Tennessee General Assembly Passes Criminal Justice Reform Bills Allowing Community-Based Incarceration Alternatives, Increasing Parole Eligibility

Two of Governor Bill Lee’s criminal justice reform initiatives were passed unanimously by the Tennessee Senate on Wednesday. Once approved by the governor, the bills will expand community-based incarceration alternatives and parole eligibility, respectively.

The sponsors on the legislation were State Senators John Stevens (R-Huntington) for the former bill and Ken Yager (R-Kingston) for the latter. State Representative Michael Curcio (R-Dickson) was the House sponsor for both.

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Senate Passes Constitutional Amendment to Change Attorney General Selection Process

The Tennessee Senate passed a resolution to allow the General Assembly a say in the selection process for the Attorney General and Reporter for the state. If adopted, the amendment would transfer final decision-making on these two positions from the Supreme Court to the General Assembly. Under the amendment, the Supreme Court would nominate an Attorney General and Reporter. The legislature would have 60 days to vote on the nominees. If the vote doesn’t occur within 60 days, then the nominees are confirmed by default. The amendment would require a majority vote to confirm the nominees.

Additionally, the amendment would reduce the term length for both positions from eight years to six years. It also outlines that both individuals must be at least 30 years old, a citizen of the United States, an attorney licensed in the State, and a resident for at least five years preceding nomination.

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State Senate Advances Measure That Changes the Way Tennessee’s Attorney General Is Selected

The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced a resolution Tuesday that would change the way the state’s Attorney General and Reporter for Tennessee is selected.

Senate Joint Resolution 1 would make the current process for nominating the attorney general more transparent and give the Tennessee General Assembly a say in the selection through a change to the Tennessee Constitution.

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Republicans in Legislature Introduce Right to Work Constitutional Amendment

Tennessee House and Senate leaders introduced a resolution Wednesday that would add Tennessee’s Right to Work law to the state constitution.

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Republican Senate Leaders Praise Gov. Lee’s ‘Conservative’ Budget in State of the State Address

Reactions poured in from Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s first State of the State and budget address, which was delivered Monday night. The responses included statements by three Republican Senate leaders. Lt. Gov. and Sen. Randy McNally (R-TN-05) said: “In his first State of the State address, Bill Lee rightly pointed out…

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Two Proposed Amendments to the Tennessee Constitution Passed the First Hurdle in the Senate

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Two proposed amendments to the Constitution of The State of Tennessee easily passed the first hurdle in the Senate on Tuesday. The Senate State and Local Government Committee voted to advance two resolutions, which is the initial step in the Constitutional Amendment process, SJR0001 by Senator Ken…

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Lt. Gov. McNally Announces Committee Appointments for the 111th General Assembly

Lt. Gov. and Speaker of the Senate Randy McNally (R-TN-05) on Thursday announced state Senate committee assignments for the 111th General Assembly. McNally praised his fellow members in announcing the assignments in a press release. “This Senate is made up of some of the smartest and strongest leaders with whom…

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State Sen. Ken Yager Pledges Opposition to School Vouchers

State Senator Ken Yager (R-TN-12) said he will not support school vouchers if they come up for a vote in the Tennessee Legislature in 2019, the Independent Herald of Oneida said. “I am opposed to vouchers,” Yager said. “I will not support any proposal that will cause a hemorrhage of…

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Jack Johnson Elected State Senate Majority Leader by GOP Caucus

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – At the State Senate Republican Caucus meeting held Monday afternoon in an eighth floor conference room of the Cordell Hull Building, there was no obvious drama in the selection of its six leaders for the upcoming 111th General Assembly. The elections held off until Governor-Elect Bill Lee,…

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Republicans in State Senate Did Not Support Bill To Secure Tennessee Voting Machines With Paper Ballot Audit Trail

Yarbro

When Democrat Senator Jeff Yarbro (D-Nashville) sponsored a bill earlier this year that would provide greater vote security by requiring that before January 1, 2020, electronic voting machines have the capability to create a voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) for each ballot cast and that the VVPATs be preserved…

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