Legislative Updates – Pray for America's Leaders

Legislative Updates

Tennessee | August 3, 2021

Tennessee May Need Special Session to Deal With School-Related COVID-19 Matters, Speaker Cameron Sexton Says

Tennessee | August 3, 2021

Tennessee Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) said Monday that it’s time for students to put their virtual learning behind and walk back into their classrooms — without a COVID-19 mask mandate.

And Sexton also said he and other state legislators have a plan to restrain public school district officials who think otherwise.

Sexton announced the news at a press conference at the Tennessee State Capitol.

This, after new data revealed falling test scores.

“What this does show is that we must continue to focus on reading, writing, and arithmetic, but also it really does emphasize that students need and must be in in-person learning in the classrooms. I sure hope that a school system in this state, after this data is released, does not shut their schools,” Sexton said.

“If they do then I will ask the governor for legislation to allow those parents in those school districts to take their money through school choice and to go wherever they deem they need to go. There needs to be a message to these school systems that it is unacceptable to close school systems in our state anymore.”

Sexton also said parents alone should decide whether their children will wear masks in schools.

“I sure hope that school systems do not require a mask mandate for those students. If they do then I will ask the governor for a special session. If they close the schools then I will ask the governor for a special session,” Sexton said… (Excerpts from the Tennessee Star)

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Tennessee | July 30, 2021

Tennessee Representative Rose Calls Out Biden Claim That ‘Crime Is Down’

Tennessee | July 30, 2021

In House floor remarks on Thursday, Representative John Rose (R-TN-06) called out President Joe Biden for insisting in a CNN Town Hall with host Don Lemon a week ago that “crime is down” even as murder rates rise.

The current rise in violent crime has been broadly acknowledged by an array of journalistic and academic observers, and even by liberal outlets like The Atlantic Monthly.

Rose called attention to murders having risen by 533 percent in Portland, 50 percent in Minneapolis, 35 percent in Philadelphia, and 24 percent in Los Angeles compared to those cities’ rates a year ago. He also cited a 91-percent rise in anti-police ambushes over the past year.

“Right now, American families are being forced to face an explosion of violent crime in their streets and their neighborhoods,” he said. “After the riots of the past year, which saw the destruction of both public and private property, and as we undergo one of the worst crime waves in modern history, citizens are deservedly concerned about their safety and well-being.”… (Excerpts from the Tennessee Star)

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Tennessee | July 29, 2021

Titans’ QB Ryan Tannehill only got vaccine because NFL ‘forced’ hands with protocols

Tennessee | July 29, 2021

In a post-practice interview, Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill says he wouldn’t have gotten the Coronavirus vaccine if NFL protocols didn’t encourage it.

“I wouldn’t have gotten the vaccine if, without the protocols they’re enforcing on us. I think it’s a personal decision for everyone and everyone has to make the best decision for them and their families, that’s kind of our mindset in this building. But they’re trying to push your hand and they ultimately have forced a lot of hands by the protocols, which is, everyone has their own opinion on it,” Tannehill says.

Titans general manager Jon Robinson opened up training camp Wednesday revealing that the team has a vaccination rate of 90%.

The NFL has mandated that all staff and coaches be vaccinated, however, Robinson and head coach Mike Vrabel have stressed that it a personal decision that each player will have to make… (Excerpts from Fox 17)

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Tennessee | July 28, 2021

Middle Tennessee pastor calls Delta variant nonsense, will turn away people who wear masks

Tennessee | July 28, 2021

MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WZTV) — A Middle Tennessee pastor with a large online following has called the Delta variant “nonsense” and says he will turn away parishioners who wear masks. But an infectious disease expert is again debunking his claims.

It’s not the first time Mt. Juliet Pastor Greg Locke has made headlines for debunked claims during the pandemic. The Global Vision Bible Church pastor has previously called the COVID-19 vaccine “sugar water” and said the pandemic is “fake.”

Now, Locke is calling the Delta variant, which officials say is causing recent virus surges, nonsense.

“Don’t believe this Delta variant nonsense. Stop it,” Locke said in a Sunday sermon... (Excerpts from FOX 17)

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Tennessee | July 22, 2021

Tennessee will be 7th state sued for cutting off federal unemployment benefits

Tennessee | July 22, 2021

A group of Tennesseans are suing Gov. Bill Lee and Tennessee for stopping federal unemployment benefits more than two months before the program expires.

Already, people in Indiana and Maryland have sued and won, getting their federal help reinstated And cases are pending right now in Ohio, Oklahoma, Florida, and Texas.

They’re 1,800 strong. The grassroots Facebook group Tennesseans Against Ending Benefits Early say they aren’t stopping without a suit.

Mom and member Dee Bowen of Jonesboro’s been tracking how people in Indiana and Maryland sued to get what they say is rightfully theirs.

“Them winning gives us a little hope that we can win too because we have similar laws,” says Bowen.

Nashville Attorney Gary Blackburn confirms held his first legal consultation with them Wednesday evening and confirms with me he is moving forward with litigation against Governor Bill Lee. Blackburn says, “These are represented to me to be people not people who simply don’t want to go back to jobs because of this. but people who have physical impairments that keep them from doing this.”…

(Excerpts from the Fox 17)

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Tennessee | July 22, 2021

Tennessee Rep. Kustoff Condemns Ben & Jerry’s Boycott of Jewish West Bank Settlements

Tennessee | July 22, 2021

Calling Israel America’s “greatest ally in the Middle East,” Representative David Kustoff (R-TN-8) on Tuesday decried the decision of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Company to cease selling its products in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and contested parts of East Jerusalem. 

“This shouldn’t even be a debate,” he told Sean Spicer and co-host Lyndsay Keith on a broadcast of Newsmax’s Spicer & Co. “They shouldn’t have started this controversy.” 

The congressman noted Ben & Jerry’s has received a sharp backlash as a result of its move, including from the Israeli government and from many Americans, which could take the form of a counter-boycott. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has admonished Unilever, Ben & Jerry’s parent company, that such a response would spell “severe consequences” for the corporation.

Along those lines, Keith cited the Wheaton, Maryland-based Shalom Kosher Market, which has announced it will no longer sell Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. 

“When people around the world look to the United States to lead an example, and we need to show strong support for Israel—they’re our leading democracy in the Middle East—and an ice cream company makes it political, it’s a real shame,” Kustoff said.

Kustoff, who is himself Jewish, likened the corporation’s decision to anti-Israel vitriol voiced by some congressional Democrats. One such Democrat is Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN-5), who tweeted last month that “we have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the US, Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.” Another is Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13), who last year retweeted a message declaring “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” an expression calling to mind the elimination of the Jewish state….

(Excerpts from the Tennesse Star)

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