Saturday, August 26, 2023

The special session was a waste of time and money. Nothing significant is going to pass.

Tennessee Senate adjourns special session until Monday afternoon

By Jon Styf | The Center Square, Aug 24, 2023 -  The Tennessee Senate went into session briefly Thursday only to adjourn until 4 p.m. on Monday.

The Senate passed three bills Wednesday and are awaiting those bills returning but Sen. Jack Johnson, R-Franklin, told media he didn’t expect the Senate to take up any other bills.

“We feel like we’ve accomplished what we came here to do, which is to address the things the governor wanted us to take up in this special session,” Johnson said.

The special session will cost the state additionally based upon the per diem amount per legislative day, which WKRN reported was $7,989 in the Senate with mileage costing $6,137 per day and a total cost of $14,126 per day.

In the House of Representatives costs one day costs $24,903 in per diem and $19,547 in mileage for a total cost of $44,450.

That up from 2021, when it cost $30,750 for per diem and $15,474 for mileage for one round trip for the combined House and Senate.

The three Senate bills included bills addressing eliminating taxes on handgun safety devices, the communication timeline of criminal court proceedings to the Tennessee Bureau of Information and a bill creating a statewide report on human trafficking.

Senate Bill 7085, the handgun safety bill passed through the Senate committee, puts in new requirements to add safe storage training to future handgun safety courses and also eliminates sales taxes on firearm safes and safety devices starting on Nov. 1.

Senate Bill 7086 requires a clerk of the circuit or general sessions court to notify TBI of the result of criminal proceedings within three business days instead of within 30 days.

Senate Bill 7088 will create a new child and human trafficking crimes report from TBI’s human trafficking unit. The report will be due in December each year before the Legislature begins its session.
Special Session: Day Three

BY MEGAN LEE PODSIEDLIK, The Pamphleteer, August 25 2023- Will only three public safety bills pass? If yesterday’s Senate floor session is any indication, yes. The body only passed three bills pertaining to safety on final reading, plus SB7089, which covers the tab of the special session. 



Though the Senate floor session was scheduled for 9 a.m., no one showed up. Since there was no quorum, Leader Randy McNally gaveled in and gaveled out. Instead, they met at 11 a.m.—but no new committee meetings have been added to the calendar. This means that, for now, the Senate isn’t passing any more bills on final reading. Instead, there was a motion for the Senate to reconvene on Monday at 4 p.m., during which they’ll consider any amendments added onto the House companion bills. (read it all)

Governor Lee, don’t waste a crisis. Tell Tennessee lawmakers what you want out of special session | Plazas

by David Plazas, The Tennessean, Aug. 25, 2023- Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee called lawmakers into an extraordinary session this past week and now it has devolved into chaos.

What started off as a meeting to focus on one policy change regarding external risk protection orders turned into a consideration of 18 points that confounded and divided even reasonable people.

The governor essentially gave the legislature mismatched pieces of a puzzle and then expected them to put it together.

No legislation ready for the governor's signature has been passed and the lawmakers have taken off for the weekend. ... Lee has been criticized by lawmakers and the public for being missing an action. This is unusual. .... Since Lee proposed the special session last spring, he has been criticized by members of his own party and gun advocates. Some have called him a socialist or demanded that he be censured. Some on the left have called him a coward.

But let’s not forget that calling this special session as a conservative Republican governor was a political risk, and it was brave. The problem now is that Lee is not following through. ... 

This special session may not be successful, but the governor is the only one right now who can try to set things right.

Governor Lee broke it, he bought it and now must fix it .(read more)

Rod's Comment: 

It appears nothing significant is going to come out of the Special Session. This is disappointing but not unexpected. As I said in a post on August 19th, Governor Lee should have cancelled the Special Session. I agree with Plazas that it took courage for Lee to call the Special Session. However, when it was clear that nothing of significance was going to pass, he should have simply expressed his disappointment and then cancelled it. Since he did not, he should have gone all out and advocated for his proposed Extreme Risk Protection Order. I doubt he could have been successful in getting it passed, but if he was going to let this special session take place, he should have fought for his agenda. 

What I wanted out of the Special Session was passage of the Extreme Risk Protection Order and a requirement that guns left in cars be stored safely. Disappointed. 

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