Saturday, January 13, 2007

105 GA legislation 1

It's that time of year again. Legislators are filing bills and I'm going through the list for things that need to be tracked. I'm usually looking for education legislation but I'll post others here as they concern me. I've started with the House bills. Here's the link to the main index if you want to take a look for yourself.

Lottery money: Some legislators are constantly looking for ways to manipulate the scholarships for college students so that they can bring some of this money back to their home districts. This year is no different:

*HB0009 by *Hawk, *Brooks H.

Lottery, Scholarships and Programs - Creates K-12 lottery capital outlay special account; establishes grant program for capital outlay projects for K-12 educational facilities administered by comptroller of the treasury. - Amends TCA Title 4, Chapter 51, Part 1; Title 8, Chapter 4; Title 9, Chapter 4 and Title 49.

So they limit the amount of money college students can receive in order to create excess funds, move the money to this fund which can only be used for capital outlay (not early learning or after school programs) and voila--bring the bacon home. And no, unexpended funds don't revert back to the scholarship fund the state will invest the money for future capital projects. The comptroller gets to decide who is grant-worthy.

HB0020 by *Shepard. (*SB0025 by *Jackson.)

Lottery, Scholarships and Programs - Changes income eligibility requirement for receipt of need-based ASPIRE award, HOPE access grant, and HOPE scholarship for nontraditional students from incomes not exceeding $36,000 to incomes not exceeding $45,000. - Amends TCA Title 49, Chapter 4, Part 9.

Election laws: This is just a bad idea. Early voting is excruciatingly long as it is--we don't need to extend it. do we really want 7 more days of television and radio ads, mailings, debate and polling expenses?

HB0016 by *Shepard. (*SB0018 by *Jackson.)

Election Laws - Extends early voting period for state elections by seven days. - Amends TCA Title 2, Chapter 6, Part 1.

And if we're going to allow anyone to vote absentee--what's the need for early voting at all?

HB0017 by *Shepard. (*SB0012 by *Jackson.)

Election Laws - Permits any registered Tennessee voter to vote absentee. - Amends TCA Title 2.

And let's pull in every vote possible:

HB0021 by *Shepard. (*SB0015 by *Jackson.)

Election Laws - Allows persons who will be 18 years of age by the general election to vote in the primary election. - Amends TCA Title 2, Chapter 2, Part 1.

And you knew it was coming:

HB0023 by *Shepard. (*SB0036 by *Jackson.)

Tax Assessors and Collectors - Enacts the "Tennessee Minimum Wage Act." - Amends TCA Title 50, Chapter 2.

Apparently, they've decided that $6.15 an hour is a livable wage ($3.13 if you earn tips).

More as I have time.

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