The 113th General Assembly reconvenes tomorrow, January 9th; so far, 62 bills have already been filed for introduction in the House, with a respective 83 bills in the Senate. This morning, House Speaker Cameron Sexton called a Select Rules Committee meeting to hear various rule change proposals and establish what behavior is and isn’t acceptable on the floor and in committee rooms.
During August's extraordinary session on public safety, both House and Senate passed new rules to limit disruptions from the gallery along with excitable speech and behavior from legislators; the House changes were established temporarily during special session, while the Senate’s were made permanent. These were put in place following the now-infamous protest by Representatives Justin Jones, Justin Pearson, and Gloria Johnson.
Reminiscent of his days as a free-agent activist, Justin Jones continues to be the driving force behind many of the protests that take place on Capitol Hill. Not only has his conduct during floor sessions been uniquely disruptive, his behavior during committee meetings has been similarly unconventional.
JONES FIXATED ON KUMAR’S “BROWN FACE”
Back in April, Rep. Sabi "Doc" Kumar, an Indian-American Republican representing Springfield, recanted one of those, er, unconventional experiences.
“In [my] 53 years in America,” he told Jones on the House floor, “I have never encountered a racial slur….Yet, you, on tape, called me a brown face.”
"...what I told you was, as the only member of their caucus who is not of the Caucasian persuasion, I said you put a brown face on white supremacy,” rebutted Jones during the exchange.
During a press conference following his expulsion, Jones made another comment at Kumar’s expense, calling him “a little confused” for being part of the “majority-white caucus.”
With five bills already filed for this year’s General Assembly, Rep. Gino Bulso (R-Brentwood) is in the crosshairs of left-wing media. Taking a look at what he’s submitted, it’s easy to see why:
NO MEDDLING IN THE STATE LEGISLATURE’S PROCEDURES: “As introduced, declares that no circuit, chancery, or other court has subject matter jurisdiction over any legal action, challenging any rule, regulation, or procedure of the senate or house of representatives.”
PERMISSION TO CHALLENGE LIBRARY MATERIALS: “As introduced, gives a parent of a child who attends, or who is eligible to attend, a school operated by a local education agency or a public charter school standing to file a civil action against the LEA or public charter school in a chancery court of competent jurisdiction to enforce the Age-Appropriate Materials Act of 2022.”
PERMISSION TO CARRY IN PRIVATE SCHOOLS: “As introduced, clarifies that a private school serving students in any of the grades pre-K through 12 is authorized to adopt a handgun carry policy for the private school's property.”
BULSO’S FLAG LAW: “As introduced, prohibits LEAs and public charter schools from displaying in public schools flags other than the official United States flag and the official Tennessee state flag.”
ALLOWING LEGISLATORS TO SEE THE MANIFESTO: “As introduced, upon written request by a member of the general assembly, requires all state and local law enforcement agencies to release to the member making the request a copy of all records collected by the agency, including, but not limited to, all writings and medical, toxicology, and other reports, of a perpetrator involved in a school shooting incident that occurred at a public or private school in this state in March of 2023.”