Press Releases

TN Supreme Court opinion: State v. Michael Casper

State of Tennessee v. Michael Casper View

Rutherford County– The defendant was convicted of fifteen counts of willfully selling securities without registering with the state as a broker-dealer or agent in violation of Tennessee Code Annotated section 48-2-109. The trial court imposed concurrent sentences of four years on each count, required eleven months to be served in jail, and ordered twelve years of probation, community service, and the payment of fines and restitution.

The Court of Criminal Appeals reversed and dismissed the convictions on grounds of insufficient evidence, holding that the term “willfully” in the criminal penalties section of the Tennessee Securities Act of 1980 required that the defendant not only had to act deliberately, but also had to be aware that his conduct was prohibited by law. We adopt the majority rule and hold that the statute does not require the state to prove that the defendant knew his or her acts were illegal in order to establish a willful violation of our state securities laws.

The term “willfully” in Tennessee Code Annotated section 48-2-123(a) requires only that the accused acted deliberately and was fully aware of his or her conduct. Because the defendant was aware he was selling securities and knew that he was not registered as a broker-dealer or agent, we reinstate the convictions and the sentences.

Press Releases

TSEA Calls for Leadership and Initiative on the Hill

Tennessee Service Employee Association Press Release

“Who will provide services to the citizens across the state,” said Almous Austin, acting president of the Tennessee State Employees Association? The Governor announced that layoffs of state employees will be part of the budget cuts coming for 2010, even though employee salaries and benefits are less than one percent of the state budget, “It is time for the Governor and the legislature to look at the other ninety-nine percent of the budget for cuts,” continued Austin.

“How much more can you ask the citizens of our state to do without? Every state job cut equals services to Tennesseans that will no longer be available,” said Austin. It is time for our elected leaders to explore areas within the budget other than personnel to balance the budget. “New challenges caused by the economy demand innovative thinking and initiative on the part of our General Assembly, so Tennessee may continue to be one of the greatest states in which to live and work,” continued Austin.

TSEA holds firm to our belief that layoffs should be a last course of action after all other avenues to balance the budget have been explored. “Services provided by state employees are the reason businesses choose to move into Tennessee. Transportation, corrections, child services, mental health care, park services, the list goes on and all are critical areas that effect each and every citizen of our state,” said Austin

TSEA offered alternatives to layoffs last legislative session and again asks that our legislators look long and hard for ways to keep Tennessee state employees working and participating in our tax structure. Alternatives to layoffs are:

* Contract Freeze (with exceptions for emergencies and immediate needs, as certified by the Fiscal Review Committee) an intense examination of necessity for and operation of contracts presently in existence. (such examination to be conducted by the Fiscal Review Committee and its staff)

* Follow Utah’s lead on a 4-day work week with no change in employee salary or benefits.

* Take necessary monies out of the “Rainy Day” and other surplus funds and save jobs.

* Use the “deferred pay” option. (submitted to the legislature last session)

* Fairly and equitably administer a wide-ranging Voluntary Buyout Plan

* Furloughs as a last resort to prevent layoffs.

Press Releases

Bredesen Proclaims October 30 Weatherization Day in Tennessee

State of Tennessee press Release; Fri, Oct 30, 2009

  • Recovery Act
  • Human Services

Recovery Act Helps Boost Participation In Program

NASHVILLE— Governor Phil Bredesen has proclaimed October 30th Weatherization Day in Tennessee to promote the economic and environmental benefits of this home energy efficiency program.

“The Recovery Act has increased funding and expanded eligibility for this program that previously benefited only a few thousand Tennesseans each year,” said Governor Bredesen. “I’m extremely pleased more families now qualify and encourage all those that do to take advantage of this opportunity to reduce their energy consumption and utility costs.”

Through the Recovery Act, the U.S. Department of Energy is making $99 million available to Tennessee for its weatherization program. Eligibility was expanded by the General Assembly last spring from 125 percent to 200 percent of poverty, ensuring that even more Tennesseans would qualify for the home energy improvement program. Priority is still given to families with small children, the elderly and people with disabilities.

Weatherization can help reduce energy consumption and a home’s utility bills by up to 32 percent through measures that include insulation, weather stripping, installing new energy efficient windows and/or even replacing entire heating and cooling systems. Citizens can apply for the program at their local Weatherization agency, or download an application from the DHS website.

“Citizens in every corner of the state are benefitting from this program,” said DHS Commissioner Gina Lodge. “Once approved, a certified energy auditor will assess the energy improvement needs of the home. Within a few weeks, that job is contracted out and the weatherization work is performed. Thanks to our partnership with 18 local non-profit and government agencies, DHS has been able to aggressively put Recovery dollars to work in Tennessee.”

DHS worked with the Tennessee Valley Authority to increase the pool of certified contractors and auditors over the summer. More than 340 contractors and 240 auditors were trained and certified.

To date, more homes have been pre-audited in the first four months of the year than were weatherized during the entire last full fiscal year. DHS expects to weatherize more than 10,000 by September, 2010.