Good First Session

If you’re a conservative Tennessee Republican, this first session of the legislature has been a good and productive one.
Last night the House passed a bill which had already been passed by the Senate, putting an end to collective bargaining for teachers. According to the Commercial Appeal, “the new version repeals the Education Professional Negotiations Act of 1978, which established collective bargaining between local teachers’ associations and their school boards if a majority of teachers vote for bargaining, as 92 of Tennessee’s 136 school districts do…It specifically forbids payroll deductions for political activities of employee associations.”
The hold that teachers unions have on our education process has long been abused. Who can argue that it worked? Our schools have not improved under this system. Let’s start hiring teachers because they are good, not because of tenure. Surely there’s no way to go but up.
Then, also last night, the House gave final approval to Senate Joint Resolution 127. It will put an amendment about abortion on the 2014 ballot. The Commercial Appeal finds, “Supporters of SJR127 argued that it will allow Tennesseans to decide whether they want to return the issue – at least at the state level – to its status prior to the Tennessee Supreme Court ruling, where the state legislature is free to enact whatever restrictions on abortion that are permitted by the U.S. Supreme Court. If the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court is ever overturned, the Tennessee legislature could ban abortions outright.”
Many argue, as I do, that the Supreme Court overstepped its boundaries in Roe v. Wade. This seems a matter that should be decided at the state level. It’s good that citizens will finally get a chance to voice their feelings on it.
In that same vein, the state Senate was right to pass a law that would stop Tennessee public school teachers and students in grades K-8 from getting into the gay issue. Regardless of how you feel about homosexuality, it is not the schools’ right to enter into territory that ought to be discussed by parents. Private schools can do as they like; parents who object to whatever sexual teaching that goes on there can pull their child out or put a child into that school. But for parents who object, a public school has given them no recourse. Nationally we see an agenda being pushed on children as young as 7. It amounts to propaganda. How can the same people who don’t want the government in their bedroom agree to it in the classroom of children?
Lastly, the House and Senate are sending a tort reform bill for Governor Haslam to sign. The Tennessee Civil Justice Act will cap personal injury damage awards and impose other restrictions on civil liability lawsuits. Bad news if you’re a lawyer, probably good news if you’re a businessman.
Now let’s get on to fighting Obamacare and safeguarding second amendment rights. There’s still a lot to do.

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