Tennessee anti-terrorist bill closer to federal law

Tennessee anti-terrorist bill closer to federal law

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NASHVILLE (AP) - A Tennessee proposal that seeks to prevent "material support" for terrorist groups has been amended to more closely resemble a federal law.

The state legislation initially gave the governor and attorney general the authorization to designate terrorist organizations. But the version that passed the House Budget Subcommittee on Wednesday would direct local district attorneys to contact federal officials if they suspect terrorist activity and allow federal authorities to make the designation.

The measure also increases the penalty for knowingly providing "material support" to a designated terrorist group.

Sponsors said the legislation builds on the Terrorism Prevention and Response Act of 2002, which passed the Tennessee General Assembly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The House version was placed behind the budget, meaning it will be revisited if any money is left after the state's budget is set. But sponsors of the legislation expect it to pass this session.

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