Haile In Print: Volume 1, Issue 10


In This Issue:
Committees Close As Bills Head to the Floor
A Special Congratulations to Our Graduates
Cyber Stalking Added to the T.C.A.
On the Record: SB 2397

Committees Close As Bills Head To The Floor

Committees are drawing to a close on Capitol Hill as the legislative session nears its end. Among those that have already closed are Education Committee, chaired by Senator Dolores Gresham, and Commerce & Labor Committee, chaired by Senator Jack Johnson. Committees close each year after they have heard all of the timely filed bills that are allocated by topic for their review.

As they finish their work, committee chairs will often allow committee members to take a turn leading the committee’s work for a day. Senator Haile had this pleasure in the Finance, Ways and Means Committee last week.

He said afterward that one of the perks of working in a pharmacy all of those years was being able to connect with people in the community; one of the perks of being a farmer is spending time in God’s nature; and one of the perks of being a senator is getting to sit in the Captain’s Seat every once in a while.

Chairman Randy McNally also allowed Senator Steve Dickerson, Senator Joey Hensley, and others to take the committee reins over the last few weeks.

Committee leaders give several weeks of notice before the committee formally closes. Therefore if an individual’s bill is not heard before the close of committee, then it is held in committee. If it is the first year of a General Assembly, the bill can still be heard the next year. If it is the second year, the bill cannot move on.

Closing time is a hectic and exciting period here on the Hill as the Senators settle in for long meetings to hear all the bills they can.

A Special Congratulations to Our Graduates

Across the state, schools are winding down the academic year. Tests, college applications, and the ordering of caps and gowns are filing the days of our Tennessee teens.

In the 18th district this means that the top students of each school are being honored for their academic prowess and dedication. In some schools there are only two honored, while in others, as many as 40 students are recognized for their achievements in academia.

The Gallatin Rotary began honoring the top 30 students of Gallatin High School in 1963, and rotary clubs across the district continue that tradition today. President of Noon Gallatin Rotary, Steve Sudbury, explained that students are honored in academic and vocational banquets hosted by the Rotary where they are awarded based on GPA and focus-area skill.

Various organizations also provide scholarships for which graduating seniors can apply. Many of these scholarships can make all the difference as students navigate that first year of college, buying their required textbooks and managing the costs of moving to campus.

This is an exciting time for our graduates and a bittersweet time for their parents and teachers. They have educated them and watched them grow into fine young men and women, and as they leave home and make their own way, the legislature, the community organizations, and the office of Senator Haile all wish them the very best in their future endeavors. Toss those caps high, kids.

Cyber Stalking Added to the T.C.A.

Great progress was made in the Tennessee Senate as they passed a bill that would define and add cyber stalking to the Tennessee Code Annotated definition of stalking.

Senator Yarbro brought SB 1962 before the full Senate on Thursday and led a lengthy debate on the measure. The bill brought senators into conversation on the floor for quite some time as they discussed the language of the bill and the amendment.

The discussion was not one fueled by opposition but one carried on to make sure the language of this bill is absolutely right. So many times individuals find a loophole in being prosecuted for a stalking a victim through social media by citing freedom of speech. The legislature wants to ensure that this bill protects victims, does not infringe on freedom of speech, and does not permit loopholes of that nature.

The crime of stalking is a horrific one that often leads to the physical abuse or death of the victim. This bill hopes to prevent that by bringing our current stalking law into the 21st century, where stalking often begins online.

The Senate passed the bill with a clear majority, and it now awaits action on the House floor, where it is expected to be heard next week.


On the Record: SB 2397

I received some calls and emails of concern this week regarding Senator Overbey’s SB2397

I spent the last two weeks digging into the content of the bill and discussing it with the sponsor and members of homeowners groups. It was my impression at first that this would take the control away from individuals and local homeowner’s associations and place it in the hands of big banks. I have come to understand that the bill actually places more power in the hands of the owners by enabling them to purchase condos with the help of loans.

Were the individual to default on the loan and lose the property, the homeowner’s association would still be entitled to dues owed on delinquent rent.

The purpose of this bill is to offer a stable method for individuals to get the loans they are eligible for in order to get the home they desire. So many individuals dream of being homeowners and allowing this step will open the door for many without our banks risking fiscal negligence.

When local banks are unable to address the needs of liens or mortgages, it is the purchaser that suffers.

The language does not prevent local banks from collecting on delinquent loans and it protects the outstanding lien of the homeowner’s association.

On the homeowner side, the bill is about consumer protection, making sure that the thousands of individuals with condominiums across the state understand the priority of their respective mortgages and the way those will be considered and addressed as time goes by.

I believe that this legislation is helping our buying market strike a balance between the responsibilities of all parties involved.