Lee’s Criminal Justice Reform Focuses on Re-Entry, Imprisonment Alternatives

Bill Lee

Gov. Bill Lee has promised criminal justice reform in Tennessee, and several of his proposed bills that are set to move forward in coming weeks could have a significant effect on those in the state’s prison system.

“I’ve been thinking about it for 20 years,” Lee said recently during a roundtable he held on the subject last week. “Now, we’re in spot in Tennessee to really make substantive change.”

Many of the changes proposed in the bills and in Lee’s amended budget aim to reduce the prison population while focusing on re-entry for nonviolent offenders.

Read More

Georgia House Passes on Effort to Study State’s Tax, Revenue Structure

The Georgia House has rejected a bill that would have launched a review of the state’s revenue and tax structure.

Senate Bill 148 would have created two panels to study and make recommendations for the state’s coffers. It would have re-established the Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness for Georgians and create the Special Joint Committee on Georgia Revenue Structure.

The House voted, 139-20, against the bill Thursday. It had 39 sponsors. 

Read More

Rep. Ilhan Omar Urges Biden Admin to End Contracts Between ICE and Prisons, Calling Treatment of Immigrants ‘Systemic Abuse’

Rep. Ilhan Omar urged President Joe Biden’s administration in a letter Monday to end Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) contracts with prisons and jails.

The letter calls for Biden to issue an executive order to end ICE’s contracts with state, county and local jails due to the treatment of the detained immigrants and the facilities’ conditions. The Minnesota Democrat called the conditions of the facilities “systemic abuse.”

“Conditions in the municipal, county, and state jails and prisons contracting with ICE to detain immigrants mirror the systemic abuses in privately operated immigration detention facilities, including mental neglect, long term use of solitary confinement, sexual assault, and lack of access to legal counsel,” Omar wrote in the letter.

Read More

Poll Shows Likely Voters in Virginia Support Police Union Reform

A recent poll of likely voters in Virginia shows most Virginians across party lines oppose granting unions the authority to protect police from disciplinary action or create policies that threaten accountability.

Virginia lawmakers passed legislation earlier this year that allows collective bargaining for public-sector unions, including police unions, if local governments pass ordinances that allow it. The bills permit local policies that allow disciplinary and policy decisions to be settled through binding arbitration, meaning an arbiter could overrule a police department’s disciplinary actions and policies designed to hold officers accountable.

Read More

Sen. Blackburn Co-Sponsors Bill to Enact Police Reforms

U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) has joined a legislative effort to provide police reform, accountability and transparency.

Blackburn said she became a cosponsor of U.S. Sen. Tim Scott’s (R-SC) Just and Unifying Solutions to Invigorate Communities Everywhere (JUSTICE) Act.

Read More

Commentary: Fixing Higher Education Begins with Reforming How It Is Financed

college students

Our educational industrial complex is broken, and swift reform is needed. College costs continue to rise much faster than inflation, and too many students are plowing themselves into debt and wasting years of their lives pursuing pointless degrees. Upon leaving college, these students are often surprised to discover that their degrees have little value. Of course, most colleges are liberal indoctrination centers, where conservative voices are few and often drowned out.

Read More

State House Subcommittee Studies Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Widely Supported But Not Adopted During the 2019 Legislative Session

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – The House Civil Justice Subcommittee held a summer study of two bills related to civil asset forfeiture reform and reporting, the former having widespread and bi-partisan support although the legislation didn’t make it past its first stop in the Subcommittee.

Read More

Commentary: We Need a Higher Education Reformation

by Emina Melonic   American higher education, once the envy of the world, is suffering a crisis of confidence and a loss of purpose. “Once upon a time, universities were institutions dedicated to the pursuit of truth and the transmission of the highest values of our civilization,” writes New Criterion editor and publisher Roger…

Read More

Michigan House, Senate Pass Auto Insurance Reform, Governor Whitmer Expected to Sign

by Tyler Arnold   The Michigan House and Senate passed auto insurance reform Friday with substantial bipartisan support after the House Republicans, Senate Republicans and Democratic governor struck a deal. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is expected to sign the bill into law. The legislation will eliminate a mandate that required all…

Read More

Ohio Attorney General Pushes to Reform Drug Pricing By Focusing on Middlemen

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost blasted the middlemen responsible for negotiating drug prices on behalf of the state Monday, calling for immediate legislative action. The move comes a month after the state formally launched a lawsuit against the pharmacy benefit managers (PBM) responsible for the negotiations. Currently, Ohio cannot directly…

Read More

Report: Ohio Prison Population Still Growing Despite Bipartisan Criminal Justice Reform

Despite bipartisan calls for a reduction in the prison population and a slew of laws aimed at doing just that, a new report released this week has found that the prison population of Ohio has continued to climb over the past decade. Since 2011, the state has passed several new…

Read More

Study: After a Generation Lost to the Opioid Epidemic, Ohio is Among the Few Hardest Hit to See Signs of Recovery

According to a study released Friday, Ohio is among the 8 states with the highest overall rates of opioid-related deaths in the 18-year span from 1998-2016. However the study also suggests that among those states hardest hit, Ohio is seeing a drop in opioid-related deaths in 2018. Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland,…

Read More

Ohio Governor Kasich Signs Occupational Licensing Reform Bill, Increasing Market Competition

Governor John Kasich signed Senate Bill 255 (SB 255) Friday, reforming Ohio’s occupational licensing laws, some of which are considered to be the most economically crippling in the country. The law will require Ohio’s state legislature to examine every occupational licensing board in the state, assess their value and utility, then…

Read More

North Carolina’s ‘Legislative Commission of the Fair Treatment of Student-Athletes’ Set to Review Athletic Program Practices

by Shannon Watkins   Many colleges are setting up their student-athletes for failure. Whether one looks to the long-term neurological health risks that young athletes are subject to, or the myriad cases of academic dishonesty within athletics departments, it appears that the personal and academic well-being of student-athletes is often compromised for the sake…

Read More

Report: Abuse and Inefficiency Rampant within U.S. Civil Service

FEMA trailers

by Natalia Castro   Introduction Corey Coleman spent years creating a toxic work environment on the taxpayer’s dime. Despite receiving complaints regarding Coleman’s hostility toward female employees and inappropriate behavior since 2015, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maintained Coleman’s employment until he chose to resign in April 2018. Coleman,…

Read More

Tom Cotton: Donald Trump’s Stance on DACA, Immigration Remains Unchanged

Tennessee Star

Sen. Tom Cotton said Tuesday that President Trump’s position on DACA or immigration issues has not shifted throughout the negotiations process despite what Democrats may say. “The president’s position has not shifted, and has not been hidden. The president’s position has been clear all along,” Mr. Cotton, Arkansas Republican, said…

Read More

Actually, It’s Lindsey Graham Who Is Out of Mainstream on Immigration

Sen. Lindsey Graham ripped senior White House aide Stephen Miller as holding immigration views that are out of the American political mainstream, but a new poll suggests it is the South Carolina senator who is alienated form public sentiment. The Harvard CAPS/Harris poll indicates a majority opposed the partial government…

Read More

Commentary: In the Name of Reform

In the name of reform and federal dollars we have often chased ideas that didn’t serve our children or educators very well. We over-test our students and put a tremendous workload burden on educators in the name of accountability.

Read More