Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Legislature adjourns. What passed and what failed.

Unfortunately, wine-in-grocery stores failed. Unfortunately, appointing a State charter school authorizer failed. The bill that would have required welfare parents of failing students to attend parent-teacher conferences or lose some of their welfare benefits failed.

Thankfully, that nutty nullification bill sponsored by Rep. Joe Carr and Sen. Mae Beavers that would  require local police to arrest federal agents carrying out any new federal gun laws failed. A very modest bill allowing local school boards to allow some teachers under certain circumstances to carry guns in school passed. Gun permits records were sealed. A very modest version of the guns-in-parking lots passed that really doesn't change much.

 An animal cruelty reporting bill, some called the “Ag Gag” bill, which would require anyone taking pictures of animal cruelty to report it to authorities within 48 hours barely passed. This does seem like a bill designed to inhibit investigative reporting of animal abuse and I hope the Governor will veto it.

 A bill to amend the state Constitution to ban a state income tax passed and will go to the public for a vote in November 2014. Legislators who live within 50 miles of Nashville, lost their $107 a day lodging per diem (no word yet on whether or not Sherry Jones will resign).

 A proposal to permit for-profit entities to operate charter schools unfortunately failed. A plan to expand the number of charter schools failed.  A voucher plan failed, due to in-party fighting over how big the voucher plan should be, so we got no voucher plan.

A proposal to have nominees for US Senate chosen by the party caucuses of the legislature instead of by voters in a state primary, as they are now chosen, failed.  A plan to redraw judicial lines and reduce the number of districts failed. A bill to ban annexation without approval of those being annexed failed but a 13-month month moratorium on cities annexing residential or agricultural land passed.

A $32.7 billion budget  that cut the death tax, cut the sales tax on groceries from 5.5% to 5.25%, and increased the fund balance in the "rainy day" fund by $100 million passed. 

For other reports on the end of legislative session follow this link, this link, and this. To see Senate Majority leader Mark Norris saying this session is "not the end of education reform," follow this link to a YouTube video.

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