Tennessee Lawmakers Drafting Legislation to Prevent Traffickers, Cartels from Taking Migrant Children Under Guise of Sponsorship

Tennessee legislators will draft legislation to increase transparency and establish protective measures for the sponsorship of unaccompanied migrant children. The federal government says that sponsors are “almost always a parent or close relative” – but that’s not always the case. Lawmakers’ urgency to increase transparency and establish protective measures for sponsorship heightened after it was revealed that Governor Bill Lee’s administration has continued licensing for a Chattanooga shelter without apparent provisions in place to protect the housed migrant children from traffickers and cartels. 

The Chattanooga shelter is run by the Baptiste Group, a Georgia-based national group that provides emergency shelter services for unaccompanied migrant children – usually for up to 30 days, excepting complications. Last May, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration for Children and Families contracted with the Baptiste Group for a conditional Residential Child Care Agency License in Chattanooga. The three-year contract, set to expire last August, anticipated nearly $7.5 million in costs to house up to 100 children.

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House Amends Bill Prohibiting Mandatory Student COVID-19 Vaccines to Expire After 2 Years

Even if the state adopts a bill prohibiting mandatory COVID-19 vaccines for K-12 students, it would only last two years. That is, according to the latest amendment to HB 1421. The amendment rendered the current status of the bill into a proposed sunset law during Tuesday’s House Health Committee hearing.

The committee member behind the amendment, State Representative Robin Smith (R-Hixon), asserted that it would give the FDA enough time to approve the vaccine for regular use – not just emergency use. 

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Tennessee Senate Republicans Return McNally as Lieutenant Governor, Johnson as Majority Leader

The Tennessee Senate Republican Caucus on Thursday voted unanimously to renominate Lt. Governor Randy McNally to a third term, among other leadership votes.

The caucus also announced that Senator Jack Johnson (R-Franklin) and Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) will return to their top leadership roles as Majority Leader and Republican Caucus Chairman, respectively. Others elected to caucus leadership positions include Senator Ferrell Haile (R-Gallatin) as Treasurer, Senator Dawn White (R-Murfreesboro) as Secretary and Senator Shane Reeves (R-Murfreesboro) as Chaplain.

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Tennessee Republicans Voice Support for Amy Coney Barrett’s Nomination to Supreme Court

Tennessee’s Republican leaders are voicing their support for Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination for the U.S. Supreme Court.

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The Pro-Life Heartbeat Bill Passes the Tennessee House, Despite Protests From Planned Parenthood and Democrats

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – The majority of State House members voted for a pro-life Heartbeat Bill that bans abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, although the bill’s passage wasn’t without protests from Planned Parenthood and opposition by House Democrats. As reported by The Tennessee Star, the Heartbeat Bill, sponsored by…

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