Bill to Allow Tennesseans Freedom of Choice for Vaccinations Dies in House Subcommittee

The House Health Subcommittee killed a bill allowing exemptions for vaccines based on religious or conscientious objections, especially during pandemics. Lawmakers voted against the bill, 7-3. Committee members that voted against the bill were State Representatives Bob Freeman (D-Nashville), Darren Jernigan (D-Old Hickory), Sabi Kumar (R-Springfield), Pat Marsh (R-Shelbyville), Bob Ramsey (R-Maryville), Paul Sherrell (R-Sparta), and Robin Smith (R-Hixon); those for the bill were State Representatives Clark Boyd (R-Lebanon), Mark Hall (R-Cleveland), Bryan Terry (R-Murfreesboro).

Opposition to the bill raised issue with the possibility of its public health impact, citing the risk posed by non-vaccinated individuals in areas such as schools, daycares, and restaurants. State Representative Jay D. Reedy (R-Erin) had proposed the bill in November initially, several weeks after the general election. Its companion bill was filed shortly after by State Senator Mark Pody (R-Lebanon), who didn’t respond for comment by press time.

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Proposed Bill to Protect Law Enforcement, Judges from Civil Rights Intimidation

Legislators are proposing that law enforcement and judges shouldn’t have to live in fear or face retaliation for their chosen profession. The bill would add those two groups as protected classes against civil rights intimidation, along with race, color, ancestry, religion, and national origin. 

Under the legislation, offenders would earn a Class D felony for injuring, threatening to injure, or coercing another person with the intent to unlawfully intimidate based on the belief or knowledge that the victim is a law enforcement member or judge. That level of punishment would also be applicable if someone were to damage, destroy, or deface another’s property based on that belief or knowledge. Class D felonies are two to twelve years’ prison time, and up to $5,000 in fines.

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Rep. Jay Reedy Issues Statement from State Legislators to Mayor Briley: ‘Nashville Is Subject to the Laws of Tennessee: Sanctuary Policies Are Illegal’

State Rep Jay Reedy

State Representative Jay Reedy (R-Erin), the House sponsor of HB2315, the 2018 legislation that prohibits state and local governmental entities and officials from adopting sanctuary policies, issued a statement Tuesday afternoon on behalf of legislators that addresses Nashville’s continued flouting of both state and federal laws. “Nashville is subject to…

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Commentary: Why Educators Leave the Profession

Learning Policy Institute identified inadequate preparation, lack of support, challenging working conditions, dissatisfaction with compensation, better career opportunities, and personal reasons for why teachers change careers. From our own internal surveys “high-stakes standardized testing” is the number one issue educators’ mention to us is why they are dissatisfied with the profession.

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Commentary: Appreciation for Our Teachers

Most of us have at least one teacher that we cannot forget, a teacher who inspired us to be a better student and person. So this week, Teacher Appreciation Week, let us know about the teacher who made a lasting contribution to your life.

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