House Clerk Burney Durham read SJR0127 tonight without incident or debate. The second of three required readings of he controversial amendment is scheduled for Thursday. UPDATE: Rep. Gary Odom says to expect some amendment propositions:
“When you’ve got a more complex proposal for a constitutional amendment, it’s very appropriate for the legislature to add more specific language dealing with the relative subject matter,” Odom said. “I think exceptions are something that should be discussed, and I believe they will be.”
May 11, 2009 5:06 PM
The Tennessee Guerilla Women don't want anyone telling them what to do with their bodies but if someone does have to have a vote on their reproductive health they want them to be well-read:
The House Finance, Ways & Means Committee votes on SJR127 today. The rabid male-dominated Senate has already passed the measure. If it passes in the House too, it will then require super majority votes next year, and then Tennessee women will experience the indignity of having virtually every illiterate fool in the state get to vote on our right to control our bodies.
May 5, 2009 7:35 AM
Former Senator David Fowler shares his thoughts on the progress of constitutional amendment he first proposed eight years ago:
As the original sponsor of SJR 127 back in 2001, it was particularly gratifying to seeing the Resolution take its first big step toward passage by the full House. It was a privilege to be a part of this process over the years and to work with so many wonderful organizations like Eagle Forum of Tennessee and Tennessee Right to Life. And since my retirement the matter has been ably handled in the Senate by Senator Diane Black (R-Gallatin) and today by both Representatives Debra Maggart (R-Hendersonville) and Charlie Curtiss (D-Sparta). It was a great to see a Republican and Democrat, man and woman, sitting together in the Health Committee as key House sponsors. Though these sponsors have done a great job and are to be commended, no legislation moves forward without the support of fellow legislators. We extend our thanks to the following Representatives who voted in favor of SJR 127: Joey Hensley (Vice Chair), Curt Cobb, Jim Cobb, Charles Curtiss, Vince Dean, John DeBerry, Vance Dennis, Joshua Evans, Dennis Ferguson, Dale Ford, Mike Harrison, Curtis Halford, Debra Maggart, Jason Mumpower, Bob Ramsey, Barrett Rich, David Shepard, Tony Shipley, and Mike Turner. If you would like to send them an email, individually or collectively, to thank them for their vote, the format for their email addresses are all the same: first name.last firstname.lastname@example.org. For example, email@example.com. Simply saying, “Thank you for voting for SJR 127,” is sufficient.
Apr 9, 2009 7:11 PM
Secretary of State Tre Hargett has apparently stepped in and removed a potential roadblock to the passage of SJR127, the constitutional amendment which would allow the legislature more power to regulate abortions in Tennessee. In a memo obtained by NashvillePost.com addressed to leaders in both parties and both chambers of the legislature, Secretary of State Tre Hargett states that his office will fund the constitutionally mandated printed public notification required of all constitutional amendments (at an estimated cost of $20,000) regardless of whether a traditional appropriation is provided for in the budget. "[B]ecause the Department of State is obligated by the constitution to publish a proposed amendment to the constitution, we will do so even without the appropriation of additional funds," states Hargett in the memo. If the Department of State does have to "front" the funds needed for the publication of the notifications, however, it will be a one time-only type deal. "The ability to absorb publication expense is not without limit. After the publication of SJR127, the publication of any additional amendments would be subject to having adequate funding," warns the Secretary of State. This action is not without precedent. In 2004, in a time of similar budgetary constraints, then-Secretary of State Riley Darnell picked up the tab for the notification for two proposed constitutional amendments, one banning gay marriage and other providing a property tax break for elderly homeowners. The Secretary's memo gives SJR127 the wide berth conservatives had been hoping for. While $20,000 fiscal note attached to SJR127 had been jettisoned in favor of a provision to publish notification online, some legislators balked at the notion of an internet-only notification in deference to constituents without convenient and reliable internet access. An amendment to ban a state income tax was "put behind the budget" and effectively killed in the House Budget Subcommittee last week over similar internet-only notification concerns.
Apr 8, 2009 3:57 PM
Aunt B. takes on Rep. Vince Dean for passing the buck for his support for SJR127 onto his constituents:
According to Dean, if you have an abortion and it kills you, that’s a knowable and acceptable outcome to him and the people that vote for him. One wonders, of course. Really? If a 15 year old girl’s step dad is raping her and she gets pregnant and self-aborts and dies, that’s okay? She basically deserved it? If a stay-at-home mom with three kids discovers she’s pregnant at the same time her husband loses her job, we’re all fine with her dying and leaving him with no job and three kids to raise on his own? This is the pro-life position in this state? “Well, if some women have to die so that there aren’t any legal abortions happening, that’s okay”? That’s the pro-life position? “Eh, so some women die. That’s okay with my constituents.” Hello?! “Pro-life”=”some dead women”?!
Apr 8, 2009 12:22 PM
From Andy Sher:
During debate on the resolution, Rep. Favors, who noted she has been in health care for 40 years, said, “I was there when the women came in ... dead on arrival or hemorrhaging.” She called the resolution a “political ploy.” Rep. Vince Dean, R-East Ridge, and Rep. Jim Cobb, R-Spring City, voted for the resolution. Rep. Favors voted no. “I respect her opinion,” Rep. Dean said. “I have my position. And my position is in line with the wishes of my constituency.”
Apr 8, 2009 7:50 AM
How SJR 127 can manage to escape a fiscal note:
A resolution to amend the Tennessee Constitution, tightening restrictions on abortions, could for the first time allow the state to notify citizens about a proposed change on government Web sites. By going to the online-only notification, the state would save an estimated $20,000 needed to pay for the traditional notification in statewide newspapers.
Apr 7, 2009 2:16 PM
As the controversial abortion bill SJR127 passed the House Health & Human Resources committee today in the legislature, Jeff Woods makes clear that the rest of the road may not be all that easy:
Next stop for the resolution is the most critical. It carries a $20,000 fiscal note to pay for notifying voters if the issue ever makes it onto the ballot. That sends it to the House budget subcommittee, where opponents will probably try to kill it. That's what happened to Rep. Brian Kelsey's anti-income tax resolution last week.UPDATE: The fiscal note reads a bit different on the legislature's website
Apr 7, 2009 12:24 PM