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Haslam Defends UT Chancellor Amid Latest Diversity Office Controversy

Gov. Bill Haslam voiced support Monday for the University of Tennessee’s Knoxville campus chancellor, Jimmy Cheek, who is facing resignation demands from GOP state lawmakers.

“My view is that you judge somebody on their entire body of work, and if you look at what Chancellor Cheek has done at UT, his entire body of work is impressive,” Haslam told reporters following a ribbon-cutting for a new Under Armor distribution center in Mt. Juliet.

The University of Tennessee’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion is under fire from GOP lawmakers and leaders in the state Republican Party for recently posting a list of “Best Practices for Inclusive Holiday Celebrations in the Workplace.” (Note: The original post by UT’s Office of Diversity has been removed and replaced.)

Included was a suggestion that participants at workplace parties refrain from playing “games with religious and cultural themes – for example, ‘Dreidel’ or ‘Secret Santa.'”

“If you want to exchange gifts, then refer to it in a general way, such as a practical joke gift exchange or secret gift exchange,” the post went on.

“Holiday parties and celebrations should celebrate and build upon workplace relationships and team morale with no emphasis on religion or culture,” counseled the diversity office. “Ensure your holiday party is not a Christmas party in disguise.”

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and Senate Education Chairwoman Dolores Gresham are among those indicating they’ll press for Chancellor Cheek’s ouster if he had foreknowledge of the diversity office’s post.

“The Office of Diversity is not welcoming to all and hostile to none as they claim,” Gresham, R-Somerville, said in a press release Friday. “They are very hostile to students and other Tennesseans with Christian and conservative values. By placing a virtual religious test regarding holiday events at this campus, every student who is a Christian is penalized.”

Sen. Mike Bell dittoed Gresham’s indignation.

“This is a public university, supported by taxpayer dollars, where the precious resources provided to them should be directed at what we are doing to give our students a world class education,” said Bell, a Republican from Riceville who serves as Government Operations Committee chairman. “The people want us to ensure that their money is being spent wisely and we have lost confidence that this is being done.”

Ramsey, the Senate’s presiding legislator, took to Facebook on Friday to vent his vexation. “If this post was approved by Chancellor Cheek, he should resign. If not, the entire staff of the Office for Diversity and Inclusion should be dismissed. The reputation of Tennessee is at stake here.”

The Tennessee Republican Party’s state executive committee on Saturday approved a resolution calling on lawmakers and the governor to “eliminate funding for the University of Tennessee Office of Diversity and Inclusion in future state budgets.”

Rep. Micah Van Huss, R-Jonesborough, looks to be planning to introduce legislation that’ll do just that.

This isn’t the first time the diversity office has drawn Republican ire. Last summer GOP lawmakers were angered when the office posted a “gender-neutral” language guide for avoiding gender-specific pronouns.

With respect to the diversity office’s future, Haslam on Monday said he continues to see “a role for them.”

The office ought to prioritize “making certain there is equal opportunity for people to attend UT, and graduating, and having great outcomes,” said the governor, who is a Republican and formerly the mayor of Knoxville.

Haslam does think the diversity office “went too far in telling adults how they should act at holiday parties.”

“In this case, I believe they went off into something that they didn’t need to be focused on,” he said.

The UT Faculty Senate is scheduled to meet Tuesday in what’s expected to be a show of support for Chancellor Cheek. Also, legislative education committees are meeting this week on Capitol Hill in Nashville where the matter is likely to get attention of a more critical nature.

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Press Releases

TNDP Chairwoman: GOP ‘Wasting Time’ with Criticism of UT Diversity Office

Press release from the Democratic Party of Tennessee, Dec. 7, 2015:

Tennessee Democratic Party Chair to Tennessee Republican Lawmakers on Their Misplaced Priorities – Holiday Parties over Tennesseans Who Are Hurting?

Nashville, Tenn. (December 7, 2015) – Tennessee Democratic Party Chair Mary Mancini released the following statement addressing Republicans and their misplace priorities:

“People in Tennessee are hurting. They are without healthcare and quality jobs and hope for a better future and this is what the Tennessee Republicans want to discuss? The decision by a college administrator about the kind of parties they have?

Ask any Tennessean without healthcare and without a job and they’ll tell you that they’re more concerned with making ends meet during this holiday season than they are with whether or not someone has a tree or a menorah at their office party. Maybe Tennessee Republicans like Congressman Scott DesJarlais, State Senator Dolores Gresham, State Rep. Mike Bell and Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey have the luxury of wasting time on this but people who are trying to provide for their families during the holidays are more concerned with putting dinner on the table or being able to take a sick child to the doctor without bankrupting everything they have worked for.

Manufactured problems are a hallmark of Republican rule in Tennessee. It creates a smokescreen for their ineffectiveness and secrecy while they roadblock access to affordable health care, interfere with local control of public schools, and work to sell off pieces of the University of Tennessee to the highest bidder. Enough is enough.

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Press Releases

Candidates Would Have to Disclose Credit Scores Under New Legislative Proposal

Press release from the Republican Caucus of the Tennessee House of Representatives, Dec. 7, 2015:

Representative Sexton, Senator Bailey File “The Voter Accountability and Transparency Act” Of 2015

(NASHVILLE) — State Representative Cameron Sexton (R–Crossville) and State Senator Paul Bailey (R–Sparta) filed first of its kind legislation this week to require all local and state candidates running for office to disclose their credit score when they file their Statement of Interest form with the Tennessee Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance.

Representative Sexton commented the idea was brought forth by a constituent in Cumberland County who had concerns with individuals seeking office and not knowing if they could handle their personal finances, much less the finances of all taxpayers.

“It is a valid concern. Before an election, candidates constantly say how they are going to balance the budget and make sure government lives within its means. How do voters verify whether the candidate means what they say? The only accurate answer is to know the person’s credit score. They are used daily to determine financial responsibility,” said Representative Sexton.

“I pledged I would always be open to ideas from citizens. We hear the voices of the people asking for accountability at all levels of government,” responded Senator Paul Bailey.

The Statement of Interest form asks all candidates to disclose their sources of incomes, blind trusts, investments, professional services, certain types of loans and bankruptcies. The form is signed by the candidate and a witness as being accurate and complete.

Senator Bailey continued, “This legislation will go a long way to help provide transparency to the citizens of Tennessee on who they elect.”

The proposed legislation would require the candidate to check the range of their credit score on the Statement of Interest form. The various ranges would be 0, 700 and above, 699 to 650, 649 to 501 and 500 or below. The average credit score as reported by Farris Issac Corporation (FICO) in Tennessee is 624 as of November 2015.

“Tennessee would be the first state in America to require candidates running for office to disclose their credit score to the voters,” concluded Sexton.

The full text of House Bill 1433/Senate Bill 1452 can be found by visiting: http://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/109/Bill/HB1433.pdf

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Press Releases

Vanderbilt Poll Gauges Opinions on Immigration in Wake of Paris Attacks

Press release from Vanderbilt University, Dec. 4, 2015:

Interest in immigration issues increased in Tennessee following the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, especially for members of the Tea Party.

The Paris attacks appear to have made immigration a much more important issue for Tea Party members.

“The Paris attacks appear to have made immigration a much more important issue for Tea Party members, underscoring a growing divide between them and more traditional Republicans,” said John Geer, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University and co-director of the Vanderbilt Poll-Tennessee.

New results from the latest Vanderbilt Poll-Tennessee show the number of voters who consider immigration a top priority nearly doubled since May – from 7 percent to 13 percent. For registered voters in the state, immigration remains the fourth highest priority, behind the economy (31 percent), education (24 percent) and health care (17 percent). But that was not the case for Tea Party members; it was the second most important issue for them (26 percent) with the economy first (30 percent). Tea Party members exhibited other differences.

When asked if they felt angry at the government, 39 percent of Tea Party members said “Yes,” compared to 26 percent of Republicans. Overall, 23 percent of Tennesseans were angry. These data are in response to a new poll question about voters’ feelings toward the political system.

The Vanderbilt Poll-Tennessee went into the field Nov. 11, just two days before the Paris attacks, and ended Nov. 23. Pollsters questioned 1,013 registered voters. The survey has a percentage of error of plus or minus 3.9 percent.

Religious Freedom

A large majority of Tennesseans (75 percent) believe Muslims who want to practice their religion peacefully should have the right to do so. “Tennesseans, like all Americans, strongly support religious freedom. Not even the Paris attacks changed this commitment,” Geer said.

At the same time, a sizeable majority also believe government workers should be required to enforce a law, even if it conflicts with religious or personal points of view, reflecting what the researchers call “the pragmatic side of Tennesseans.”

“We are a nation of laws,” Geer said. “Some politicians can applaud people like (Kentucky Court Clerk) Kim Davis, but citizens of this state want laws enforced.”

Presidential favorites

Asked to select their favorite Democratic candidate for president, poll respondents put Hillary Clinton ahead with 48 percent of the vote, trailed by Bernie Sanders at 28 percent. On the Republican side, Donald Trump led Ben Carson by 4 percentage points, (29 to 25 percent). Jeb Bush trailed Ted Cruz (14 percent) and Marco Rubio (12 percent) with 6 percent.

But the presidential nomination process on the Republican side remains quite fluid, according to the researchers.

Gas taxes

Voters were open to raising taxes on gasoline to fund road and bridge maintenance. A substantial majority of 66 percent said they would be willing to pay a 2-cent increase in gas tax, with only 33 percent unwilling. Even a 15-cent tax garnered 46 percent approval. The researchers suggested that this increase might be thought of as the “the gas tax threshold.”

“When you ask if they support an increase in sales tax on gasoline and don’t specify an amount, people are going to assume the increase will be high and they respond negatively,” said Josh Clinton, Abby and Jon Winkelried Professor of Political Science and co-director of the Vanderbilt Poll-Tennessee. “But if you give them a tangible amount, you could get quite a bit of support for an increase. We thought voters might respond negatively either way, so we were surprised by the results, which indicate policymakers could get quite a bit of support for even a 10-cent increase in the gas tax.”

Same sex marriage

Support for same-sex marriage has increased among Tennesseans over the last year from 23 percent to 32 percent.

Gun control

A majority of Tennessee voters said gun control laws should remain the same, while 40 percent wished it would become harder in the state to buy a gun. Just 5 percent wanted it to be easier to purchase a gun.

Right to Die

Tennesseans are open to the entreaties of right-to-die activists, with 59 percent agreeing that doctors should be allowed to help patients painlessly end their life if they have a disease that cannot be cured and are living in pain. Thirty-five percent are opposed to it.

Additional highlights

Tennesseans’ attitudes remained stable in some areas. For example, Gov. Bill Haslam continues to enjoy a high approval rating, and a majority of Tennesseans (64 percent) remain supportive of health care expansion in the state through Insure Tennessee.

Poll Information

The Vanderbilt Poll-Tennessee was launched by the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions at Vanderbilt University in 2011 to be a non-partisan and scientifically based reading of public opinion within Tennessee. Telephone interviews are conducted through both landlines and cell phones and statistical results are weighted to achieve an accurate demographic representation.

To help identify the most important issues and ensure questions avoid ideological and partisan bias, questions are formulated with the help of the Vanderbilt University Poll board. Current members of the board are:

Samar Ali, attorney at Bone McAllester Norton PLLC and co-founder of the Lodestone Advisory Group;

  • Charles W. Bone, attorney and chairman of Bone McAllester Norton PLLC;
  • José González, instructor of entrepreneurship and management, Belmont University;
  • Tom Ingram, political strategist with The Ingram Group;
  • Roy M. Neel, senior adviser to former Vice President Al Gore;
  • Bill Phillips, government relations consultant and former Nashville deputy mayor;
  • Bill Purcell, former Nashville mayor and partner at Farmer Purcell White & Lassiter PLLC;
  • Lisa Quigley, chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper;
  • Anne Russell, special counsel at Adams and Reese LLP;
  • Chip Saltsman, former chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann and political strategist;
  • Jamie Woodson, president and CEO of the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE).
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Press Releases

GOP State Senators Demand Resignation of UT Knoxville Chancellor Cheek

Press release from the Republican Caucus of the Tennessee State Senate, Dec. 3, 2015:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Senate Education Committee Chairman Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) and Senate Government Operations Committee Chairman Mike Bell (R-Riceville) today called for the resignation of University of Tennessee at Knoxville (UTK) Chancellor Jimmy Cheek. The lawmakers made the call after learning about UTK’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s new guidance to staff on holiday parties, saying they have no confidence in his ability to lead the state’s flagship university.

The university’s guidance warns students and faculty to “ensure your holiday party is not a Christmas party in disguise,” and to “not play games with religious and cultural themes” such as “Secret Santa.” It warned that parties should have “no emphasis on religion or culture.”

“The Office of Diversity is not welcoming to all and hostile to none as they claim,” said Senator Gresham. “They are very hostile to students and other Tennesseans with Christian and conservative values. By placing a virtual religious test regarding holiday events at this campus, every student who is a Christian is penalized.”

Gresham and Bell criticized the Office of Diversity and Inclusion in August for a post on the university’s website asking students and faculty to toss out “he” and “she” when addressing students for gender-neutral pronouns like” ze” and “zir”. They also expressed disapproval over the university’s “Sex Week” which includes such events as drag shows, lectures given by a porn actress, an aphrodisiac cooking class and condom scavenger hunts. Gresham and Bell objected to student activity fees being used to help fund such events.

“This is offensive to the vast majority of Tennesseans who help fund this university through their tax dollars,” added Senator Bell. “We have lost confidence in Chancellor Cheek’s ability to lead the state’s flagship university.”

In a meeting this fall, the Senate Higher Education Committee found that UTK far outspends other universities in the state on their diversity programs, which goes far beyond the regulations required by state and federal law.

“This is a public university, supported by taxpayer dollars, where the precious resources provided to them should be directed at what we are doing to give our students a world class education,” added Bell. “The people want us to ensure that their money is being spent wisely and we have lost confidence that this this is being done.”

“Chancellor Cheek made a commitment to our Higher Education Subcommittee to personally approve future posts by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. I took him to be a man of his word and I am dismayed by these recent developments,” Gresham concluded.

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Press Releases

Ban Drivers from All Cell-Phone Usage Unless ‘Hands-Free,’ says East TN State Rep

Press release from Tennessee State Representative John Holsclaw, R-Elizabethton:

Holsclaw to Sponsor Legislation to Clarify and Enhance Public Safety Measures Aimed at Curbing Distracted Driving

(NASHVILLE) — Tennessee already has laws on the books banning texting while driving, but the legislature will soon consider banning talking on a cell phone while driving, unless it is hands-free.

Under legislation soon to be filed by State Representative John Holsclaw (R–Elizabethton), drivers would no longer be able to legally talk and drive using a handheld cellphone, but could still use the phone if it is in hands-free mode.

The use of cellphones while driving has long been a source of contention not only in Tennessee, but across the nation. Currently, talking on a hand-held cellphone while driving is completely banned in 14 states and Washington, D.C. The use of cellphones by those with driver permits is restricted in 37 states and D.C. Text messaging is banned in 46 states and the District of Columbia.

Right now in Tennessee, adults can still hold their phones and drive at the same time, as long as they are not texting or emailing. However, law enforcement officials have said it is almost impossible to enforce the texting ban since drivers can still lawfully hold a cellphone while driving.

In 2015 alone, 1,336 car crashes in Tennessee have been attributed to distracted driving due to cellphone usage.

Representative Holsclaw stated, “This is the next step in doing what is necessary to curb distracted driving and keep Tennessee roads safe.”

Under Holsclaw’s legislation, a violation of the law would be punishable by up to a $50 fine. The citation would be considered a nonmoving traffic violation and no points would be added to a driver’s record.

For revenues collected under the new law, Holsclaw is currently examining ways to use the money to fund drivers education courses for high schoolers or possible other drivers safety programs.

“My intent with proposing this legislation is to save lives and make our roads safer for your family and mine”, said Holsclaw.

John Holsclaw is a member of the House Business & Utilities Committee and Subcommittee, along with the House Health Committee. He lives in Elizabethton and represents House District 4, which includes Unicoi and Carter Counties. He can be reached by email at Rep.John.Holsclaw@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-7450.

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Press Releases

Ethics Rules Loosened on Judicial Elections

PRESS RELEASE from Tennessee’s Administrative Office of the Courts, Dec. 2, 2015:

The Tennessee Supreme Court has amended the provisions of the Code of Judicial Conduct regarding judges and judicial candidates’ election campaign conduct.

The recent changes stem from suggestions made by a joint committee of the Tennessee Judicial Conference and the Tennessee Trial Judges Association, which presented to Chief Justice Sharon Lee its “Report to the Tennessee Judicial Conference on Revisions to the Tennessee Code of Judicial Conduct.”

The Supreme Court made significant revisions to the Code of Judicial Conduct in 2012. The findings in the judges’ report were based on their experience since the revised Code was adopted. Although the report recommended a number of amendments, the Supreme Court did not adopt all of the proposed changes. The Supreme Court thanked the members of the joint committee for their work and expressed its appreciation for the committee’s thoughtful presentation of the issues raised.

The Code of Judicial Conduct continues to impose significant limitations on political activities by judges and judicial candidates.

Under the amended Code, judges and judicial candidates are now permitted to:

  • Endorse or oppose judges or judicial candidates in a partisan, nonpartisan, or retention election for judicial office.
  • Speak on behalf of his or her candidacy through any medium, including but not limited to advertisements, websites, or other campaign literature.
  • Seek, accept, or use endorsements from any person or organization.
  • Publicly endorse or oppose judges or judicial candidates in a partisan, nonpartisan, or retention election for any judicial office.
  • Group themselves into slates or other alliances to conduct their campaigns more effectively, including by establishing joint campaign committees.
  • Solicit funds for a political organization or candidate for public office, only from a member of the judge’s family or a member of the judicial candidate’s family.
  • Begin some campaign activities up to one year prior to the election.

See the details in the order here.

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Press Releases

Senate Majority Leader Calls Hasalm’s FOCUS Act a ‘Pathway to Prosperity’

Press release from Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville, Dec. 1, 2015:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) commended Governor Haslam for taking next steps to ensure that colleges and universities are organized, supported and empowered in their efforts to increase the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary credential to 55 percent by 2025.

Norris appeared alongside Haslam at a press conference this morning as the Governor announced plans to begin restructuring certain roles and responsibilities of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and Board of Regents.

The initiative, dubbed “The FOCUS Act,” will be sponsored by Norris in the Senate.

The restructuring will include greater autonomy for six universities including the University of Memphis.

Norris has been a key figure in advancing education and workforce development initiatives in Tennessee. He was the moving force behind LEAP – Tennessee’s Labor Education Alignment Program – which is a key component of Drive to 55 and the State Pathways to Prosperity initiative Norris launched last year.

In a prepared statement, Haslam said, “Tennessee’s future in economic development will depend on us having a workforce that is ready for high skill, high wage jobs, and as part of that effort we have to make sure our colleges and universities are strategically aligned in supporting student success,” Haslam said. “The FOCUS Act will put us on that path.”

Norris agrees. “We are on the pathway to prosperity. The FOCUS Act moves us forward more quickly; more efficiently, which keeps us competitive as a state with a skilled and ready workforce.”

“It’s all about the 3 E’s,” said Norris. “Employment, education and economic opportunity. The FOCUS Act will help keep higher education focused on these key components which make Tennessee the place to be.”

Senator Norris represents Senate District 32, which includes Tipton and Shelby Counties.

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Press Releases

Next Step in ‘Drive to 55’ is Higher Ed Reorganization: Haslam

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, Dec. 1, 2015:

Changing landscape in higher education prompts new discussion around alignment, focus

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced the next step in the Drive to 55: ensuring that colleges and universities are organized, supported and empowered in efforts to increase the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary credential to 55 percent by 2025.

To enhance student success across higher education the plan includes key strategies to provide more focused support for community and technical colleges, increase autonomy and local control for Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) universities and strengthen the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC).

“Since the launch of the Drive to 55 we have made tremendous progress, becoming No. 1 in the nation for federal student aid completion and increasing the size of our freshman class by 10 percent in one year,” Haslam said. “Tennessee is at the forefront of innovation in public higher education, and the conversation has brought us to this point – making sure Tennessee colleges and universities are organized, supported and empowered to meet the demands of Drive to 55.”

For the 2015-2016 school year – the first year of Tennessee Promise and Reconnect – there was a 24.7 percent increase in first-time freshmen enrollment at community colleges and a 20 percent increase in first-time freshmen at Tennessee colleges of applied technology (TCATs).

Joined by Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, House Speaker Beth Harwell, Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick and higher education leaders, Haslam said the state is developing legislation to bring during the coming session called the “Focus On College and University Success (FOCUS) Act.”

Several features will include:

  • A sharpened focus by TBR on the state’s 13 community and 27 technical colleges;
  • Creation of local boards for Austin Peay State University, East Tennessee State University, Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee State University, Tennessee Technological University and the University of Memphis;
  • Enhancing the role of THEC to provide greater coordination across the state, to include capital project management, institutional mission approval and higher education finance strategy;
  • And creation of a transition task force consisting of higher education, business, and community leaders from around the state that will serve as the administrative and advisory body throughout the transition.

Currently TBR oversees 46 colleges and universities ranging from technical colleges to medical and law schools. Under Haslam’s proposal, TBR would have a concentrated focus on the state’s 13 community colleges and 27 TCATs, as other elements of the plan free up TBR to give more attention to enrollment and student success challenges that have emerged while trying to increase the number of Tennesseans pursuing credentials in higher education.

The six state universities under TBR would have increased autonomy by transitioning from sole TBR oversight to a new model that would include a local governing board. These boards would appoint the campus president, manage the university budget and set tuition, and oversee other operational tasks. TBR would continue to provide key administrative support to the six state universities.

The Tennessee Higher Education Commission would assume an enhanced coordinating role in higher education, ensuring progress on a cohesive, statewide master plan for higher education; maintaining academic program quality; formulate a strategic finance plan for state higher education that incorporates tuition, capital and funding formula components and setting binding tuition and capital recommendations.

“Tennessee’s future in economic development will depend on us having a workforce that is ready for high skill, high wage jobs, and as part of that effort we have to make sure our colleges and universities are strategically aligned in supporting student success,” Haslam said. “The FOCUS Act will put us on that path.”

By 2025, 55 percent of the jobs available in Tennessee will require a postsecondary credential, and currently only 33 percent of Tennesseans qualify. The governor launched his Drive to 55 two years ago to increase the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary degree or certificate.

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Press Releases

ACLU-TN Launches Civil Asset Forfeiture Campaign in Advance of Holiday Travel

Press release from the Tennessee Chapter of the American for Civil Liberties Union, December 1, 2015:

NASHVILLE – In anticipation of upcoming holiday travel across Tennessee, the ACLU of Tennessee today launched an initiative to collect information from people who have had their assets seized by law enforcement agencies while traveling across the state.

“Each year Tennessee law enforcement agents seize millions of dollars, simply by asserting that they believe the assets are connected to some illegal activity, oftentimes without ever pursuing criminal charges. Current asset forfeiture laws stack the deck against property owners, essentially requiring them to prove their innocence,” said ACLU-TN executive director Hedy Weinberg. “The thousands of people who will be traveling Tennessee’s highways for the holidays may not realize the serious financial risk they take when driving through our state.”

Between 2009 and 2014, law enforcement agents seized nearly $86 million from property owners in cash alone, earning the state a D- for its civil forfeiture laws in a recent policy report.

ACLU-TN is collecting information from people whose assets were seized by law enforcement via an online form, “Have You Had Your Property Unfairly Seized by Law Enforcement Officers in Tennessee?

The survey is part of ACLU-TN’s ongoing campaign to reform and curtail civil asset forfeiture in Tennessee. The information collected will inform the organization’s public education and legislative efforts.

ACLU-TN, the Beacon Center of Tennessee, and state legislators will continue working together during the 2016 legislative session to reform Tennessee’s civil asset forfeiture laws.

ACLU of Tennessee’s civil asset forfeiture survey can be found here.

More information on civil asset forfeiture can be found here.