First up is HB1078/SB891. Called the “Policing for Profit” bill, it intends to curb the ability of local police departments to seize the property of those merely suspected of having committed a crime and selling it with law enforcement keeping the money.
The bill is due before the Criminal Justice Subcommittee tomorrow, 3/19/13. There is a problem. There has been a huge fiscal not attached to the bill. This is usually the kiss of death for legislation in today’s frugal environment.
Unfortunately, it seems this particular fiscal note arises, not from additional costs to the state to implement the law – the usual source of fiscal notes; instead, the fiscal note’s genesis comes from projected loss of revenue to the state from no longer having the property of citizens to sell.
In essence, the state is saying they cannot make ends meet without being able to confiscate the property of citizens at will and to sell it at will. I think not …
Please contact the House Committee members and tell them you SUPPORT HB1078: Chair Tony Shipley, Karen Camper, Jeremy Faison, G.A. Hardaway, William Lamberth, Micah Van Huss, Eric Watson. Shipley and Faison are co-sponsors. All emails and phone numbers are available here.
Next up is
mis-named “Fairness in Ticketing Act,” denies basic property rights to people who purchase tickets to concerts, sporting events and the like. The bill:
will authorize sports teams, event venues and ticket companies like Ticketmaster to:
(a) prohibit consumers from transferring or re-selling sports and concert tickets;
(b) permit ticket transfers and re-sales ONLY on the team/venue website or partner websites; and
(c) set resale price floors and price ceilings.
Imagine you spend $250 on tickets and later cannot attend the event. This bill would prevent you from selling or even giving away the tickets to family, friends, employees or clients. Or it would force you to use a specific means to sell the tickets and dictate the price you could ask.
I support ownership of private property. What right does government have to dictate the terms of the transfer my property? If they can do this, do I really own my property? Both the American Conservative Union and the Institute for Liberty are opposing this bill.
There are problems with scalping, to be sure. But, as is far too often their wont, the solution government proposes punishes the innocent and not the guilty. I don’t want counterfeit tickets sold any more than the next guy. But punishing legal ticket owners isn’t the way to fix this problem.
It’s up before the Business and Utilities Committee on Wednesday, 3/20. Call your legislator and tell them you OPPOSE HB 1000!
Finally, our last bill is HB 1285 dealing with choice in Education.
This is one of the most obvious and basic good bills when it comes to improving education in Tennessee. Quoting from a guest post here at Blue Collar Muse on the topic, Historically Education Has Been a Choice, author Julie Lopez brilliantly distills the essence of the debate, saying:
We make choices everyday about what we will buy, what medical care we will receive, who will make our vehicle repairs, but we do not think twice about choosing our children’s education – until they decide to go to college.
Why are we forced into a “one-size-fits-all” template to educate every child when a moment’s reflection will make clear that each child is an individual and efforts to educate him should take that into account?
Right now, parents are forced to have their kids attend a specific school based on where they live. In essence, the most important characteristic used to educate our kids is their Zip Code.
HB1285 will allow parents in school districts with failing schools options they don’t currently have. They will be able to send their children to different schools – even one across town – AND have the money earmarked by the state to educate that child follow it to the new school.
No more are parents forced to watch their kids get a sub-par education from a failing school when everyone knows one of the biggest keys to success in life is a good education!
HB1285 is on the calendar for the Education subcommittee this week on Tuesday the 19th. Contact your legislators and tell them you SUPPORT HB 1285!
That’s it for this week. Watch for next Monday’s issue!!