I am NOT a lawyer and am not giving legal opinions. The following information is copied directly from the State of Tennessee website and is the code of law for the state. I believe that if you want to carry a baton, you need to be familiar with baton law. Law also changes, so please […]
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A convention to amend the U.S. Constitution is closer to reality than most people realize.
Tennessee soon might become the 29th state to pass a resolution calling for a convention to add a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. Thirty-four states are required.
The Tennessee state senate passed the convention resolution in early February; it would need to pass the state house to become official. Idaho and Arizona also are considering such proposals and could becomes Nos. 30 and 31.
Article V of the Constitution gives states the power to call a constitutional convention provided that two-thirds – 34 – agree to it. Any amendment then would need to be ratified by three-fourths of the states – that is, 38.
It would not require congressional approval.
The Constitution actually lays out two ways to amend it. The typical path involves Congress proposing amendments to the states. According to the National Archives, “none of the 27 amendments to the Constitution have been proposed by constitutional convention” – the method Tennessee soon might favor.
“I give it a 60 percent chance in five years, because most people in Congress would like to see it happen, as well,” constitutional scholar Robert G. Natelson told The Tennessean newspaper.
Supporters of the proposal say it is needed to help solve Washington’s debt problem.
“It is time for states to step up and solve the problem with almost $20 trillion of national debt that has been amassed in Washington,” Tennessee state Sen. Brian Kelsey, a Republican, said in a press release. Kelsey authored the resolution, which calls for a “planning convention” that would draw up the rules for a new constitutional convention.
Rolling the Dice?
Critics fear that a constitutional convention could go rogue.
“There’s nothing to keep our founding document to be actually thrown out,” Tennessee state Representative Craig Fitzhugh, a Democrat, said of the convention.
Opponents like Fitzhugh fear the convention could rewrite the entire constitution like the one in 1797 did, setting up a constitutional crisis.
“They were supposed to meet to make amendments to the Articles of Confederation but ended up with a whole new form of government,” Nathan Griffith, an associate professor of political science at Belmont University, told the newspaper. “Not just a new constitution, but a whole new form of government.”
Said Griffith: “You’re rolling the dice a little bit with this.”
Supporters believe that planning conventions would restrict the convention’s agenda to certain issues.
“Founding Fathers James Madison and George Mason insisted that states have a method for amending the Constitution because sometime in the future the federal government would grow to the point it would become deaf to states’ needs,” said Republican state Sen. Mike Bell.
Would you support a balanced budget constitutional convention? Share your thoughts in the section below:
I have no doubt that most of you are aware that wildfires raged across eastern Tennessee earlier this week decimating Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and the surrounding areas along the way. These fires are not the only ones that have been burning across the southeast in recent weeks, but the they are the first to directly impact large and heavily populated cities. This was the scene earlier this week in Gatlinburg and throughout Sevier County…
Fire on the mountain (language warning):
The mountains of eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina and northern Georgia are an outdoor lover’s playground throughout the year. If you live in the region, you have probably visited Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, enjoyed the natural beauty of the area and the warm hospitality of their people. We grew up just a few hours away and visited often, never minding the ride to get there, but rather enjoying the magnificence of the view throughout the trip and we always felt right at home once we arrived. It is for this reason and many others that this disaster is personal for us and we wanted to do whatever we can to help. Watch this space for possible updates and any future wildfire relief efforts.
To this end, I spent most of today (Wednesday 11/30) on the phone with several national and local agencies trying to get the first hand scoop from the experts on the ground on the best way to have offer the most benefit to the most people possible. What follows is what I learned.
As of my writing this article, the local chapter of the American Red Cross reports that in terms of their ability to meet the immediate needs of the community in terms of basic supplies (food, water, shelter, clothes, toiletries, etc.), they and all of the local agencies they are talking with are “at capacity” after having seen a tremendous outpouring of support from the state and region. That’s GREAT news! However, the reality is this will not be a 72 hour, five day or one week disaster and that is where we can step up and really make a difference. From every person I spoke with today, the main way we can help is by donating money to support the ongoing efforts that will be required to help Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and the good people of eastern Tennessee going forward. With that in mind, my work today led me to three agencies where you can donate funds and be certain that your money will go directly to help the people of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and the good people of eastern Tennessee. If you would like to make a donation to help with the wildfire relief efforts that are ongoing in these devastated areas, based on my personal conversations I can suggest the following agencies with full confidence and without hesitation:
The East Tennessee chapter of the American Red Cross is currently housing 1,400 people nightly in shelters that have been displaced by the wildfires, additionally providing food, transport and pet care to everyone. For reference, keep in mind that it takes $1000 to provide this assistance to 100 people daily, so know that every dollar you donate will be making a real difference in the lives of every day people just like yourself.
If you would like to donate to the East Tennessee Chapter of the American Red Cross, please send your check to:
ATTENTION LORI MARSH
American Red Cross East Tennessee
6921 Middlebrook Pike
Knoxville, Tennessee 37909
You can follow the East Tennessee Chapter on Facebook too.
GATLINBURG RELIEF FUND (SMARTBANK)
This fund has been established by the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce and will disperse all raised funds directly to local impacted citizens to be used at their discretion. This will put funds directly in the hands of those that need it most.
If you would like to donate to the Gatlinburg Relief Fund (SMARTBANK), here is the link to donate with a debit/credit card:
If you would like to send a check/money order please make it payable to: Gatlinburg Wildfire Relief Fund
Please mail the check to:
P.O. BOX 1910
Pigeon Forge, TN 37868
Check out the donation link on the Smartbank Facebook page:
If you would like to take a longer term approach to this disaster and offer help to those that may have lost everything and do not have adequate insurance to help them get back on their feet, the TVCH is a good option. For more information, visit tvchomeless.org and to donate money, call 865-859-0749. If you know of anyone that has lost their home, the Homeless Assistance Hot Line is 888-556-0791.
If you are interested in doing what you can to help our nearby neighbors get through these very trying times, I hope this information helps you make that happen. Remember friends, disaster doesn’t care about our schedules and does not play favorites. There, but for the grace of God, go I. Disaster can strike anyone, anywhere, at any time. I hope you will do what you can to help.
To keep up with the most up to date information regarding the ongoing disaster unfolding in eastern Tennessee and how you can help further, check out the great coverage from WBIR , WATE and the KNOXVILLE NEWS SENTINEL. Please be aware that unlike the three mentioned above, I have not spoken to all of these organizations and agencies listed on those pages personally.
Andrew Duncan captured drone video of the damage done by the fires in Gatlinburg and Sevier County.
Please help us maximize the impacts of this post! If you have a presence on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.), SHARE this post with your friends and family and let’s see how much good we can do together.
ATLANTA — A pipeline spill that has led to gasoline shortages throughout the South and sparked a state of emergency has become simply the latest example of the fragility of America’s supply line.
Social media linked the situation — which affects around six states — to that in the post-apocalyptic Mad Max movies.
Gas stations in Atlanta had run out of gas Sunday night. Many in Nashville had run out of gas days earlier.
“I’ve seen Mad Max a hundred times and never knew it was supposed to take place in Tennessee,” one person, @SuitsNTattoos, tweeted.
In the Mad Max films, survivors fight over limited fuel supplies in post-apocalyptic Australia.
“Live look at the weather and gas situation in Nashville. Welcome to the Thunderdome,” @Brainard66 tweeted.
Pictures in The Tennessean newspaper showed gas pumps with signs that state: “Out of gas sorry for the inconvenience” taped to them.
Other pictures showed long lines at a gas stations.
“Full tank of gas for sale. $1000/gal. Who needs it?” @davidpetee tweeted.
One Pipeline Spill Leads to Mad Max in Middle Tennessee
The crisis in Tennessee and other states began with a spill on the Colonial Pipeline — an underground gasoline conduit that connects New York City with the Gulf Coast — near Birmingham, Alabama, on September 9. It provides gas for around 50 million people.
The rupture caused gasoline prices to soar in the region by as much as $1 per gallon. It also led the governors of six states — Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and North Carolina — to declare states of emergency.
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam declared a state of emergency on Friday and then assured residents there was no gas shortage. On the same day, The Tennessean reported that 85 stations in Middle Tennessee had run out of gas. That led to drivers rushing to the pumps to fill up.
State of Emergency
Haslam’s executive order waived hourly limits on fuel truck drivers to keep the pumps working.
When Susan Logan drove to a Kroger gas station in Franklin, Tennessee, an attendant came out and told everybody to leave because the supermarket was out of gas. Logan had to go to three different stations to find fuel.
“The lines kept getting longer and longer as I was there,” Logan told The Tennessean. “I texted my friends to get gas on the way home from work.”
A picture in The Tennessean showed dozens of cars lined up at a Costco gas station.
“I was just amazed at how everybody went into panic mode when they shouldn’t have,” Jackie Dawson said after seeing a line at her local Kroger. “One woman put gasoline in three huge gas tanks as well as her car. It was bizarre. Just like in 2008. Just like the ’70s.”
Some smart citizens were prepared, however.
“Nashville’s freaking out about the #GasShortage. But hey, my freezer’s stocked w/ frozen waffles, so at least my bicycle has plenty of fuel!” @Jeff_Jetton tweeted.
What is your reaction? Share it in the section below
By Renee Duff – AccuWeather
Severe storms will erupt across the mid-Mississippi Valley as many head out to enjoy Easter festivities on Sunday.
“While the morning will be mainly dry, a front approaching the region will ignite a few strong thunderstorms Sunday afternoon, ruining any afternoon outdoor plans,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski said.
Cities under the threat zone for severe storms on Sunday afternoon include Memphis and Dyersburg, Tennessee; Monroe, Louisiana; and Vicksburg and Jackson, Mississippi.
Relentless downpours that will bring rain totals up to 2 feet of rain in parts of Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas will produce record flooding on some area rivers and bayous into this weekend.
The excessive rainfall of the past few days is seeping into the ground and has begun working its way into progressively larger rivers.
Rising water has already hit some communities hard and closed roads and interstates across Texas to Louisiana. Some roads have crumbled due to the excessive floodwaters.
Additional unprotected communities and roads along the waterways will be at risk for taking on water.
The risk of major flooding will also expand into southern and eastern Arkansas, western Mississippi and western Tennessee as more rain falls farther east and northeast through Saturday.
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By Renee Duff –AccuWeather
A storm system tracking across the Midwest will trigger thunderstorms capable of producing damaging winds and flash flooding over the lower Mississippi, Tennessee and Ohio valleys into Tuesday night.
Thunderstorms that first initiated over Oklahoma during Monday night began to develop into a squall line during Tuesday morning.
A squall line is a continuous band of thunderstorms that can produce damaging wind gusts, flooding downpours and hail. Brief tornadoes are also possible along the leading edge of this line.
By Chyna Glenn – AccuWeather
As Missouri residents continue to recover and clean up from deadly flooding, communities in Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi are bracing for dangerous flooding along the Mississippi River and its tributaries.
Mississippi River floodwaters have receded around the St. Louis area, and communities that were evacuated have returned to deal with the aftermath of flood damage.
“Waters are receding but cleanup continues in many Missouri communities,” Gov. Jay Nixon said on Twitter on Monday, Jan. 4, adding that the state is coordinating with federal and local officials to speed recovery.
Now, floodwaters are moving downstream along the Mississippi River, with major flooding expected for some locations in Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi.
The Mississippi River will swell to peak levels in Tennessee and northern Arkansas as the week draws to a close.
Deadly flooding is expected to surge farther south along the Mississippi River over the coming days, putting many more levees at risk for failing and more homes and highways under water.
Communities along the Mississippi River in Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana should be prepared for flood issues over the coming weeks as the copious amounts of water travels farther south.
Water levels will continue to rise in Memphis, Tennessee, and Greenville, Mississippi, as well as Baton Rouge, Louisiana, through the second week of January. Levees will be forced to hold back the rising water, but in some cases may fail, as has been seen in the past week. Residents in these areas will want to be prepared for historic flooding.
Flooding on the middle portion of the Mississippi River and some of its tributaries reached levels not seen during the winter months since records began during the middle 1800s.
Severe weather, including tornadoes, will endanger a large swath of the Central United States on Veterans Day.
Residents from Iowa and Illinois to northern Mississippi and central Texas will remain on alert for potentially damaging thunderstorms to erupt Wednesday. The risk of severe storms will extend eastward into Wednesday night.
The severe thunderstorm threat zone covers an area home to approximately 30 million people.
Cities in the threat zone include Des Moines and Davenport, Iowa; St. Louis, Kansas City and Springfield, Missouri; Chicago and Springfield, Illinois; Little Rock, Arkansas; Memphis, Tennessee; Shreveport, Louisiana; and Houston.
Filed under: Weather