Senator Briggs Fails To Withdraw Bill From Consideration That Would Censor News Outlets And Advocacy Groups

Image Credit: capitol.tn.gov

The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –

Instead of withdrawing a bill that has the potential to censor news outlets and advocacy groups across Tennessee, the Chair of the Senate State and Local Government committee rolled it to next week to be considered after amendments are made.

The Senate State and Local Government committee was scheduled to hear three bills yesterday, January 31st.  However, Chair Richard Briggs (R-Knoxville-District 7) rolled all three to next week.

Briggs said, “We’re going to roll all three of them a week.  One of them needed a major revision with an amendment and the other two needed slight revisions and rather than trying to cram all of that in and do the bills today…we’re just going to roll them a week and get them tuned up and polished up and bring them back next week to look at.”

The other bills that were pushed to next week were SB0158 and SB0159, both of which have Briggs as the prime sponsor in the Senate.

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Last Friday, we alerted Tennessee Conservative readers that Briggs and Rep. Sam Whitson (R-Franklin-District 65) had filed the companion bills which resulted in strong opposition to the legislation by many who see these bills as likely to increase the censorship of grassroots organizations and as an attempt to drown out the free speech of Tennesseans through regulation and fear of financial punishment.

Read more about how this bill could affect News Outlets and Companies HERE.

Read more about how this bill could affect Advocacy Groups HERE.

Briggs replied to an email from a constituent last week that, “the bill is entirely too confusing and I’m pulling it from the agenda next week.”

He went on to say, “I am meeting with the House sponsor and the Tennessee Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance on Monday. The bill has been withdrawn from the Tuesday calendar. The decision is not final but I don’t think we will run the bill this year.”

Briggs stated that the bill could be reworked and reintroduced next year to “accomplish what I would really like to see: where is the money coming from and who is paying for the ‘woke’ propaganda contaminating our children and susceptible adults.”

However, it appears that the bill may be in the process of being reworked for this session.

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In a more recent response to a constituent’s email that expressed opposition to the bill, Briggs asked, “Aren’t you curious where all the foreign and ‘woke’ money is coming from to influence our children and susceptible adults?”

Briggs wrote that they need to redo the bill to relieve some of constituent concerns but also “not let these foreign governments and ‘woke’ groups off the hook as to where the money is coming from and where it is spent.”

In a separate email sent to the bill’s House sponsor, Sam Whitson, a constituent wrote, “I oppose this bill.  This is just another attempt to silence nonprofits and news outlets.  I suggest you withdraw this bill.”

Whitson replied, “It is a draft piece of legislation that is a work in progress. While the language may change, I will continue to fight for financial disclosure legislation to ensure individuals do not personally profit from running for public office.”

The constituent noted in a message to The Tennessee Conservative that Whitson didn’t deny the allegations he made in his email.

The Tennessee Conservative will keep a close eye on any changes made to the bill and keep you informed.  

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Prior to amendments being made to potentially address some of the concerns of constituents, Briggs’ bill has gained Senator Ferrell Haile (R-Gallatin-District 18) as a prime co-sponsor in the Senate.

On the House side, Whitson’s bill has gained Representative Curtis Johnson (R-District 68-Clarksville) as a prime co-sponsor.  HB0183 has been assigned to the House Public Service Subcommittee for consideration, but it has not yet appeared on their calendar upon publication of this article.

Senate Bill 0160 is scheduled to be heard again on February 7th in the Senate State and Local Government Committee.

Their contact information can be found below.

Senator Richard Briggs (R) – Chair- sen.richard.briggs@capitol.tn.gov – (615) 741-1766

Senator Page Walley (R) – Vice Chair – sen.page.walley@capitol.tn.gov – (615) 741-2368

Senator Mark Pody (R) – 2nd Vice Chair – sen.mark.pody@capitol.tn.gov – (615) 741-2421

Senator Ed Jackson (R) – sen.ed.jackson@capitol.tn.gov – (615) 741-1810

Senator Sara Kyle (R) – sen.sara.kyle@capitol.tn.gov – (615) 741-4167

Senator Adam Lowe (R) – sen.adam.lowe@capitol.tn.gov – (615) 741-0374

Senator John Stevens (R) – sen.john.stevens@capitol.tn.gov – (615) 741-4576

Senator Ken Yager (R) – sen.ken.yager@capitol.tn.gov – (615) 741-1449

Senator Jeff Yarbro (D) – sen.jeff.yarbro@capitol.tn.gov – (615) 741-3291

About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative  ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career.  Most recently, he served as Deputy Director for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others.  He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History.  Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com

3 thoughts on “Senator Briggs Fails To Withdraw Bill From Consideration That Would Censor News Outlets And Advocacy Groups

  • February 1, 2023 at 8:18 pm
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    Told you to watch him like a hawk!

    Reply
  • February 1, 2023 at 8:49 pm
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    We’ve definitely got some TRASH on the Senate State and Local Government Committee, our district’s John Stevens being one of the worst.

    Reply
  • February 2, 2023 at 12:49 am
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    Is there really any difference between the GOP and the Democrats. It seems that when either sides mouth is moving, their lying.

    Reply

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