By State Rep. Matthew Hill
A constitutional amendment giving Tennesseans the right to hunt and fish has completed its journey through both the House and Senate and will now appear on the ballot in the form of a referendum in 2010. Before a constitutional amendment is adopted, it must pass one General Assembly by a majority, a subsequent General Assembly by two-thirds, and receive a majority of voters approval on a ballot in a gubernatorial election year. SJR 30 was approved by the House this week with a 90-1 vote, and has already passed the Senate.
SJR 30 adds a new provision to Article XI, Section 13 of the states constitution which reads: The citizens of this state shall have the personal right to hunt and fish, subject to reasonable regulations and restrictions prescribed by law. The recognition of this right does not abrogate any private or public property rights, nor does it limit the states power to regulate commercial activity.
The House sponsor said the measure is a pre-emptive strike to protect the traditions, as other countries have outlawed certain types of hunting. Fourteen other states have approved similar provisions.
Tennessee joined states across the nation last week in celebrating Sunshine Week, a time designed to remind public officials and citizens of the value of open records and other transparency in government measures.
Students entering childcare facilities, pre-k, kindergarten, or seventh grade this fall will have a new set of immunization requirements. According to the State Department of Health, this is the first update to immunization requirements in 10 years. Most of the new rules take affect on July 1.
New childcare, pre-k, and kindergarten children will be required to show proof of vaccination for Haemophilus influenzae type B (HBV), Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV), Hepatitis A, and Hepatitis B.
Meanwhile, students entering seventh grade will be required to have a tetanus booster shot and show proof of immunity against chicken pox.
This can be demonstrated by having a prior chicken pox diagnosis or by taking two doses of the vaccine.
After completion of the required vaccinations, a doctor will complete a certificate which will be given by the parents to the school as evidence of required vaccinations.
As with other required vaccinations, students may be exempted for medical and/or religious reasons. For more information, you can visit www.health.tn.gov.
House Republicans English in the Workplace legislation continued to advance, winning approval from the Consumer and Employee Affairs Committee. The bill will next be presented in the House Calendar and Rules Committee, which sets floor calendars.
A resolution urging 911 call centers to accept text messages was approved by the House.
Finance budget hearings continued, but the House has almost concluded hearing from the various departments regarding their budgets. In addition, an announcement was made Thursday morning that lawmakers can expect to the see the technical corrections bill, a revenue raising measure, as early as the first week in April.
House Bill 3007 encourages departments in state government to implement new strategies and innovative ideas in regards to saving money and operating more efficiently. The bill passed with an overwhelming majority of House members approval, and many HouseRepublicans signed on as co-sponsors of the legislation.
By State Rep. Matthew Hill