, Brenda Gilmore, Sherry Jones, and Mike Turner at yesterday’s Tennessee Equality Project’s rally at legislative Plaza.LINK 
  • Rick Santorum is leading in the polls in Tennessee.LINK 
  • Tennessee Citizen’s Action will be holding a press conference today at the Capitol asking for a repeal on Photo IDs. LINK
  • Tennessee may have a new state flower. LINK

Redistricting Maps Released


The House and Senate have released the new maps and it’s pretty much what everyone expected with a few new curves. Tom Humphrey has a round-up of the physical maps here for you to see for wherever you may live in Tennessee with stories about what has happened to the House and to the Senate.

For political internet junkies, social media was buzzing about which democrats were safe, and which were not in the next election cycle

Here are some of the reactions from around the state. Because the district lines have changed drastically in some areas across the state, we will look today at those elected officials most effected by yesterday’s news. As for congressional districts, according to WPLN, House speaker Beth Harwell is quoted as saying those will be released sometime this week. 


Two of the more progressive house representatives have been put in the same district in Nashville. Jeff Woods talks to both of them. The House Speaker defended that she was trying to create a fight for two well-liked democrats. LINK


House Speaker Beth Harwell denies trying to gerrymander liberal Nashville Democrats Sherry Jones and Mike Stewart out of public office. Meeting with reporters after the unveiling of the GOP House redistricting plan this morning, Harwell said Republicans had no choice but to throw Stewart and Jones into the same district


In Memphis, Sen. Jim Kyle has been moved into incumbent GOP Sen. Brian Kelsey’s district which means the two will have to run against each other this year. Meanwhile, Rep. Jeanne Richardson will face Rep. Antonio Parkinson while veteran legislators Rep. GA Hardaway has been put in the same district as Rep. Barbara Cooper. LINK


Republicans and Democrats in the House expected the Shelby County delegation would lose two Democratic seats.

Collierville Republican Curry Todd was the coordinator for the Shelby County part of the proposal.


 Sen. Andy Berke’s seat in Chattanooga was highly redrawn and he is looking at all options. Andy Sher with the story. LINK


The plan is expected to be acted on in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday and could become law by the end of next week.

It reflects the first GOP-crafted redistricting plan in Tennessee history. State Senate, state House and congressional districts are redrawn every 10 years to reflect shifting population according to the latest U.S. census.

Berke is already said to be exploring running for Chattanooga mayor and Republicans believe the plan will give him a firm nudge, although Berke has said he thinks he can win the redrawn district.

Betsy Phillips puts things in perspective at Tiny Cat Pants. (Saucy Language Alert)LINK


So, do the new districts suck for Democrats? Yes. But what is the solution that respects our form of government? The voters put Republicans in charge. If you’re not seeing proof they’re splitting up voting communities-like splitting black neighborhoods to keep them from having black representatives-then it’s just our tough luck that they’re changing districts.


 In other news around the state:


The Jackson Sun’s editorial board says to beware of a new bill coming up when session reconvenes next week.LINK


With the second session of Tennessee’s 107th General Assembly set to convene Jan. 10, people already are beginning to consider legislation. A likely proposal we would urge caution on would require drug testing of people who get government assistance or workers’ compensation benefits.

Don’t interpret our reluctance to be acceptance of illegal drug use by people who receive government benefits, or anyone else. Illegal drug use is against the law, and it should be dealt with accordingly by law enforcement.

Rather, our concerns center around the unintended consequences of such a proposal. A similar bill was introduced last year and failed to pass, in part, because it carried a $12 million fiscal review price tag. But cost is only one of the potential pitfalls such a measure could encounter.



The Tennessee Anti-Bullying Law changes have made the national media, this one from the Huffington Post.LINK


Less than one month after a local gay teen took his own life after allegedly being tormented at his high school, a proposed change in a Tennessee lawcould protect students who engage in anti-gay bullying if they do so for religious reasons.

As local news channel WSMV is reporting, the proposed law change by state lawmakers would allow students to speak out against homosexuality without punishment if that’s what their religious beliefs call for. The bill is reportedly a top priority for the conservative Family Action Council of Tennessee – as the Chattanooga Times Free Press notes, the group’s December newsletter says it hopes “to make sure [the law] protects the religious liberty and free speech rights of students who want to express their views on homosexuality.”


Quick Hits


  • Sen. Lowe Finney’s statement on redistricting released yesterday. Sen. Finney’s district changed significantly in west Tennessee. LINK
  • Sen. Bob Corker has a website targeting him over some of his recent votes called OperationCorkscrew. LINK
  • Tennessee Talking Points asks why the TNDP is looking to extend the Chair’s position to four years instead of two.LINK
  • Sean Braisted, who serves on the Executive Committee responds to TTP about the discussion that will take place this weekend about the proposed extenstion. (Both blogs make lively and intelligent observations on the issue.) LINK