State Legislative Truth Update March 29, 2013

The Tennessee House Business and Utilities Subcommittee chaired by Blount County Representative Art Swann amended the Smart Meter bill stripping it of its opt-out provision, and then killed it.  City of Alcoa Assistant Manager Bill Hammond spoke favorably about Smart Meters, calling them dumb meters while no one was given the opportunity to speak for the bill.  Hammond said an analog meter cost $30 to $40 while the smart meters Alcoa purchase cost $110.  Representative Powell voted against the bill and told Blount County Public Record that he didn’t support an opt-out provision because Utility companies own the meters.  When this reported told him the customers pay for everything, Representative Powell said he was new and didn’t want further questions.

The fluoride bills which included Representative Susan Lynn’s bill regulating legislatively identified disease and health conditions and Representative John DeBerry’s referendum bill were sent to summer study committee, after Speaker Beth  Harwell said she wants the issue of fluoridation to be studied.

Representative Courtney Rogers bill to prohibit State and local government officials from assisting the military in enforcing the indefinite detention section 1021 in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, failed in the State Government Committee.

A bill granting an owner of property taken by eminent domain a right of first refusal and regulates counter offers and arbitration failed in the House Civil Justice Subcommittee.

The Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act, which places limitations on the use of drones, passed the House Civil Justice Subcommittee and will be heard by the full Committee on April 3.  The bill is set to be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 2.  The policing for profit bill which stops civil assets forfeiture without due process passed the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee and is set to be heard by the full Committee on April 3 and is on the Senate Judiciary April 2nd calendar.

Governor Bill Haslam announced that Tennessee will not expand Medicare at this time, but left the door open to future expansion, saying “This isn’t the end of the story.”

Tennessee is ranked the 3rd freest State in the nation, according to Freedom in the 50 States, a report issued by the Mercatus Center, of George Mason University.  Tennessee received high marks for low taxes and right to work while receiving low marks for occupational licensure, alcohol regulations, and several personal freedoms.  Only North and South Dakota ranked higher than Tennessee.  Download the report at

This is Tona Monroe with Blount County Public Record.  I am delighted to bring you these weekly State legislative updates and thank Truth Radio for the opportunity.  For more information on these bills, visit

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