Earlier this week we discussed in detail in this space the stink created by workers' compensation legislation that is due to go into effect at the New Year that would require small contractors to carry workers' compensation on their employees. The move could cost small family businesses of various kinds their yearly profits and has created an uproar, including the now-dismissed potential for a pre-Chrismas legislative special session.
I did not personally know Turner, but I was his hotel neighbor on a couple of occasions as he happened to be staying in the room next to mine while I was in Nashville covering the General Assembly. A day or two I saw him downstairs in the hotel lounge grabbing something quick for breakfast before heading over to the Capitol. He always had a friendly hello and I don't ever recall him being sour toward anyone. I didn't agree with his politics, but those who speak well of Larry Turner's personal demeanor do so with validity.
IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually, in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid: And by Virtue hereof do enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions, and Officers, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general Good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due Submission and Obedience.
IN WITNESS whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape-Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, Anno Domini; 1620.
Mr. John Carver, Mr. William Bradford, Mr Edward Winslow, Mr. William Brewster, Isaac Allerton, Myles Standish, John Alden, John Turner, Francis Eaton, James Chilton, John Craxton ,John Billington, Joses Fletcher, John Goodman, Mr. Samuel Fuller, Mr. Christopher Martin, Mr. William Mullins, Mr. William White, Mr. Richard Warren, John Howland, Mr. Steven Hopkins, Digery Priest, Thomas Williams, Gilbert Winslow, Edmund Margesson, Peter Brown, Richard Britteridge, George Soule, Edward Tilly, John Tilly, Francis Cooke, Thomas Rogers, Thomas Tinker, John Ridgdale, Edward Fuller, Richard Clark, Richard Gardiner, Mr. John Allerton,Thomas English, Edward Doten, Edward Liester.
The Tennessee General Assembly apparently won't be meeting in special session in a couple of weeks, but how quickly they act to nix faulty workers' compensation law, but how quickly the Legislature acts on the issue in January will be a test of priorities:
The real test of Leadership within both parties will be how quickly they act to redress this matter once the Legislature does convene for its regular session in mid-January. If workers' compensation legislation is so bad that the need to change it nearly brought about a sitting of the General Assembly during-of all times of the year-Christmastide, then it needs to be the very first item on the legislative agenda when the Tennessee House and Senate return January 12th.
While I am not sure that this rises to the emergency status that should necessitate a special session, and could be repealed retroactively during the first week of the new legislative session in January, if it is determined that the General Assembly must be convened in order to purge the lawbooks of this foolishness, justice would dictate that those members who were present and voted no on the original bill which would ultimately become Public Chapter 1041 should have their per diem covered, while the chief sponsor of the original bill should be made to cover everyone else's per diem out of his own pocket.
No, it won't happen that way and the law and rules of the House do not provide for such a measure, but it ought to.
The Lieutenant Governor says this can wait until January to be addressed. I hope it is and I hope the State will not penalize family businesses in the meantime while we wait on what will hopefully be repeal of this law. The process really bears watching, because if the law is not repealed, it could forever change who is able to do business in Tennessee, and very small family businesses could be out of that loop.
A well-placed source at the State Capitol informed The Examiner over the weekend that as part of his plan to cut the State budget and find additional revenue, Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen and Revenue Commissioner Reagan Farr are considering a $150 additional tax on those people who apply for concealed carry firearms permits in Tennessee. Apparently Bredesen believes that this is a way to raise additional revenue and is, in a very real sense, a voluntary tax. If such a plan were carried out, all it would likely do is discourage people from obtaining their carry permits, since the process is already costly because the State mandates a safety course which is already rather costly as a prerequisite. Make the process even more expensive, and it becomes cost-prohibitive for a great many Tennesseans who would be otherwise inclined to legally carry a firearm for their personal protection.
Vermont requires no permit to purchase a handgun, rife, or shotgun, and no licensing of any such firearm. Vermont requires no permit of any kind to carry a firearm concealed or otherwise. A record of sale is kept and a person's criminal record is checked, and if you are convicted of a felony you can't purchase or carry a gun legally. The only places where a person who otherwise can carry isn't allowed to is in a courthouse or on school property.
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