Saturday, April 20, 2024

House passes aid package for Ukraine and Israel. My reaction.

 The House pushed through a series of votes in a rare Saturday session to approve $95 billion in foreign aid for Ukraine, Israel and other U.S. allies. Democrats and Republicans joined forces after a grueling months-long fight.

My Comment:

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Friday, April 19, 2024

Supreme Court strikes a blow for property rights. Cites the Nashville Knight sidewalk case brought by the Beacon Center

Reposted from The Beacon Center, April 19, 2024 -According to a Beacon poll released this week, the rising cost of housing is among the most significant barriers that Tennesseans face on the path to financial stability and growth. The Supreme Court’s decision this morning in Sheetz v. El Dorado County will help. 

The rise in housing costs is due in no small part to the rise in permits and fees. Government can prohibit builders from building on their property until the builders acquiesce to extortionate government demands. In a landmark case from 1987, the Court rebuffed the California Coastal Commission’s efforts to force property owners to give up a third of their property for beachfront access. The Commission’s logic for withholding the permit was that further construction would impose a “psychological barrier” for passing motorists who wished to see the ocean, and that property owners must remedy that “problem” by allowing beachgoers to pass through their property. 

It’s unsurprising that the Supreme Court rejected the Commission’s arguments in the 80s, but much more surprising is what some courts have done since. Many courts have drawn an exemption for “legislative exactions.” In other words, property owners could win in court if an unelected bureaucrat placed unreasonable conditions in the permitting process, but not if their elected legislature did the same thing. 

The Supreme Court solved that problem today in Sheetz. In a unanimous decision, the Court rejected the arbitrary exemption for legislative exactions. It held that a county’s decision to charge a $23,420 traffic impact fee for a residential building permit would be subject to constitutional scrutiny even though a legislative body imposed the fee. 

If all this sounds familiar, it’s because Beacon’s clients recently tackled the same issue and won. In Knight v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Beacon and the Southeastern Legal Foundation secured an important Sixth Circuit decision rejecting an exemption for legislative exactions. The Sixth Circuit invalidated Nashville’s sidewalk ordinance—enacted by the Metro Council— that required property owners to pay for the construction of sidewalks miles away before they could build on their own property. The Knight decision deepened disagreement in the lower courts on this issue and helped get the Supreme Court to strike a blow for property rights in today’s ruling. Indeed, the Supreme Court cited Knight in its opinion, and the victory for Mr. Sheetz (represented by Pacific Legal Foundation) will benefit property rights nationwide. 

What’s next? We know legislative exactions are subject to constitutional analysis, but whether any exaction is constitutional is a question for another day. One thing is for certain: government will continue to try and extort property owners in the form of permit conditions, but those property owners—now armed with precedents in Knight and Sheetz— will be well-positioned to fight back. Beacon will continue to represent Tennesseans free-of-charge in cases to help keep down the cost of housing and to elevate fundamental property rights. 


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Marjorie Taylor Greene Is No Neville Chamberlain

By Kevin D. Williamson, The Dispatch, Apr 19, 2024 - Irritated by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s tireless dedication to serving Moscow’s interests, Democratic Rep. Jared Moskowitz offered an amendment to the Ukraine aid bill that would have renamed her office the “Neville Chamberlain Room.” It was an ugly, stupid, juvenile insult. 

Say what you will about Marjorie Taylor Greene, she is no Neville Chamberlain.

Neville Chamberlain was an honorable and decent man, a patriot and a statesman who led the United Kingdom during the first months of World War II before serving honorably in Winston Churchill’s war cabinet for the few months he had left to live before dying of cancer. ...

.... As prime minister, Chamberlain miscalculated in what turned out to be the most consequential decision of his political career. He believed, wrongly, that he could buy off Adolf Hitler and thereby avoid an unprofitable war with a continental tyrant. Avoiding unprofitable wars with continental tyrants has historically been a considerable part of British foreign policy, and it has often been the right policy. It wasn’t the right policy vis-à-vis Nazi Germany. It fell to Chamberlain to admit his error and to announce the declaration of war. ...

Neville Chamberlain made the wrong decision at the most important juncture of his public life. But he was an authentic statesman who put service over self, even at the cost of his reputation, personal fortune, and health. For most of the world—and particularly for Americans, who care so little for history—all that remains of Neville Chamberlain is his worst mistake. But he did what he thought was right, received very little thanks for it in the end, and never stopped working for his country until the last few weeks of his life, when he was physically unable to continue. ... 

Marjorie Taylor Greene is no Neville Chamberlain. Not on her best day. (read it all)

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Nashville’s Transportation Improvement Program

 by Rod Williams, April 19, 2024- Today Mayor Freddie O'Connell held a press conference and revealed the details of his proposed transit plan. To learn more about the proposal follow this link.

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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Majority of Guns Reported Stolen Taken from Vehicles

Metro Nashville press release, April 17, 2024- The MNPD strongly encourages Nashvillians to lock their automobile doors, secure any valuables---especially guns, and remove the keys.

MNPD’s special initiative to combat car theft and related crimes, begun on February 1st, has resulted in 330 arrests and the recoveries of 182 stolen vehicles and 84 guns.

So far this year, 220 guns have been stolen from vehicles in Nashville, five were taken from autos just last week. The total number of guns stolen this year in Davidson County is 318, which means that nearly 70% of guns stolen so far in 2024 have been taken from automobiles. Last year at this same time, 353 guns had been stolen from vehicles, a 37% decrease so far this year.

Going hand in hand with vehicle burglaries is vehicle theft. Too many automobiles remain easy targets because keys are left inside or made available to thieves. Just like guns taken from vehicles, these stolen autos are also routinely involved in criminal activities, including carjackings and robberies.

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Gov. Lee Joins Coalition of Governors in Opposing UAW’s Unionization Campaign

 NASHVILLE, Tenn., April 16, 2024 – Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee joined five other governors in issuing the following joint statement opposing United Auto Workers (UAW)’s unionization campaign:

“We the Governors of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas are highly concerned about the unionization campaign driven by misinformation and scare tactics that the UAW has brought into our states. As Governors, we have a responsibility to our constituents to speak up when we see special interests looking to come into our state and threaten our jobs and the values we live by. 

The reality is companies have choices when it comes to where to invest and bring jobs and opportunity. We have worked tirelessly on behalf of our constituents to bring good-paying jobs to our states. These jobs have become part of the fabric of the automotive manufacturing industry. Unionization would certainly put our states’ jobs in jeopardy – in fact, in this year already, all of the UAW automakers have announced layoffs. In America, we respect our workforce and we do not need to pay a third party to tell us who can pick up a box or flip a switch. No one wants to hear this, but it’s the ugly reality. We’ve seen it play out this way every single time a foreign automaker plant has been unionized; not one of those plants remains in operation. And we are seeing it in the fallout of the Detroit Three strike with those automakers rethinking investments and cutting jobs. Putting businesses in our states in that position is the last thing we want to do. 

The experience in our states is when employees have a direct relationship with their employers, that makes for a more positive working environment. They can advocate for themselves and what is important to them without outside influence. The UAW has come in making big promises to our constituents that they can’t deliver on. And we have serious reservations that the UAW leadership can represent our values. They proudly call themselves democratic socialists and seem more focused on helping President Biden get reelected than on the autoworker jobs being cut at plants they already represent. 

We want to keep good paying jobs and continue to grow the American auto manufacturing sector here. A successful unionization drive will stop this growth in its tracks, to the detriment of American workers.”

In addition to Gov. Lee, signatories include: Governor Kay Ivey (AL), Governor Brian Kemp (GA), Governor Tate Reeves (MS), Governor Henry McMaster (SC), and Governor Greg Abbott (TX).

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Tennessee House approves certificate of need reform

Rep. Clark Boyd, R-Lebanon, presents certificate of need
 reform in front of the Tennessee House on April 16, 2024.
 By Jon Styf, The Center Square, April 18, 2024- The Tennessee House passed removing several health care services from the state’s certificate of need laws, which will now head to the full Senate.

The bill removes CON requirements in counties without an acute care hospital starting July 1, 2025, but begin a 10-mile buffer for competing companies building a new free-standing emergency room.

The bill would then remove burn units, neonatal intensive care, ICF, IDD (intermediate care for disabilities), PET and MRI facilities from CON on Dec. 1, 2025.

House Bill 2269 removes ambulatory surgical centers, linear accelerators and long-term care hospitals from CON on Dec. 1, 2027 and open-heart surgery centers on Dec. 1, 2029.

The bill passed the House 76-12.

CON laws were mandated by the federal government in 1972 and regulate how many medical facilities are available in an area and what services they provide in an effort to reduce consumer costs. Even though Congress later eliminated the CON requirement in 1987, many states retained them.

The bill came from negotiations after a joint working group studied CON in Tennessee and put forward recommendations.

Rep. Aftyn Behn, D-Nashville, said during discussion that she would have preferred that Medicaid being expanded along with CON repeal like it was in North Carolina would have made the bill better.

She asked sponsor Clark Boyd, R-Lebanon, why Medicaid expansion wasn’t included and Boyd said “Because I didn’t want to. You can always file a bill next year if you’d like to do that.”

Representatives in House committee mentioned issues related to Ballad Health’s monopoly in Northeast Tennessee are a large issue impacting residents.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Interest on National Debt Becoming Uncle Sam’s Biggest Bill

 by , Independent Institute, Tuesday, April 16, 2024 - The U.S. government borrows an average of $10 billion daily, which means the national debt increases by $1 trillion every 100 days. It is no secret that paying interest on the national debt has become the fastest-growing category of government spending during President Biden’s tenure. That’s the inevitable outcome of combining an oversized national debt with excessive spending and rising interest rates.

Already, the cost of paying the gross interest on the national debt exceeds $1 trillion—that’s just the cost of interest on the existing national debt. How big will that number grow when Uncle Sam borrows another $10 billion a day, every day through the rest of the year? Especially when the interest rates the government pays on the national debt won’t go down as early or by as much as expected?

Michael Hartnett is an investment strategist at Bank of America Global Research. In his weekly “Flow Show” note for investors, he ran a bearish scenario to answer these questions. Here are the main takeaways from his analysis.

  • US government spending past 5 months = $2.7tn, up 9% YoY... on course for $6.7tn in FY24; US national debt rising $1tn every 100 days...set to hit $35tn in May ’24, $37tn by US election, $40tn in H2’25 (doubling in 8 years); spending up, deficits up (9% of GDP average past 4 years), debt up -> interest payments up = $1.1tn in past 12 months & set to rise by $150bn in next 100 days
  • US Treasury has aggressively shifted refunding toward <1-year T-Bills ($21tn issuance past 12 months), lowering maturity of debt to ≈5 years, increasing sensitivity to short rates, incentivizing Fed to cut rates;
  • Unchanged rates/yields & debt trend next 12 months & US refinancing rate is 4.4% & annual interest costs jump from $1.1tn to $1.6tn

How the fastest growing category of government spending becomes the biggest

According to President Biden’s budget proposal for the federal government’s 2025 fiscal year, Social Security is set to be the year’s biggest budget line item at $1.46 trillion. Should the cost of paying the interest on Uncle Sam’s national debt reach $1.6 trillion by the end of the year, it will become the biggest single line item in the U.S. government’s budget.

Hartnett’s bearish analysis presents a worst-case scenario by assuming 2024 may see no interest rate cuts. However, unless interest rates fall much faster than predicted, interest on the national debt will become Uncle Sam’s biggest budget expense sometime next year.

Craig Eyermann is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Student Debt Plan Would Add Hundreds of Billions to Deficit

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, April 186, 2024- The Biden Administration recently announced a new plan to cancel student debt for up to 30 million borrowers and released a preliminary rule this morning detailing parts of this plan. The proposal, which is being introduced through the rule making process, would replace the Administration’s initial proposal to cancel between $10,000 and $20,000 per person of debt, which was struck down by the Supreme Court.

Elements of the plan in today’s proposed rule would cost nearly $150 billion, according to the Department of Education. However, this excludes a proposal to allow the Secretary of Education to cancel debt for those facing hardship or likely to default. Including this provision, we estimate the plan could cost $250 billion to $750 billion, depending on how the additional cancellation is designed.

The plan itself has five major components. It would:


  • Cancel accumulated interest for borrowers with balances higher than what they initially borrowed, capped at $20,000 for those in standard repayment and uncapped but restricted to individuals making less than $120,000 annually or couples making under $240,000 enrolled in an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan.
  • Automatically cancel loans for borrowers in standard repayment who would be eligible for cancellation had they applied for programs such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) or the new IDR program, Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE).
  • Automatically cancel loans for borrowers who have been repaying undergraduate loans for over 20 years or graduate loans for over 25 years.
  • Cancel debt of those who attended low-financial-value programs, including those that failed accountability measures or were deemed ineligible for federal student aid programs.
  • Forgive debt of borrowers who are “facing hardships” or are likely to default on their loan payments.

The Department of Education has estimated the first four components of the plan would cost $147 billion over a decade, with half the cost stemming from the cancellation of accumulated interest. This is in line with estimates we are currently producing, though well above estimates of $77 billion from the Penn Wharton Budget Model (PWBM). A huge source of uncertainty is how these provisions would interact with existing IDR programs and how much of the debt would otherwise be cancelled under current policy. 

Importantly, today’s rule does not include the Administration’s hardship cancellation plan, which would “authorize the automatic forgiveness of loans for borrowers at a high risk of future default as well as those who show hardship due to other indicators.” 

This is by far the most unclear and potentially the most costly part of their proposal, since cancellation could be both wide-ranging and ongoing. We estimate this proposal could cost between $100 billion and $600 billion over a decade. However, there’s a tremendous amount of uncertainty, with design choices possibly resulting in much lower costs than our range – for example, PWBM estimates this provision would only cost $7 billion. 

It is unclear how the Administration will define hardship, but they discuss 16 possible criteria such as other consumer debt, age, and health care or housing expenses and also declare hardship could be defined based on “any other indicators of hardship identified by the Secretary.” In assessing default risk, the rule allows cancellation for cancellation for those with an 80 percent likelihood of default, as determined by the Secretary. Importantly, over $150 billion of debt is currently in default (and loans in default generally have around a 70 percent recovery rate). We also estimate that a further 6 million borrowers are over 90 days delinquent on their loans, which is another predictor of a high likelihood of default and would further push up the number. The historically high rates of delinquency appear to be related to challenges around restarting student loan repayments last year.

While the default provision would be limited to the next two years under the most recent draft of the proposal, the hardship component has no time limit and thus opens a new venue for a future administration to cancel large amounts of student loan debt. An analysis by FREOPP argues that it could cover over 70 percent of college students. 

In total, our $250 billion to $750 billion estimate for the total cost of the plan would be in line with the cost of the Administration’s $400 billion blanket debt cancellation, which was ruled illegal by the Supreme Court. It would be on top of more than $600 billion of debt cancellation already enacted through unilateral executive action. As we have shown before, these policies would put upward pressure on inflation and interest rates by supporting stronger demand, and much of the benefits would accrue to high-income and highly-educated Americans. In the coming weeks, we will produce further analysis of the Administration’s latest proposal and continue to refine our cost estimates as more data is made available. These analyses will be available at our student debt cancellation resources page.

Read the analysis.

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Connect Downtown Project Team Releases Final Recommendations

Metro Nashville Press Release, April 15, 2024- Today the Connect Downtown Project Team released the Connect Downtown Action Plan final recommendations for comprehensive multimodal improvements in Downtown Nashville. The planning project is a partnership between the Nashville Department of Transportation and Multimodal Infrastructure (NDOT), WeGo Public Transit, The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) and the Nashville Downtown Partnership. The Action Plan includes recommendations called “Big Moves” that are guided by the project’s six goals to make multimodal travel easier and safer in Downtown Nashville.
Connect Downtown strives to ensure Downtown is:
  • Safe and Comfortable: Create transportation networks that enhance the quality of life for all Nashvillians, especially the city’s most vulnerable travelers;
  • Connected and Convenient: Develop an integrated mobility system that seamlessly and efficiently connects downtown Nashville with easy-to-use and reliable travel options;
  • Equitable and Accessible: Ensure equal access to mobility options that meet the needs of everyone traveling to, through, and around downtown Nashville;
  • Sustainable and Resilient: Address the climate crisis to create a more resilient downtown Nashville and Middle Tennessee region;
  • Vibrant and Inviting: Maintain a prosperous downtown by providing a transportation system that makes it easier to do business and encourages people to spend time here; and,
  • Balanced and Reliable: Expand and enhance mobility choices to manage traffic congestion and create a more predictable transportation system in downtown Nashville.
“As we aim to improve mobility everywhere in Nashville, downtown plays a critical role and this effort will ensure more efficient movement for everyone, mirroring the goals outlined in our Choose How You Move program,” said Mayor Freddie O’Connell. “I’m encouraged to see an emphasis on smart traffic signals, mobility lanes for people biking and scooting, and dedicated transit lanes to make the bus more reliable for WeGo riders. This plan, once implemented, will make Downtown work better for everyone, including business owners, delivery drivers, neighborhood residents, and those visiting our city.”
Connect Downtown is a 10-year action plan with projects, programs, and policy recommendations that will be delivered in three phases and are organized into five high-level “big moves”. The final recommendations include near-term quick wins as well as longer-term projects to improve mobility in the downtown core.
“The delivery of the Connect Downtown plan marks the end of a two-year journey of public engagement and forward thinking planning to enhance our City’s connectivity,” said District 19 Metro Council Member Jacob Kupin. “I appreciate the hard work of the partners, including NDOT, WeGo, TDOT, and the Nashville Downtown Partnership as well as the stakeholders, who have shared their feedback along the way. I’m excited for the short term changes that will bring immediate benefit to the downtown core, as well as the long-term progress we will make over the 10 year execution of the plan.”
The five “big moves” include:
  • Manage Congestion: Upgrade signals, improve traffic operations, and better manage events to keep people moving and improve system resiliency;
  • Improve Safety: Advance Vision Zero projects and programs to make downtown’s streets safer for people, especially downtown’s most vulnerable travelers;
  • Move More People: Prioritize buses on key corridors and increase the amount of service to provide faster and more reliable trips throughout the region;
  • Create Complete Networks: Develop safe, separated, and connected walking, rolling, biking, and scooting facilities to help people of all ages and abilities get into and around downtown;
  • Maximize the Curb: Flex the uses of the curb throughout the day for deliveries, service vehicles, and passenger pick-up and drop-off to support local businesses and residents.
The first phase of implementation will focus on quick wins, which includes technology-focused projects (e.g., new signals), curb management activities (e.g., Smart Loading Zone Pilot Program), and quick-build projects (e.g. mobility lanes). The Nashville Department of Transportation and Multimodal Infrastructure (NDOT) and WeGo Transit will be actively and continuously evaluating implementation activities and will make adjustments as needed, while also beginning engineering studies and preliminary design for more complex projects.
Some words from the project partners:
“As the region continues to grow so does congestion and the need for greater mobility options,” said Deputy Governor and Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Commissioner Butch Eley. “TDOT’s Choice Lanes Program, which allows for more transit opportunities, is the perfect example of how we can move the needle and connect to or expand on the larger system as an integrated approach to improved mobility which aligns well with the goals and big moves in the Connect Downtown Plan.”
“The transit enhancements in the Connect Downtown Plan will not only improve the flow of buses into and through Downtown Nashville but will also improve the overall reliability of transit connections between neighborhoods outside the downtown core,” said WeGo Transit Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Steve Bland.
“We are excited that the first phase of the plan brings a comprehensive investment in technology to mitigate congestion and improve mobility,” said Nashville Downtown Partnership President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tom Turner. “This singular solution will positively impact all who live, work, play or invest in and around downtown Nashville.”
“Our five ‘Big Moves’ represent a strong commitment to promoting multimodal connectivity to and through Downtown Nashville,” said Nashville Department of Transportation and Multimodal Infrastructure (NDOT) Director Diana Alarcon. “From curb management to dedicated space for transit, Connect Downtown addresses some of our biggest challenges in our busiest commercial district and one of our most dense neighborhoods.”
The Action Plan containing final recommendations will be considered by Metro Council on April 16.
Rod's Comment: This is not the same as the mayor's big transit proposal. This does not require a dedicated source of revenue. It spends no money. It is a plan. I would have liked it better if they had left out the greenwashing and used the term "equal" instead of "equitable," but that is kind of harmless really, just liberal pablum. I have not yet read the plan itself, just this press release. All of the things revealed in this press release sound reasonable. We need improvement is signalization and curb access and some changes in the bus service, and as one who walks almost daily, I would like to see improvements for pedestrian safety. The mayor's big transit reveal is Friday. 

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US Reps. Green and Kustoff avoid Tennessee primaries after GOP removes opponents from ballot

TN-08 Rep David Kustoff
TN-05 Rep. Mark Green
 Tennessee U.S. Reps. Mark Green and David Kustoff will no longer face opponents in the August primary after state Republican Party officials disqualified their opponents due to challenges over their status as “bona fide” party members

AP Apr 15, 2024 ... six Tennessee Republican congressional members won't have primary opponents.

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Monday, April 15, 2024

Rep. Susan Lynn, Week 13 Recap

From Rep. Susan Lynn, April 12, 2024- 

Rep. Susan Lynn
House Republicans Protect Parents’ Vaccine Decisions

Legislation further protecting medical freedom for parents in Tennessee was approved in the House chamber this week. 

House Bill 2861, sponsored by State Rep. Michele Carringer, R-Knoxville, prohibits health care providers from coercing a person who has legal authority to make healthcare decisions for a child to consent to a vaccination. It also prohibits health care providers from misleading or misrepresenting that a vaccination or newborn screening is required by state law. 

The legislation defines coercion as compelling a person to act by force, intimidation or threat. Any health care provider found to violate the act could have their license suspended, revoked or not renewed by their licensing authority. 

If approved by the General Assembly, House Bill 2861 would take effect July 1

General Assembly Votes to Expedite Evidence Collection in DUI Cases 

The General Assembly this week passed legislation allowing for faster and more effective collection of blood samples involving individuals suspected of driving under the influence in Tennessee.

House Bill 2386, sponsored by State Rep. Ron Gant, R-Piperton, allows an officer to execute a search warrant anywhere in the state for medical records or test to determine the alcohol or drug content of a person’s blood. The legislation also gives magistrates increased authority to issue warrants to recover evidence if at least one element of the crime occurred within their jurisdiction.

“Because evidence of alcohol and drugs metabolizes and dissipates from the bloodstream quickly, this bill… will provide for a timely or more efficient collection of blood evidence to support the effective prosecution of DUI, vehicular assault, and vehicular homicide offenses,” Gant said Monday.

Additionally, the bill encourages hospitals and health care providers to take a blood sample as soon as possible when a warrant is issued. The sample should also be provided to law enforcement expeditiously. 

There were 7,774 wrecks in Tennessee that involved impaired drivers in 2022, according to the most recent data from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. There were 575 fatalities and 4,964 injuries as a result.

House Bill 2386 will now head to Gov. Bill Lee’s desk to be signed into law.

General Assembly Expands Newborn Safe Haven Program

The General Assembly recently approved legislation expanding Tennessee’s newborn Safe Haven program. 

House Bill 1922, sponsored by State Rep. Ed Butler, R-Rickman, adds participating emergency communications centers and nursing homes in counties without hospitals to the list of approved locations for safe haven baby boxes and drop-off locations.  

“This is an important step in ensuring rural communities have access to newborn safe haven boxes,” Butler said. “This program allows suffering mothers to safely surrender their child in a place where proper care can be given. Tennessee is a pro-life state and I encourage mothers to take the necessary steps to keep their children, born and unborn, safe and healthy in times of crisis. I thank my colleagues for supporting this life-saving legislation.”

House Bill 1922 would ensure emergency communications centers and nursing homes are subject to the same policies other facilities are bound by under Tennessee’s Safe Haven law. 

Tennessee currently has three Safe Haven baby boxes, located at fire stations in Jackson, Knoxville, and Kingston. Baby boxes allow mothers to securely and anonymously surrender their child in a continuously monitored safety device that allows medical staff members to care for the baby quickly. 

Current law allows mothers to surrender their newborn up to 14 days after birth without fear of prosecution at hospitals, birthing centers, community health clinics, walk-in clinics, EMS facilities, and 24-hour fire and law enforcement facilities. 

More than 130 newborn babies have been safely surrendered in the state since the Safe Haven law was enacted in 2001, according to Secret Safe Place for Newborns of Tennessee. House Bill 1922 now heads to Gov. Bill Lee’s desk to be signed into law.

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The Tennessee Democratic Party really has Dropped the Pronoun Tag from its Communications.

by Rod Williams, April 15, 2024- The Tennessee Democratic Party really has dropped the practice of
using a preferred pronoun accompanying the writer's salutation signature. I get regular communications from the TNDP. I don't remember when I started getting them, but it seems like some years ago. 

I was very aware of the "he/him" tag accompanying State Chair Hendrell Remus's salutation signature. It was not only Remus who did this, but sometimes I would get a communication from some other Democrat, and they would do it do. I saw some other "he/him" and some "she/her". I don't think I ever see a "they/them." It must have been policy. Normal people don't do that. 

I was aware of it because I thought it was such a stupid, woke thing to do. I was aware of it because it indicated to me how hopelessly out of touch with average Tennesseans is the Democratic Party.  While using a pronoun tag may be cool with young hip urban progressive types who are already committed to the Democratic Party it is a turn-off to many otherwise persuadable independents and fed-up Republicans. It implies that gender is nothing but a social construct and we may be male one day and female the next (or one of the other genders), kind of like deciding if today I will wear jeans and snickers or a coat and tie- just a choice one may make depending on how you see yourself at that point in time. To people who are not already super-woke this is like hanging out a normal-folks-are-not-welcome sign. 

I first noticed the absence of the salutation pronoun tag about six weeks ago, I guess.  I thought maybe it was just an oversite, but it has been totally absent for a while now, so I am concluding it was a deliberate policy decision. The clip above is from today's email. I can't help but wonder if a candidate for a high-profile office suggested the pronoun tag be dropped and what discussions occurred leading up to the change. I wonder if the super woke and handful of trans Democrats feel betrayed. I'll be watching to see if the change stays.

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by Rod Williams, April 15, 2024- The following alert is being forwarded from the Davidson County Republican Party. 

The bill to create an "East Bank Development Authority" (SB2968/HB2984) has been delayed in committees multiple times since we last reported on it. But the bill is still alive and currently scheduled for hearings today and tomorrow. As we previously communicated, this legislation is meant to create a board whose only voting members are appointed by the Metro Mayor and Council. It authorizes creation of a staff of undefined size and cost. This is a case of Metro government overreach and expansion at a time when the state government still has an interest in protecting the investment it made through a $500 million appropriation for the new NFL stadium, a center point of the 536 acres in question. We encourage you to reach out to the members of the committees before they meet.

The Senate Finance Committee will hear SB2968 as early as this afternoon (Monday). You can reach out to the following committee members to share your thoughts:

Chairman Bo Watson - 615-741-3227

Vice Chair John Stevens - 615-741-4576

Vice Chair Joey Hensley - 615-741-3100

Speaker Pro Temp Ferrell Haile - 615-741-1999

Majority Leader Jack Johnson - 615-741-2495

Majority Chair Ken Yager - 615-741-1449

Sen. Bill Powers - 615-741-2374

Sen. Page Walley - 615-741-2368

Sen. Dawn White - 615-741-6853

Sen. London Lamar - 615-741-2509

Sen. Jeff Yarbro - 615-741-3291


The House Local Government Committee will hear HB2984 as early as tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday). You can reach out to the following committee members:

Chairman John Crawford - 615-741-7623

Vice Chair Dave Wright - 615-741-6879

Rep. Rebecca Alexander - 615-741-2251

Rep. Jeff Burkhart - 615-741-6804

Rep. Dale Carr - 615-741-5981

Rep. Clay Doggett - 615-741-7476

Rep. Michael Hale - 615-741-2192

Rep. Esther Helton-Haynes - 615-741-1934

Rep. John Holsclaw - 615-741-7450

Rep. Harold Love Jr. - 615-741-3831

Rep. Greg Martin - 615-741-2548

Rep. Sam McKenzie - 615-741-0768

Rep. Larry Miller - 615-741-4453

Rep. Jerome Moon - 615-741-5481

Rep. Kevin Raper - 615-741-1350

Rep. Jay Reedy - 615-741-7098

Rep. Tim Rudd - 615-741-2804

Rep. Johnny Shaw - 615-741-4538

Rep. William Slater - 615-741-2534

Rep. Robert Stevens - 615-741-3830

Rep. Dwayne Thompson - 615-741-1920

Rep. Todd Warner - 615-741-4170


As always, feel free to visit one or both of these committees, or any other legislative committee or full session in person! The Cordell Hull Building and State Capitol is where YOUR legislature meets. Remind them that Nashville has more than enough expensive government already!

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