What to Expect When They’re Expected to Legislate

January 11, 2012 by  
Filed under Recent Blog Posts

HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SESSION!

Yesterday, Tuesday, January 10, marked the opening day of the 2nd session of 107th Tennessee General Assembly. Both the Senate and the House will convene at 12 noon. Then, the House State and Local Government Committee will convene at 1:30 pm to hear the bills related to redistricting. The full calendar can be found on the Tennessee General Assembly website.

PLAY ALONG AT HOME

You should know two things as this session progresses. One, we will be keeping an eye on things up there for you, and two, you can also follow along at home using the Tennessee General Assembly’s robust  easy to use website. Here’s how:

1) Log on to http://capitol.tn.gov/ to look up bills, see what’s coming up in any given week, watch videos pertaining to a bill you are following, contact your legislator, watch live committee meetings and floor session. In fact, the HELP section of the website is quite robust and will help you to do all of these things and more.

2) The legislature is in session Monday through Thursday. The way it usually works is the full House and Senate meet on Monday nights and Thursday mornings, and committees meet on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. If you go to Capitol.tn.gov on any given day you can click on “What’s In Progress Now” and get a list of what meetings are streaming live on the internet at that moment.

3) You can also browse proposed bills for this session by number or subject.

THE BILL TO REPEAL THE PHOTO ID TO VOTE REQUIREMENT HAS COMPANY

So, what can you discover by looking at the TGA website? Well, for instance, you can discover that the bill to repeal the excessive photo ID to vote law is not alone. If you go to Capitol.tn.gov, click on “Legislation,” go to “Browse Bills by Subject,” click on “E”  and scroll down to “Election Laws,” you’ll see that the repeal bill has some company this session.

HB2176 / SB2139
SPONSORS: Rep. Mike Turner, Sen. Lowe Finney
Repeals the photo ID to vote requirement.

HB2287
SPONSOR: Rep. Cameron Sexton
Requires all driver licenses issued or renewed after July 1, 2012, to have a photo. Right now, seniors age 60 + do not have to have a photo. This law would remove the exemption.

HB2174 / SB2128
SPONSORS: Rep. Debra Maggart; Sen. Bill Ketron

Allows seniors 60 + to vote absentee no questions asked. Currently the cutoff age is 65 +.

HB2178
SPONSOR: Rep. Gerald McCormick
Allows an employee photo ID issued by a Tennessee municipality or county to be used to fulfill the photo ID to vote requirement.

HB2177 
SPONSOR: Rep. Gerald McCormick
Allows a county election commission to issue a photo ID to vote instead of just the Dept. of Safety.

HB2190
SPONSOR: Rep. JoAnne Favors
Exempts anyone 65 + from the photo ID to vote requirement.
HB2219
SPONSOR: Rep. Barbara Cooper
Allows certain transit authority IDs to be used to fulfill with the photo ID to vote requirement.

HB2241
SPONSOR: Rep. JoAnne Favors
Allows a city or county employee ID to be used to fulfill the photo ID to vote requirement.

HB2242
SPONSOR: Rep. JoAnne Favors
Allows a student ID issued by a state instituion of higher learning to be used to fulfill the photo ID to vote requirement.

HB2248
SPONSOR: Rep. G.A. Hardaway
Requires that notice of change of polling place be mailed to voters at least 10 days before the election day.

HB2252
SPONSOR: Rep. G.A. Hardaway
Requires the coordinator of elections to create a program for precinct registrars to be able to search for and retrieve a photo of the voter if the voter is unable to present a photo ID.

We’ll be following these closely.

AND SO IT BEGINS

And as always, send any questions or comments to mary@tnca.org.

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