Government Affairs Update

Follow the TBA's efforts to influence federal and state policy as it fulfills one of the core missions of the association – advocacy for the profession and for our system of justice.

Today First Day for Candidates to Pick Up Petitions

Today is the first day for candidates for public office in 2018’s August primary ballot to pick up petitions. Individuals interested in running for office should pick up a nominating petition at their local election commission office. The deadline to submit petitions for the August ballot is April 5.
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Rep. Brooks Will Not Seek Reelection in 2018

State House District 24 Rep. Kevin Brooks announced he will not seek reelection for his seat, opting instead to run for mayor of Cleveland, Humphrey on the Hill reports. Current Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland said he would not run again and endorsed Brooks’ candidacy. House District 24 includes parts of Bradley County.
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Rep. Forgety to Retire from State Legislature

State House Rep. John Forgety, R-Athens, has announced he will retire from the Tennessee General Assembly after the completion of his fourth term this year, Humphrey on the Hill reports. Forgety, a former teacher and veteran, currently serves as chair of the House Education Instructions and Program Committee. Forgety represents House District 23, which covers all of McMinn and parts of Monroe counties.
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16 New Laws Take Effect Next Week

Sixteen of the 493 new laws approved by the Tennessee General Assembly this year take effect on Jan. 1, Humphrey on the Hill reports. Included on that list is a $50 fine for using a cell phone while driving within a school zone, a law that requires new school bus drivers to go through a training program, and the transfer of authority over marijuana sale and use from the Alcoholic Beverage Commission to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Read a full list of the laws on the Legislature's website.
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General Assembly Policy: Guns Allowed, Hand-Carried Signs Prohibited

At the new home of the Tennessee General Assembly, citizens will be allowed to bring their guns into the building, but may not enter with hand-held signs, The Tennessean reports. The new policy, approved by Lt. Gov. Randy McNally and House Speaker Beth Harwell on Dec. 14, states that such signs “represent a safety hazard.” The new rules also prohibit animals, with the exception of service animals.
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Mark Pody Wins Senate Special Election Victory

In an election decided by just 300 votes, Mark Pody has won the special election for Tennessee’s District 17 seat, The Tennessean reports. Pody, a current state House representative, defeated attorney Mary Alice Carfi to win the seat left vacant by Mae Beavers’ resignation. District 17 includes Wilson, Cannon, DeKalb, Smith, Clay and Macon counties.
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Miller Drops Out of 7th Congressional District Race

Songwriter Lee Thomas Miller of Williamson County has dropped out of the race for Tennessee’s 7th District Congressional seat, the Nashville Post reports. Miller was only active in the race for a month. Miller’s exit leaves Sen. Mark Green, R-Ashland City, as the sole Republican in the race. On the Democratic side, former Amazing Race contestant Justin Kanew, Green Beret and Congressional staffer Matt Reel and Franklin marketing professional Josh Penfold are all still active in the race.
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Moon Sworn In as Appointed State Representative for District 8

Blount County Commission Chair Jerome Moon was sworn in this week as the new state House representative for District 8, The Daily Times reports. Moon was appointed by the commission to replace Art Swann, R-Maryville, who was chosen to take over the District 2 state senate position from Doug Overbey. Overbey resigned earlier this year after he was nominated to become the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee. District 8 includes most of Blount County. 
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Rep. Black Says She Was Sexually Harassed in State Legislature

U.S. Rep. Diane Black, R-Gallatin, says she was sexually harassed while she was a member of the Tennessee legislature, the Tennessean reports. Black, who is seeking the GOP nomination for governor next year, says the “Good Ol’ Boy culture” in the legislature created an atmosphere where she was called “Nurse Goodbody” by one member and was forced up against the wall of an elevator by another.

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Andy Cole to Run for House District 82

Andy Cole, the Republican who challenged House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh in 2016, is again seeking to win the House District 82 seat, Humphrey on the Hill reports. Cole is a native of the district, which includes Crockett, Haywood and Lauderdale counties. Fitzhugh has held the seat since 1995 but is now seeking the Democratic nomination for governor of Tennessee.
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