AP’s ‘winners and losers’ list for the 2016 TN legislative session

By the Associated Press
As the Tennessee General Assembly adjourned for the year on Friday, here is a look at some of the winning and losing legislation from this year’s session.


TENNESSEE BUDGET: Tennessee’s annual $34.9 billion spending plan for the budget year starting July 1. HB2629.

COUNSELING-RELIGIOUS BELIEFS: Allowing counselors and therapists to turn away patients based on the counselors’ religious beliefs and personal principles. SB1556.

CONFEDERATE SYMBOLS: Making it more difficult to remove statues or rename streets dedicated to historical figures, including a state Capitol bust of a prominent Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan leader. HB2129.

GUNS ON CAMPUS Allowing faculty and staff with handgun carry permits to be armed on the campuses of Tennessee public colleges and universities. HB1736.

COLLEGE BOARDS: Creating separate boards for six Board of Regents universities. HB2578.

LOCAL HIRING BAN: Nullifying a local hiring requirement approved by Nashville voters last year. SB1621.

HALL TAX: Making a 17 percent cut in the Hall tax on income from stocks and bonds and requiring a phase-out by 2022. SB47.

REFUGEE LAWSUIT: Directing the attorney general to sue the federal government over its refugee resettlement program in Tennessee. SJR0467.

OFFICIAL RIFLE: Designating the Barrett M82 sniper rifle as the official rifle of Tennessee. HJR0231.

VETERANS TAX BREAK: Giving disabled veterans and the elderly a property tax break. HB2156.

FANTASY SPORTS GAMBLING: Making clear that fantasy sports betting is legal, but also regulating and taxing. HB2105.

SCHOOL FUNDING: Gov. Bill Haslam’s plan to increase in school funding by $223 million. HB2574.

SCHOOL GRADES: Assigning A through F letter grades to schools. SB0300.

LAWSUITS AGAINST OFFICIALS: Requiring people who sue state employees or elected officials to pay legal fees if they lose their lawsuits. HB1679.

SLOW POKE LANE: Banning slower vehicles from driving in the passing lane of highways. SB1608.

ROADSIDE LITTER TAX: Reauthorizing tax on beer and soft drinks used to pay for roadside cleanup for another six years. SB1938.

GRANDPARENT VISITATION: Making it easier for some grandparents to get visitation rights with children. HB1476.

UT DIVERSITY OFFICE: Stripping funding from the University of Tennessee’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion and using the money to pay for minority scholarships. HB2248.

WATER QUALITY: Requiring water authorities to provide notice of lead contamination. SB2450.

BAN THE BOX: Removes questions about criminal history from initial applications for state jobs. SB2440.

MASS TRANSIT: Authorizing mass transit systems to be operated on the shoulders of highways. SB1953.

PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP: Allowing public-private partnerships for mass transit projects. SB2093.

WINE IN SUPERMARKETS: Allowing supermarkets to stock wine in advance of July 1 sales start; placing two-store cap on liquor store ownership. SB2094.

RELIGIOUS INDOCTRINATION Requiring each school board to establish guidelines on how religion is taught in school, and to make teaching plans available to the public. HB1905.

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION: Calling for a national convention on amending the U.S. Constitution to bring about limits to federal power. SJR0067.

ONLINE VOTER REGISTRATION: Allowing Tennesseans to register to vote online. SB1626.

FETAL REMAINS: Placing new restrictions on the transfer of fetal remains. HB2577.

EMISSIONS TESTING: Allowing counties to exempt new cars from emissions testing requirements. SB777.

SCHOOL BUS CRASH: Imposing tougher penalties for school bus drivers using electronic devices in aftermath of fatal crash in Knoxville. SB1596.

DRIVING WHILE TEXTING Adding penalties for driving while texting. SB1674.


TRANSGENDER RESTROOMS: Requiring students to use restrooms and locker rooms corresponding to the gender listed on their birth certificates. SB2387.

BIBLE-OFFICIAL BOOK: Designating the Bible as Tennessee’s official book. HB615.

SCHOOL VOUCHERS: Creating a limited school voucher program in Tennessee. HB1049.

MUNICIPAL BROADBAND: Allowing public utilities to offer broadband outside their service areas. SB1134.

SMOKING AGE: Raising the smoking age to 21. SB1973.

TUITION FREEZE: Locking in students’ tuition at public universities for the entire four years. SB2306.

GAY MARRIAGE: Blocking the implementation of U.S. Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling in Tennessee. HB1412.

GUN CARRY PERMITS: Eliminating requirement to have a permit to carry handguns in public. SB1483.

CAR SEATS: Requiring rear-facing car seats for toddlers under age 2. HB1468.

ABORTION ULTRASOUND: Requiring ultrasounds be shown to women before abortions. SB1769.

MAKAYLA’S LAW: Making it a felony to leaving loaded firearms accessible to a children, under 13, after an 8-year-old girl was fatally shot by an 11-year-old boy after she refused to let him see their puppies. SB2294.

GAS TAX-BIKE LANES: Banning gas tax money from being spent on bicycles lanes. HB1650.

SKUNK PETS: Allowing skunks to be kept as pets. HB2034.

NEWSPAPER SALES TAX: Ending a Tennessee sales tax exemption for newspapers. SB1846.

PUBLIC NOTICES: Allowing legal notices to be published online instead of in printed newspaper. SB1909.

SEPTEMBER SESSION: Creating a September legislative session every other year. HB1501.