Tag Archives: TEP

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

Fat Tuesday Edition




Tort reform is what they call it but what it really is a cap on damages that an individual can receive. With that said, it’s back in the news. LINK

Unsatisfied with landmark tort reform legislation that Gov. Bill Haslam and Republican lawmakers successfully enacted last year, business, insurance and health-care interests continue to push for laws that will reduce their exposure to civil lawsuits.

Proponents of the laws say they will help prevent the filing of junk lawsuits and improve Tennessee’s business climate. Opponents say they would improperly shield wrongdoers and close the courthouse doors to all but the very wealthy.

Mary Mancini explains at Tennessee Citizens Action. She writes that the state is kicking hardworking citizens when they are down LINK


After reading this story in the Tennessean this morning we have to state once again, when will Governor Bill Haslam and Republican lawmakers ask, “Is this legislation good for the hardworking people of Tennessee” before they ask, “Is this legislation good for large corporations and their CEOs?”

The article’s title and sub-title: ”More TN tort reform may make the ‘loser pay’” and ”Group follows landmark law with plan to weed out frivolous lawsuits” is painful enough since it establishes as givens the memes that our civil justice system is broken (tort “reform”) and that Tennessee has a problem with lawsuits run amok. Neither is true.

Rep. Jeanne Richardson writes in an op/ed that focuses on public employees and their value to the state.LINK


If the goal is really both the effectiveness and efficiency of government work, the focus should be on maintaining a properly trained workforce that serves the public needs in an efficacious and customer-friendly manner. Further, we should make wise use of the investment the state has made in its employees by keeping the best and the brightest of them.

The TEAM Act does not achieve these goals. Instead, it would virtually eliminate all incentives for people to become state employees, dedicated to the needs of all.

Tennessee Conservation Voters have released a statewide ad regarding the Tennessee Scenic Vistas Protection Act. . LINK

Mountaintop removal coal mining is not a partisan issue, it’s a people issue.” said Mary Helen Clarke, Board President of Tennessee Conservation Voters. “The goal of our campaign is to educate Tennesseans and our elected representatives on the negative health and economic impacts caused by mountaintop removal mining. From increased rates of cancer, heart disease and birth defects to costing Tennessee tax payers millions each year, mountaintop removal mining comes with extraordinary costs. Right and wrong don’t always divide across party lines, neither should blowing up Tennessean’s mountains.”

The Tennessee Scenic Vistas Protection Act is not an anti-coal campaign. The bill narrowly applies to the method of coal mining above 2,000 feet and only limits mining high-elevation coal by one method, that is, mountaintop removal. All other methods of coal extraction would be unaffected by this legislation.

A suggestion for an amendment on a controversial piece of legislation added with a bit of history from Jonathan Cole at the TEP. LINK
Last year, the state government enacted HB600 which set current state law as the ceiling for employment discrimination for all local governments. The sponsor and supporters of the bill claimed the new state law merely provided a uniform set of statewide standards for workplace protections. HB600 made no explicit reference to sexual orientation or gender identity. But HB600 was introduced in direct response to a Nashville ordinance protecting the employees of local government contractors from discrimination baseon sexual orientation and gender identity.

Quick Hits

  • A very intriguing story by J.R. Lind on Nashville and the rise of Williamson County which focuses on the how the border county has become an economic powerhouse and Davidson County rival.LINK
  • Democratic powerhouse Howard Richardson from Shelby County has passed away. Hishistory is politics and activism is legendary.LINK
  • Are school counselors having their hands tied with new Don’t Say Gay legislation. Tony Gonzalez at the Tennessean talks to some of them and they are saying this is troubling. LINK  
  • Is the 287(g) bill coming to an end? LINK

Quick Hits


A few state-based websites to keep our eyes on in the future which are wonderful resources on politics, legislation and issues. If you know of online entities that are concentrating on what is happening in the Tennessee, be sure to send them to us so we can add them to our reader on the website or that we can aggregate on the Buzz. These are just a few on the wonderful resources that we have across the state.

  • Joe Lance has designed a voters guide at the Tennessee Ticket that we might want to keep an eye on this upcoming election year. As redistricting is going on around us, this should be as handy as a pocket on a shirt on keeping voters abreast of the new lines now being debated in Nashville. LINK
  • Tennessee Citizen Action keeps up with not only consumer rights legislation, but long-term coalition building. The organization is very active throughout the state. LINK
  • KnoxViews keeps a running tally in its sidebar of continually updates feeds from progressive writers statewide, media from east Tennessee and national perspectives. Several writers blog daily and the information is always fresh. LINK
  • Hispanic Nashville is an amazing resource of civil and political issues from around the state. Edited by John Lamb, this is one of the most comprehensive online guides that is a wealth of information regarding the Latino community. LINK
  • Grand Divisions focuses on LGBT issues all across the state. LINK
  • MLIS Rachel Walden is the author of Women’s Health News, which focuses on women’s health and political legislation. LINK 

These are just a few of many. Please send us your favorite websites or if you start your own blog, let us know. We primarily concentrate specifically on politics, legislation and issues impacting Tennesseans.


It’s a good way to bring all of our collective and diverse voices together.




Monday Roundup


The State House and Senate Democratic caucuses are holding a jobs tour this week all around the state. The presser is at Vibinc with the details. There should be quite a bit of media on this and to follow what is happening on Twitter, the hashtag they are using is #TNJobsTour LINK

Gov. Bill Haslam is complimentary about the tour, unlike Sen. Mark Norris who made some snarky comments about the statewide effort when it was announced a few weeks ago. LINK

Jeff Woods has a story this morning at the City Paper about photo ids, ALEC, Steve Cohen and what the republicans are saying about new voter laws. LINK

Subsidies for Electrolux in Memphis will run roughly $152,000 a job. This is rather complicated and Tom Humphrey breaks it down. LINK

Meet Zack Poskevich from Henderson,  the man who will be going after Sen. Bob Corker in the GOP primary, in an interview with James Harrison at Nooga. LINK

The Commercial Appeal begins charging for digital content this week. The story is here. LINK

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell will fade away tomorrow. Diatribes and Ovations has a post about what it comes down to for the military. LINK