Tennessee Student Freedom of Speech Act

The Tennessee Student Freedom of Speech Act is about respecting the rights of students to speak and to hear different points of view from all sorts of other speakers. I do not support ISIS, their mission, or agree in any way with their actions (that should be obvious to those who know me just a bit).

In spite of my vehement disapproval of the organization, I do not believe it is the government’s place to decide what kinds of speech are tolerable. The government should not act in loco parentis. Adults, which college students are, have the right to be exposed to differing points of view. I respect their intelligence enough for them to recognize that ridiculous speech like terrorist organization recruitment is out of line and wrong, and they can learn from that experience and reject those viewpoints themselves.

Still in Nashville

The Legislative Plaza is mostly empty of legislators.  Best time to get much work done.  I’m here working on bills, including those relating to higher education, that will be presented in Committee next week.  Also meeting with administration reps and legislative attorneys.  Going to be very busy for us next week….  Expect to be working this weekend.  Lincoln Day dinner tomorrow night.

Looking forward to seeing my family today.  I miss them.

Gov Op and working to reduce the big hand of government

The Homebuilders Association was on the Hill yesterday, along with the American Cancer Society.  Homebuilders are a big part of the economy and we appreciate their investment in Tennessee.

In Civil Justice Comm yesterday, court fees were approved for construction of a Williamson County juvenile facility.  I have voted against this bill – as I do on all bills that impose court fees.  This is a huge problem in Tennessee and amounts to a tax on many who really cannot bear the burden.

In Bus & Utilities Comm, much discussion concerning inspections for inflatable play devices for children.  Should these things be inspected, and in what manner?  Should operators be required to carry liability insurance?  More on that soon.

Appeared before Gov Operations Committee yesterday concerning the APA revision bill.  We’re trying to provide more oversight to elected officials over a runaway rulemaking process and make government(and their regulations) more accountable to the people.  That’s HB 2068.


UFADA, and protection for small businesses


It was great to be back in the well of the floor last night.  After approval by respective Committees, I presented two bills:  HB 774, The Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets act. This bill will streamline access for fiduciaries(such as personal representatives) to the online digital accounts of deceased or disabled persons.  With so much of our lives being stored online these days, this law should be of great benefit to Tennesseans.  This bill was approved by unanimous vote.

HB 1774 corrected a drafting oversight in the limitation of damages schedule set forth in the Tennessee Code for claims against businesses for retaliatory discharge.  The current schedule oddly omits firms that have fewer than 8 employees, effectively making them subject to an unlimited judgment for damages in retaliatory discharge claims.  This bill passed by a wide margin.

Committee activity is really heating up across the board.  Today, in Government Operations Comm I’ll be presenting a bill that will provide more legislative oversight of out-of-control agency rulemaking.  Needless to say, it’s getting a chili reception from many Commissioners… but that’s a sign of a good bill!