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The Loop
A look at the Tennessee Legislature
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On the next to last day of the Session, the House of Representatives took a stand against illegal immigration in Tennessee by passing legislation authorizing the use of the federal E-Verify system by Tennessee companies.The bill requires all employers with six or more employees to participate.Businesses are provided two options: the E-Verify program, which has a 97% accuracy rate, or the presentation of a valid Tennessee driver’s license to check the lawful status of an individual.The bill passed by a unanimous 96-0 vote.It is the first of a three part plan which we intend to continue once session resumes in January.Though jobs and the budget are a top priority we must not loose focus on the importance of enforcing what is already law, be here legally or not at all.The price ticket for illegal immigrants in the state of Tennessee is too costly.HB1085, which is on hold till 2012 simply would provide you as a tax payer to know how much it is costing you to educate illegals in our public schools.Constituents from my district continue to request a reform to ensure job opportunities are reserved for Tennesseans and not those individuals who are here illegally.The federal government has completely failed in its constitutional responsibility to ensure the integrity of our borders.Because of that, it is up to us in Tennessee to take action. In addition passing HB7 which requires a simple photo ID, the legislation institutes a common sense reform that ensures every legitimate vote in Tennessee counts.With the technology we have in today’s world there is no excuse to allow someone’s legitimate vote to be cancelled out by a person who shouldn’t be voting in the first place. Also HB1085, which is on hold till 2012, simply would provide you as a taxpayer to know how much it is costing you to educate illegals in our public schools.Demonstrating the General Assembly’s pledge to roll back the unconstitutional mandates handed down from Washington that hurt economic growth in the State, The Tennessee health Freedom Act passed early in the Session.It was an honor to sponsor this bill I feel it is necessary for Tennessee to take action and protect the State from job losses that would have inevitably occurred due to the onerous mandates stemming from the federal health care law.Passage of this bill now ensures every person within Tennessee is free to choose or decline any mode of health care services without penalty or punishment from the government.As the free-spending ways of Washington sink our nation further into debt, the House passed a resolution that calls on Congress to follow Tennessee’s model.Folks, we are blessed in that we are in a much better position compared to many of the other states in our nation concerning budget issues.Government must return to the founding principles of limited government and fiscal responsibility to rein in spending.Additionally, the resolution advises Congress to follow the example set by Tennessee of balanced budgets and responsible spending cuts to provide a stable environment for the State.We are simply sending a message to Washington to get its fiscal house in order.If they need a model of how to do that, all they need to do is look to Tennessee.We have navigated these rough economic times by maintaining a balanced budget, keep taxes low, and reining in burdensome government regulations.Tackling our immigration issues, reducing the size and scope of government by literally downsizing government operations and saving Tennessee taxpayers money we passed legislation that calls for the elimination of duplicative Committees and consolidates subcommittees, as well.This law ensures that Tennesseans will be able to easily follow legislation as it moves through the process.It affords citizens the opportunity to be present for legislative hearings and register their thoughts and concerns on matters with their legislators.Transparency is vital and I truly embrace it.