Bill on teachers unions among those OK'd in 2011 session

LUCAS L. JOHNSON II Associated Press
 
Here is a look at some of the legislation that has either succeeded or failed during the first session of the 107th Tennessee General Assembly.

WINNERS:

n Collective bargaining: Replaces teachers' collective bargaining rights with a concept called collaborative conferencing (HB0130).

n Lawsuit damages: Places caps on payouts from successful medical malpractice and other civil cases (HB2008).

n Charter schools: Removes cap on charter schools in Tennessee and opens enrollment (SB1523).

n Teacher tenure: Requires a teacher to be on the job five years instead of three to be eligible for tenure (SB1528).

n Child custody: Requires judges to consider how to maximize a parent's involvement in a child's life when making custody decisions (SB0803).

n Abortion resolution: Places proposed constitutional amendment to allow greater limits to be placed on abortions on 2014 ballot (SJR0127).

n Corporate contributions: Allows corporations to make direct contributions to political candidates (SB1915).

n Voter photo: Requires Tennessee voters to show photo identification before they can cast ballots (SB0016).

n 'Don't Say Gay' bill: Limits instruction or materials at a Tennessee public elementary or middle school to natural human reproduction science (SB0049).

n Anti-discrimination limits: Prohibits local governments from creating anti-discrimination laws that are stricter than the state's (HB0600).

n Judges & guns: Allows Tennessee judges to carry guns in courtrooms (SB1775).

n Strong beer: Allows strong-beer makers to sell their products at Tennessee breweries (HB0986).

n Extended unemployment benefits: Reinstates benefits for 28,000 jobless people in Tennessee (HB2156).

 

LOSERS:

n Guns on campus: Seeks to allow faculty and staff to carry guns on the campuses of public colleges (HB2016).

n E-Verify benefits: Requires agencies to verify that applicants for public benefits are legally eligible (HB1379).

n Arizona-style immigration bill: Allows law enforcement agents in Tennessee to question suspects about their immigration status (HB1380).

n School vouchers: Creates a school voucher program for students in Tennessee's four largest counties to attend private or religious schools (SB0485).

n Motorcycle helmets: Rescinds Tennessee's motorcycle helmet law. (SB1466).

n Elected superintendents: Allows the popular election of school superintendents. (HB0902).

n English driver's license: Requires Tennessee's driver's license test to be given only in English (SB0010).

n Deer farming: Allows commercial deer farming in Tennessee (HB1112).

n Wine in supermarkets: Allows Tennessee supermarkets to sell wine (SB0316).

n President's birth certificate: Requires presidential candidates to prove they were born in the U.S. before being allowed on the Tennessee ballot (HB2065).


Traffic camera bill approved

By Tom Humphrey  knoxnews.com
 
NASHVILLE - The state House and Senate on Saturday both approved and sent to the governor legislation that will overhaul the state's law on traffic cameras.

The bill, SB1684, cleared the Senate unanimously and passed the House 83-3. It now goes to Gov. Bill Haslam for his consideration. Haslam has voiced no position on the measure, but legislators say he is expected to sign it.

The bill won't immediately affect traffic cameras already in operation, but will apply to them when contracts for their operation are renewed, according to sponsors Rep. Vince Dean, R-East Ridge, and Sen. Jim Tracy, R-Shelbyville.

"It doesn't do all the things that a lot people wanted, but it does do a lot of things that everybody can agree on," Dean said.

Multiple bills dealing with traffic cameras were proposed this year, ranging from measures that would flatly ban them to proposals that all revenue collected be turned over to education.

Key provisions of the bill that passed - the result of hours of debate in the House and Senate Transportation committees - include:

n Requiring that a traffic study be conducted before a camera is put in place and the study show it is needed on a public safety basis.

n Prohibiting tickets for turning right on red unless the intersection is clearly posted with a sign stating right turns on red are banned.

n Limiting ticket fines to a flat $50 maximum if paid on time with no added handling fees or court costs.

n Disallowing speed enforcement cameras within a mile of a decrease in the speed limit of 10 mph or more.


House agrees to restore number foreclosure notices

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The House has reluctantly agreed to restore the required frequency of foreclosure notices published in Tennessee newspapers to three times.

The chamber had originally approved Rep. Jimmy Matlock's measure to reduce the requirement to two public notices, but the Senate refused to go along.

The Lenoir City Republican said Saturday that he regrets the change, but that he agreed in the interest of getting the measure passed this year. The chamber voted 85-2 to approve the changes.

The final version of the bill would still trim technical information required in the notices, thereby cutting about 25 percent of the length.

The bill now heads for the governor's consideration.

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5/23/11