From our "No S**t, Sherlock" Dept., Esquire Magazine calls the TN Legislature "stupid"...

The hills are alive with the sound of stupid these days, so let’s start in Tennessee, where they’re drawing a line against the imminent Antifa invasion of Dollywood. Or something. From the Tennessean:

There was also back-and-forth between the chambers on how harshly to punish protesters for camping overnight on state property. While the final version ultimately made the offense a felony, the Senate at first passed the bill with an amendment that kept it a misdemeanor. Democrats largely resisted the legislation, and some Republicans raised questions and concerns about repercussions for people who aren't actually protesting, such as families having a picnic or a person taking a midday nap on War Memorial Plaza.
Felony snoozing? Really? You’ll take my midday naps when you pry them from my cold, dead, lazy-ass fingers, dammit.


Steve, Well, I'm back from


Well, I'm back from Special Session and I have to admit, it wasn't very special, at least not for hard working Tennessee families. It was pretty special for corporate special interests and private prisons, yet we didn't do anything to benefit hard working Tennesseans. The telehealth bill was not a bad bill, but the Governor could have extended that through January under his State of Emergency, he did not have to spend over $100,000 taxpayer dollars to make it happen.

Here's the truth, we went back to pass a liability bill that does nothing but level the playing field for bad actors. The vast majority of businesses are doing everything right during the pandemic and we already have laws on the books to protect them. Now they have protected the bad actors like private prisons and less than 1% of businesses who aren't trying to keep workers and customers safe. They will tell you it was to protect schools and non-profits and that's just not true, they are already protected. They have removed access to the justice system from those who need it most.

They also increased penalties for protesting-targeting peaceful protestors who have been at the Capitol for 60 days wanting to speak with the Governor about racial justice and the KKK Grand Wizard bust in a place of honor in our Capitol, wanting just to be heard.

They made it a felony to camp on state property, punishable by a 1-6 year sentence and up to a $3000 fine--and a loss of voting rights. All the while, adding up to $1.3 million to our budget each year. For perspective, here are some crimes in Tennessee that are misdemeanors: false imprisonment, sexual contact with a minor by an authority figure, a public official using position to make money, and child abuse and neglect of a child over 9 years of age.

This is not about vandalism, we have laws on the books for that, this is about silencing the voices of non-violent protestors who just want to be heard, because they also want and deserve to feel safe in Tennessee.

Now let's think about the Special Session Tennessee familes deserved. We could have expanded Medicaid at no cost to our state, so that all Tennesseans have access to affordable healthcare and a rural hospital when they need it during a pandemic. We could have fixed our broken unemployment system so folks aren't waiting months for a check. We could have made sure our schools were ready to open by public health metrics and science and not a rush to give the appearance that all is well, endangering our kids and school staff. We could have developed a comprehensive plan for rapid testing, contact tracing, and a mask mandate to help contain the virus so we could begin to bring back the economy.

Yet the Republican supermajority had to punish protesters and do the bidding of the special interests to be sure they would get their campaign donations at election time. I'm pretty sure those guys won't be sending me checks, I voted for Tennessee families instead of them;-) That's why I am asking you to chip in if you can, because they will be coming for me and I need to be ready to fight back with all I have. Chip in here if you can, to send me back to Nashville to fight for you and our real Tennessee values!

Rep. Gloria Johnson

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Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid / TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding.