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Conservative Tax Reform - November 2017

Conservative Tax Reform - November 2017

HELP PASS CONSERVATIVE
TAX REFORM

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Lowering the Bar
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Lowering the Bar

Although tort reform has gained wide attention on the national scene, it is not a front-burner issue in Tennessee. A new organization hopes to change that. Besides tort reform legislation, Tennesseans for Legal Reform plans to initiate legal reform legislation in the state and back federal legislation. Medical malpractice legislation, now on the plate of the Tennessee General Assembly, will be at the forefront of the organization's efforts. Tort reform endeavors on the local and national level have the goal of curtailing costly litigation and classaction lawsuits. The efforts are mainly opposed by trial lawyers. "We didn't have one organization to kind of take the lead and run," says Darren Morris, executive director of Tennesseans for Legal Reform and a registered lobbyist for the group. "There's never been a tort reform association of any type in Tennessee." Morris runs Darren Morris & Associates LLC, a political consulting, public relations, advertising and strategic communications firm, which is starting its loth .year of operation. It has offices in Nashville and Washington, D.C. Morris has been involved in more than 45 political campaigns, and his client list includes U.S. Sen. Bill Frist, Bush-Cheney 2000, Alexander for President, Microsoft and AT&T. Morris' company also has two subsidiaries. Morris Agency handles political campaigns and corporate advertising, while Tennessee Public Affairs is the lobbying, government relations and coalition building arm and is involved in grassroots efforts such as Tennesseans for Legal Reform. Morris has a paid retainer with Tennesseans for Legal Reform. Morris says his efforts have concentrated on areas outside of Nashville initially because the legislature will not convene a tort reform study committee until this summer and there will not be any new bills introduced on tort reform until the next legislative session in January. "We really looked at it from a political campaign standpoint," says Morris. The group has organized in every congressional district, every state senate district and every state representative district. Tort reform became a hot issue in litigious Alabama before spreading to Mississippi. Morris expects it to move to other states. "Anytime a state passes reform, the trial bar and plaintiff bar who are looking to do these lawsuits find another state to go into," he says. "Right now the big one is Illinois, because the tobacco lawsuit is on right now. Tennessee is going to be the place to go if we don't do these caps." Tennesseans for Legal Reform currently has about 600 members. Membership dues varies from $50 to $20,000, depending upon an individual's or company's ability to pay. The organization's budget this year is $250,000. Morris expects the budget will be much larger next year to handle such things as public education and direct mail efforts. Morris says fundraising for Tennesseans for Legal Reform is going well. By the start of the next legislative session, the organization hopes to hire lobbyists. Political and financial support is coming from large corporations, small businesses, physicians, insurance companies and agents, manufacturers, restaurateurs and state associations. Backup support is coming from national organizations, such as the American Tort Reform Association, Citizens for a Sound Economy, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform, the American Medical Association, PhRMA, the Southeastern Legal Foundation, and the National Federation of Independent Business. The national organizations may provide tort reform educational opportunities for those on the state committee. Bobby Joslin, owner of Joslin Sign Co. who is on NFIB's state leadership council and is a member of Tennesseans for Legal Reform's small business advisory committee, says the NFIB has been concerned about tort reform for many moons. "It's been an obstacle and it's been a thorn in our sides for many years," he says. Joslin says the high cost of health care is the NFIB's No. 1 concern and it is eating up the bottom line of small businesses and eliminating jobs. He says the large number of tort cases is a big reason why health care costs are so high. "Seventy percent of all medical lawsuits wind up resulting in absolutely no payment, yet somebody has to defend that at a huge cost," says Joslin. Name: Tennesseans for Legal Reform Address: P.O. Box 111568, Nashville 37222 Phone: 615-661-6191 Web site: www.TNLegalReform.com

06/06/2003
Michigan Citizens for a Sound Economy to Rally on Judicial Nominees: Target is Senator Levin
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Press Release

Michigan Citizens for a Sound Economy to Rally on Judicial Nominees: Target is Senator Levin

The Michigan Chapter of Citizens for a Sound Economy (MI CSE) Livingston County Chapter Leader Steve Williams will lead a rally against Senator Carl Levin’s obstruction of President Bush’s judicial nominations. The demonstration will be held outside the Livingston County Democratic Party Dinner, where Levin is the featured guest.

06/06/2003
Regulators, Privacy Interests Debate Credit-Reporting Law
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Regulators, Privacy Interests Debate Credit-Reporting Law

BY Drew Clark

Congress should not permit a law governing credit reporting to expire at the end of the year because of the law's strong consumer benefits, three federal and state financial-services regulators told a congressional panel on Wednesday. But those regulators -- from the Federal Reserve Bank, National Association of Insurance Commissioners and Conference of State Bank Supervisors -- were challenged by Julie Brill, assistant attorney general of Vermont, who said Congress should let the law lapse. Brill, who is co-chairwoman of the privacy working group of the National Association of Attorneys General, said the current credit-granting system is not uniform and that states like Vermont with stricter pre-existing laws have not suffered because of them. Brill found a receptive ear among Democrats on the House Financial Services Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee in the second of a series of hearings on the Fair Credit Reporting Act. "Sometimes this discussion sounds a little Orwellian to me," said Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee ranking member Bernard Sanders, I-Vt. "The people who say they trust the states to do the best job" change their mind when businesses say federal pre-emption of tougher state laws is necessary. When subcommittee Chairman Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., questioned Brill's stance in light of Federal Reserve Chairman Greenspan's support for the extension, Sanders interjected, "In Vermont, some of us do, occasionally, dispute Chairman Greenspan." The industry and broader business communities are mounting a major lobbying push this year to extend the FCRA pre-emption Congress enacted in 1996. Business groups worry that failure to reauthorize the extensions would lop a full percentage point off the gross domestic product and limit consumers' ability to get quick loan decisions. But privacy and consumer advocates say that states need to fight for stricter privacy laws and that the 1996 act may have spurred an increase in identity theft. Howard Beales, director of the FTC's Consumer Protection Bureau, said on Wednesday that the agency's five commissioners have no official position. But a solid majority of those who testified on Wednesday urged extending the pre-emption. They represented groups such as the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Allstate, the National Multi-Housing Counsel, Citizens for a Sound Economy and the major credit-bureau companies. Opponents included the U.S. Public Research Interest Group and National Fair Housing Alliance, and a trial attorney with the National Association of Consumer Advocates. By Drew Clark

06/05/2003
Regulators, Privacy Interests Debate Credit-Reporting Law
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Regulators, Privacy Interests Debate Credit-Reporting Law

BY Drew Clark

Congress should not permit a law governing credit reporting to expire at the end of the year because of the law's strong consumer benefits, three federal and state financial-services regulators told a congressional panel on Wednesday. But those regulators -- from the Federal Reserve Bank, National Association of Insurance Commissioners and Conference of State Bank Supervisors -- were challenged by Julie Brill, assistant attorney general of Vermont, who said Congress should let the law lapse. Brill, who is co-chairwoman of the privacy working group of the National Association of Attorneys General, said the current credit-granting system is not uniform and that states like Vermont with stricter pre-existing laws have not suffered because of them. Brill found a receptive ear among Democrats on the House Financial Services Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee in the second of a series of hearings on the Fair Credit Reporting Act. "Sometimes this discussion sounds a little Orwellian to me," said Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee ranking member Bernard Sanders, I-Vt. "The people who say they trust the states to do the best job" change their mind when businesses say federal pre-emption of tougher state laws is necessary. When subcommittee Chairman Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., questioned Brill's stance in light of Federal Reserve Chairman Greenspan's support for the extension, Sanders interjected, "In Vermont, some of us do, occasionally, dispute Chairman Greenspan." The industry and broader business communities are mounting a major lobbying push this year to extend the FCRA pre-emption Congress enacted in 1996. Business groups worry that failure to reauthorize the extensions would lop a full percentage point off the gross domestic product and limit consumers' ability to get quick loan decisions. But privacy and consumer advocates say that states need to fight for stricter privacy laws and that the 1996 act may have spurred an increase in identity theft. Howard Beales, director of the FTC's Consumer Protection Bureau, said on Wednesday that the agency's five commissioners have no official position. But a solid majority of those who testified on Wednesday urged extending the pre-emption. They represented groups such as the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Allstate, the National Multi-Housing Counsel, Citizens for a Sound Economy and the major credit-bureau companies. Opponents included the U.S. Public Research Interest Group and National Fair Housing Alliance, and a trial attorney with the National Association of Consumer Advocates.

06/05/2003
Tax Cuts Reloaded
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Press Release

Tax Cuts Reloaded

George W. Bush is becoming the tax-cutting equivalent of Neo, blasting around the Beltway Matrix, leaving lower rates in his wake. Whether the federal budget is in “surplus” or deficit, President Bush has the moves to slice and dice. Not to push the metaphor too far, but this is certainly a new reality for all the Big Government Agent Smiths inside the Beltway Matrix.

06/05/2003
Winston-Salem Takes Another Look at Annexation
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Press Release

Winston-Salem Takes Another Look at Annexation

This article originally ran in the Winston-Salem Journal on Tuesday, June 3, 2003 City to take another look at annexation Council tells staff to revise proposed areas, ordinances By Victoria Cherrie JOURNAL REPORTER Annexation Archive After a year of mapping and surveying, city staff members will take another crack at developing an annexation proposal that excludes more rural areas and won't force land owners to give up their goats, pigs, sheep and guineas.

06/05/2003
Politicians Not Serious
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Press Release

Politicians Not Serious

During the special legislative session the Alabama Legislature had a chance to do something that would convince the voters of Alabama that they were serious about accountability in state government—but they didn’t do it.

06/05/2003
140 Days and $117.4 Billion Later; No Tax Increases!
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Press Release

140 Days and $117.4 Billion Later; No Tax Increases!

The state budget passed by this legislature represents the first time in 20 years that government growth has been cut. Considering the budget shortfall, the legislature did a remarkable job. They filled a budget shortfall without introducing new taxes while providing more funding to education and to health and human services (don’t believe those whiners who bemoan the cuts as Cse has taken the position some of the programs cut are beyond the appropriate role of government.) No new taxes; no tax increases

06/05/2003
Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee hearing on "Fair Credit Reporting Act: How it Functions for Cons…
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Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee hearing on "Fair Credit Reporting Act: How it Functions for Cons…

< p>Howard Beales, director, Bureau of Consumer Affairs, Federal Trade Commission; Dolores Smith, director, Division of Consumer and Community Affairs, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Gregory Serio, superintendent of insurance, State of New York, representing the National Association of Insurance Commissioners; Julie Brill, assistant attorney general, State of Vermont; Joseph Smith, commissioner of Banks, State of North Carolina, representing the Conference of State Bank Supervisors; Ramon Rodriguez, COO, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Kevin Sullivan, vice preside

06/04/2003
Privacy
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Privacy

BY Drew Clark

Congress should not permit a law governing credit reporting to expire at the end of this year because of the law's strong consumer benefits, three federal and state financial-services regulators told a congressional panel on Wednesday. But those regulators -- from the Federal Reserve Bank, National Association of Insurance Commissioners and Conference of State Bank Supervisors -- were challenged by Julie Brill, assistant attorney general of Vermont, who said Congress should let the law lapse. "The states need to serve as laboratories of democracy in this incredibly important area and to assist Congress with what works," said Brill, who is co-chair of the privacy working group of the National Association of Attorneys General. She said the current credit-granting system is not uniform and that states like Vermont with stricter pre-existing laws have not suffered because of them. Brill found a receptive ear among Democrats on the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions in the second of a series of hearings on the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The hearing featured 21 witnesses. "Sometimes this discussion sounds a little Orwellian to me," said ranking minority member Bernard Sanders, an independent from Vermont who caucuses with Democrats. "The people who say they trust the states to do the best job" change their mind when businesses say federal pre-emption of tougher state laws is necessary. When subcommittee Chairman Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., questioned Brill's stance in light of Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan's support for the extension, Sanders interjected, "In Vermont, some of us do, occasionally, dispute Chairman Greenspan." The industry and broader business communities are mounting a major lobbying push this year to extend the FCRA pre-emption Congress enacted in 1996. Business groups worry that failure to reauthorize the extensions would lop a full percentage point off the gross domestic product and limit consumers' ability to get quick loan decisions. But privacy and consumer advocates say that states need to fight for stricter privacy laws and that the 1996 act may have spurred an increase in identity theft. Howard Beales, director of the FTC's Consumer Protection Bureau, said on Wednesday that the agency's five commissioners have no official position. A top Treasury Department official said the same thing last month but dwelled on the concern about ID theft. But a solid majority of those who testified on Wednesday urged extending the pre-emption. They represented groups such as the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Allstate, the National Multi-Housing Counsel, Citizens for a Sound Economy, the East Los Angeles Community Union and the major credit-bureau companies. Opponents included the U.S. Public Research Interest Group and National Fair Housing Alliance, and a trial attorney with the National Association of Consumer Advocates. "While we generally oppose pre-emption, we believe that the benefits of uniformity to our credit-granting system and the value of this system to consumers and our economy outweigh our objection in this case," said Joseph Smith, the North Carolina Commissioner of Banks who testified on behalf of the Conference of State Banking Supervisors.

06/04/2003

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