Today is Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Beavers: Legislators debate budget as session nears an end

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Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet, and her Republican colleagues continued to debate the governor’s budget this week as the General Assembly attempts to formulate a reasonable budget for the state of Tennessee during these difficult economic times. 

“We believe that the state needs to live within its means during these hard times, and Republicans are working diligently to come up with a plan that cuts both spending and taxes in order for Tennesseans to get back on their feet during these hard times,” Beavers said.

The budget will most likely be debated further in the House and Senate next week.  

Resolution sends message Tennessee does not want to house GITMO Detainees

The State Senate voted this week to oppose bringing any detainees now housed at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba detention facility into any Tennessee prisons. 

The resolution, SJR 381, expresses opposition to the utilization of any local, state, federal or private jail, prison or detention facility in Tennessee. A copy of the resolution will be sent to President Barak Obama and each member of Tennessee’s Congressional Delegation.

The resolution was approved by a vote of 29 to 1.  The bill is still pending action in the House of Representatives.

Senate passes and sends to governor legislation preventing any locality in Tennessee from becoming a “sanctuary city” for illegal aliens

Senate bill 1310 won passage this week preventing any city in Tennessee from becoming a “sanctuary city” for illegal aliens. A “sanctuary city” is a term given to a city in the United States that follows certain practices to protect illegal aliens. Thirty-eight cities in the U.S. have been recognized as sanctuary cities, but many sources have identified over 200 city or county governments nationwide as having practiced such policies, she said.

The measure prohibits local governments or the head of such localities from passing any ordinances or policies that allows for a sanctuary city to be located in Tennessee. The bill is designed to be a pre-emptive strike to guard against the adoption of any policies to protect those who are in the United States illegally. It also urges the State Attorney General and local governments to pursue any federal funds allocated to combat illegal immigration.

Bills in Brief

Tennessee Transportation Infrastructure Fund – SB 2120 which would provide a vehicle for local governments to finance and complete local transportation projects was approved by the full Senate this week. The bill would give local governments the option of applying for a low interest loan for eligible infrastructure projects with flexible repayment terms. The State Transportation Infrastructure Fund would also let Tennessee make application for a portion of $200 million in stimulus funds recently made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. 

Tennessee declares state’s sovereignty – The full Senate voted to approve a resolution, HJR 108, claiming Tennessee’s “sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.” The proposal is designed to send Congress a message that the federal government has overstepped its Constitutional bounds by mandating a massive amount of federal policies upon the states in violation of the Amendment. The language of the Tenth Amendment is clear and concise that the federal government’s powers are limited to a specific set of activities. Twenty-eight states have approved similar resolutions. 

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