Legislative Roundup: Session's First Week Is Light; Medicaid Looms

by Mark Carter  on Monday, Jan. 21, 2013 12:00 am  

It would require anyone filing a civil lawsuit later ruled to be frivolous to pay court costs and fees up to $10,000 to the defendant.

In addition, expert witnesses in medical cases would be required to practice the same treatment or procedure at issue in the case.

By definition, the bill cites, “a physician who by education, training and experience is familiar with the treatment or procedure at issue in an action for medical injury shall be deemed to practice in the same specialty at issue.”

Meanwhile, the House passed a new rule in its first week creating a two-day waiting period once a bill leaves committee before being presented to the full House for a vote. Previously, the wait was one day.

House Speaker Davy Carter, R-Cabot, ran the bill and said he felt the extra time would allow legislators to more thoroughly review bills and consult with constituents.

The Joint Budget Committee passed the session’s budget bill, leaving out proposed 2 percent raises for judges and prosecutors that would’ve cost more than $600,000.

The $38 million bill would maintain the current $15,869 salaries of state legislators.

Co-chairman Sen. Larry Teague, D-Nashville, and Rep. Duncan Baird, R-Lowell, said the committee could revisit the proposed raise for judicial officials later in the session. For now, the full House is expected to take up the bill on Tuesday.

Also, the Senate Judiciary Committee tabled action on a bill that would make it a misdemeanor offense to both videotape livestock and poultry operations without the consent of the owner and to apply for a job at such farms under false pretenses to gain access to the property. The committee tabled another bill that would ban investigations into animal cruelty.

(Compiled from Associated Press reports)



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