Voter ID among batch of new laws set to begin in 2012 - WSMV Channel 4

Voter ID among batch of new laws set to begin in 2012

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A new law hasn't even taken effect, and people are already trying to repeal it. It's just one of a handful of controversial new laws that will impact millions of Tennesseans in the new year.

There are plenty of new laws set to go into effect that won't directly impact most Tennesseans, whether it's strengthening punishments for crimes or regulations to crack down on pill mills.

Then, there is the law that will effect all voters.

"We want every Tennessean who is supposed to be voting to vote. And if you are a legal voter, you'll be able to vote," said State Rep. Debra Maggart (R-Hendersonville).

The new voter ID law takes effect until Sunday, Jan. 1, and the first real test for it will be the March presidential primary.

But already, there's a move to repeal the law.

"Voting is supposed to be a level playing field. It's the most basic right that we all have," said Mary Mancini, with Tennessee Citizen Action.

Lawmakers brought up several bills designed to crack down on illegal immigration, but only one passed. It requires employers to use the federal e-Verify system to make sure all of their employees can legally work in the United States.

The program is being gradually phased in. Beginning Sunday, only large companies will be required to use it. But by this time next year, all employers will have to use the system. And Tennessee isn't breaking new ground here, as several other states have similar laws on the books.

Also starting in the new year, insurance companies will be required to cover the cost of hearing aids for children.

Even though the Republican-dominated legislature is opposed to most mandates, they believe this will actually save taxpayers money in the long run.

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