Tennessee bill targets parents behind on child support

If a Tennessee bill passes into law, parents who are three years or more late on child support might lose custody or visiting privileges with their children. HB 1866 passed through a House committee this week, but it has already sparked disagreement among state legislators in Tennessee.

“What is the point of adding more instruments to eliminate the father?” asked Memphis State Rep. Antonio Parkinson in response to the question. Parkinson asserted that children have the right to spend time with their parents and that it is critical for both parents to remain involved in their children’s life.

“I believe that the common denominator in the majority of criminal behavior is that the perpetrators of criminal activity are children who do not have a parent who is present in the home or who do not have a parent who is present in the child’s life,” Rep.

On the other hand, opponents of the proposal claim that they do not want to restrict a child’s time with a parent who cannot afford child support. They stated that only one factor that a judge can consider when making child custody decisions.

In the words of Rep. Johnny Garrett, “I hope this will be a top priority in every household when they have a child support obligation because that money goes to shelter, food, and clothes,” as well as other necessities for the children in question.

Parkinson believes in a more effective, more positive way to pursue late parents on child support payments.

If a new Tennessee House bill is passed, it can disrupt child visitation rules for some parents.

When HB1866, introduced in the Tennessee House of Representatives, becomes law, it may potentially provide judges the authority to terminate child custody or visitation rights from alternate residential or noncustodial parents who are three years or more overdue on child support payments.

A parent who does not have actual custody of their child is referred to as a noncustodial parent. Custody and visitation are legally determined by court order, and noncustodial parents are frequently forced to pay child support to the primary residential parent in custody.

Unlike the major residential parent, an alternate residential parent is a parent who has shared or joint custody of their kid but who spends less time with their child in their home than the primary residential parent.

Alternative residential parents are almost always required to pay child support to the primary residential parent in addition to their child support.

Although both parents have joint custody and equal parenting time, one parent is still designated as the primary residential parent in these situations.

The House of Representatives believes that the bill may be beneficial. Tennessee Representative Johnny Garrett stated, “My aim is that by including this aspect in this, it will encourage people to prioritize paying child support overpaying for their phone, paying their cable bill, or paying for whatever else is out there.”

Income-sharing guidelines for child support in Tennessee are based on the Income-Sharing Model. Based on the net earnings of both parents, this model estimates the decided child support amount by Tennessee statutes.

According to Tennessee standards, the shares model may nevertheless necessitate child support payment by an alternative residential parent who has shared custody in specific instances.

According to Tennessee, Child Support Guidelines Rule 1240-02-04, an alternative residential parent may still be required to pay child support to the primary residences parent if they have a higher income than the primary residential parent, even if the alternative residential parent has joint custody and equal parenting time with the primary residential caregiver.

Tennessee’s adoption of the Income Shares Model may result in disputes with the House Bill, particularly in the case of unique instances in which alternative residential parents share joint custody with their children.

According to the proposed legislation, when used in conjunction with the Tennessee Child Support Guidelines, alternative residential parents who fall behind on child support can face the same repercussions as noncustodial parents.

The proposed house bill allows the kid’s primary residential parent to ask the court to award the parent who has not paid child support “reasonable visiting rights” with their kid.

The bill has been set on the Senate Judiciary Committee scheduled for Tuesday, February 22.

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Tennessee politicians propose a bill restricting teaching LGBTQIA+ problems and identification in school.

A Tennessee politician proposed a measure preventing educators from teaching children about LGBTQIA+ identities and the challenges students in those categories could be facing.

The measure, H.B. 0800, was first submitted in 2021 but failed not to pass the legislature owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was presented by Representative Bruce Griffey (R – Paris) (R – Paris). It would specifically bar state authorities from adopting or using textbooks or any teaching materials that “promote, normalize, support, or discuss lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender concerns.”

The bill states that public schools are designed to concentrate on subjects like reading, chemistry, and mathematics and goes on to suggest materials that highlight LGBTQIA+ identity and issues are “wrong.”

It also states that discussions of those problems can upset kids and parents with “Christian beliefs” before stating that LGBTQIA+ concerns should follow the same limits as religion in schools.

Griffey went before the House Finance, Ways, and Means Subcommittee, where members reviewed the bill’s likely cost to the state. He indicated he could locate a particular financial amount and intended to return to the panel with more study later.

Tennessee lawmakers passed a law prohibiting the use of quick runoff voting.

In a move intended to end a long-running court case between state poll workers and the city of Memphis, Tennessee lawmakers passed a ban on quick runoff voting in elections on Monday.

The ban is effective immediately. Although voters approved the method for use in city elections in 2008, no one has used it since then.

The House and Senate passed the proposal to ban primary runoff voting, also known as ranked-choice voting, where Republicans hold supermajorities. The votes were cast on the same day in both chambers.

Under Tennessee law, the method is not permitted, according to Mark Goins, the State’s Election Coordinator. For years, the issue has been entangled in organizational challenges against the state and lawsuits against the government.

The decision that primary runoff voting is illegal in Tennessee, according to a lawsuit filed last week by four voters and a group supporting the change, is “unsupported by the law, unbacked by the proof, and was arbitrary, arbitrary, or an unwarranted exercise of discretion,” according to the lawsuit.

When no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the system allows voters to rank their choices, avoiding runoffs. Officials in different parts of the country have adopted different rules about which races it will apply to and how it will be organized.

Advocates say it’s positive that voters can place a candidate at the top of their list even if they believe that candidate has no chance of winning and still believe that the rest of their rankings are important.

If Republican Gov. Bill Lee signs the legislation, the lawsuits could be rendered moot quickly. The legislative push also marks the latest scuffle between Republican state authorities and left-leaning urban areas, such as Memphis, which has a majority-Black population.

In a statement issued by Sen. Brian Kelsey (R-Memphis, Shelby County), the Republican bill sponsor from Germantown expressed dissatisfaction with the voting method, saying it is a “very puzzling and complicated issue that finally, I believe, leads to a lack of confidence in the vote totals.”

The bill was co-sponsored by two Memphis Democrats, Reps. Joe Towns and Barbara Cooper are both Democrats.

In their next election, more than 50 jurisdictions are expected to use ranked-choice voting in some capacity, such as Maine, Alaska, New York City, and a growing number of other local government elections across the country.

According to the group FairVote, this endorses primary runoff voting and has endorsed ranked-choice voting in the past.

It’s also applied in a handful of states to find out presidential primaries – primarily on the Democratic side – and at party nominating conventions, such as the race for governor of Virginia in 2021, which a popular vote will decide.

In testimony before Tennessee lawmakers, Chris Saxman, a former Republican state legislator from Virginia, stated that the Virginia Republican nominating convention demonstrated that ranked-choice voting is “a very useful tool in the electoral toolbox.”

He is the executive director of Virginia FREE, a non-profit organization that provides political information to the state’s corporate community.

Memphis voters approved instant runoff voting for city elections in 2008 unless voting equipment made it unfeasible for the next election. Memphis voters rejected a referendum attempt to repeal the voting method in 2018.

In July 2017, Linda Phillips, the Shelby County elections administrator, announced plans for instant runoff voting in the county’s municipal elections for the year 2019.

Goins informed the county elections administrator in September 2017 that ranked-choice voting is not permitted under Tennessee law.

According to Beth Henry-Robertson, Tennessee’s assistant elections coordinator, the state would require more specifics from Memphis officials on implementing ranked-choice voting even if it were allowed in Tennessee.

Senate Minority Leader Jeff Yarbro, a Democrat from Nashville, questioned what prompted the push to outlaw a voting method that hadn’t been used in the state before.

According to Yarbro, “It’s an innovation that might work, but it might also fail.” “However, I’m perplexed as to why we would put that out in the crib.”

A Tennessee measure would allow certain municipal instant runoff voting to be implemented.

A proposal to allow Tennessee’s four largest cities to determine whether or not to allow instant runoff voting in local nonpartisan elections is making its way through the legislative process.

The bill introduced by Republican Rep. Michael Curcio was passed by a House committee on Wednesday, with an amendment still to be completed.

Curcio stated that larger cities requested the bill and intended to be limited to its application to Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, and Chattanooga. Local charter revisions would be required to put the plan into effect.

Instant runoff voting allows voters to rank their preferences, avoiding the need for runoffs when no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote. Memphis voters approved it for use in city elections in 2008 and rejected a repeal referendum effort in November of that year.

The Shelby County Elections Administrator, Linda Phillips, announced plans for rapid runoff voting in the county’s municipal elections in 2019. In February, Tennessee Elections Coordinator Mark Goins concluded that ranked-choice voting is not permitted under state law. Going against Goins’ ruling, Shelby’s electoral commission voted unanimously against it.