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Odom Praises Nashville Police Chief for Addressing Domestic Violence Issues

Press release from the Tennessee House Democratic Caucus; June 18, 2014: 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – State Representative Gary Odom (D-Nashville) has released the following statement praising Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson for his work in trying to protect victims of domestic violence and exposing problems in the courts:

“I want to thank Chief Anderson for exposing serious problems in a system that is supposed to protect domestic violence victims. Nashvillians all over have had their faith in the justice system of our city shaken after seeing the utter failure the court to protect victims of domestic violence.

“While I fully support the efforts by Judge Higgins and Chief Anderson to address these problems internally, we have to do everything in our power to ensure that this behavior does not happen again. I am working now on legislation that will take the discretion to release domestic abusers early from the hands of judges and require that those arrested for domestic violence serve a mandatory 12 hour cooling-off period with no exceptions. I pledge to introduce that legislation before the start of session next year.

“Victims of domestic violence all too often live in a state of constant fear. It is sickening that this court has failed to do everything in its power to ensure that no harm would come of a woman brave enough to stand up to her attacker and call the police.

“I am proud to stand with Chief Anderson and promise to support him in whatever way I can to restore confidence in our criminal justice system.”

Throughout his career, ensuring the safety of domestic violence victims has been a priority of Rep. Odom’s. This year, he co-sponsored the “Survivor’s Safety Bill,” which requires persons convicted of a second, third, or subsequent domestic assault involving bodily injury to serve the minimum sentence day for day and consecutively.

In addition, Rep. Odom has sponsored legislation to require the Administrative Office of the Courts to keep statistics on domestic violence, require that orders of protection be entered in the Tennessee Crime Information System, and worked to prohibit the disclosure and identification of domestic violence shelter locations in the service of process and court proceedings.

Sen. Henry Joins Rep. Odom Calling for Flood-Victim Tax Breaks

Press Release from Sen. Douglas Henry, D-Nashville, May 18, 2010:

Legislation would exempt building, appliance purchases from sales tax

NASHVILLE – State Sen. Douglas Henry (D-Nashville) sponsored an amendment Tuesday to allow flood victims to be exempt from sales tax for purchases of major appliances and home building supplies.

“Many Nashville flood victims lost everything in their homes, including all their appliances,” Henry said. “Giving them a sales tax break could potentially save them thousands of dollars as they rebuild their lives.”

The amendment to Senate Bill 3901, also known as the technical corrections bill, would exempt anyone receiving federal disaster assistance as a result of the early May flooding from paying state and local sales tax on essential home items. Such items would include major home appliances up to $3,200 each and building materials up to $500 each.

Davidson County has been declared a federal disaster relief area, making residents eligible for federal aid. More than 28,000 Tennesseans have applied for federal disaster relief, and the state sales tax break is one more way lawmakers can help Tennesseans in a time of great need, Henry said.

“I have seen my neighbors across Nashville work together to help each other recover, and I want the State to do its part,” Henry said. “I’m optimistic that my fellow lawmakers and I will get this done.”

If approved, the exemption would run through Sept. 30. The amendment is not expected to severely impact revenues, as the state would not have counted on a drastic increase in such purchases had the floods not occurred.

The measure awaits approval in the Senate and House, where Rep. Gary Odom (D-Nashville) is sponsoring the amendment.