State Senator Mark Pody (R-Lebanon) has announced he plans to invoke “Rule 63” Monday night (April 22, 2019) to have the Heartbeat Bill (SB 1236) heard directly on the Senate floor. Pody sought to have the legislation reheard in the Judiciary Committee in order to avoid bypassing the committee process and forcing a floor vote vote under Senate rules. However, Senate leadership has been unwilling to allow the bill to be brought back to life in the Judiciary Committee.
The Heartbeat bill has already passed in the full House by a significant margin but has been sent to “summer study” by the Senate Judiciary committee. “Summer study” is regularly used as a tactic to kill legislation without having legislators expose themselves to criticism and scrutiny for voting against particular legislation.
A Tennessee Star/Triton poll indicates that Senators opposing the Heartbeat Bill may face consequences with Republican Primary voters. In fact, nearly two thirds are less likely to support a candidate who opposes the Heartbeat Bill.
While the Senate is refusing to bring the Heartbeat Bill back to life in the Judiciary Committee, the House is reviving another Pro-life bill, the “trigger bill,” in a House committee.
Pro-life activists are expected to appear Monday night as the votes are cast on Pody’s Rule 63 motion to show their support for the legislation.