Tag Archives: legislation

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.
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Bills signed by the governor, 2016 (batch 4, through April 7)

Here is the fourth list of bills signed by Gov. Bill Haslam that were passed by the General Assembly in 2016, as provided by the governor’s communications staff. A note says they go through April 7 — and it’s a monster in length.

House Bill 238
This bill allows specially equipped school buses (Type A buses) to be in service for 15 years.
(Passed House as amended 94-2-0; Passed Senate 26-1)

House Bill 176
This bill authorizes honorably discharged military veterans with at least 3 years of service to enter the law enforcement training academy.
(Passed House as amended 93-0; Passed Senate 32-0)
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GOP senators want ’emergency rules,’ TBI investigation of fetal tissue sales

News release from Senate Republican Caucus
NASHVILLE — In response to a Joint Government Operations Fact Finding Hearing on August 19, 2015, State Senators Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet), Kerry Roberts (R-Springfield), Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma), Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) and Paul Bailey (R-Sparta) have issued a request to Governor Bill Haslam to enact emergency rules for abortion providers.

It was revealed during the hearings that safeguards to prevent the illegal selling of fetal body parts or tissues are inadequate or non-existent. It was also revealed that the Tennessee Department of Health has no investigative authority over the illegal selling of fetal body parts or tissues.

“As legislators, we strongly request that our state agencies step up their efforts to make sure abortion clinics are not illegally profiting from the slaughter of unborn children,” said Senator Beavers.

Senator Kerry Roberts added, “During the hearings, it became obvious the Tennessee Department of Health cannot provide Tennesseans any assurance whatsoever that illegal selling of aborted baby parts is not taking place.”

In response, the senators requested Governor Haslam take three immediate steps:
•enact emergency rules to provide a “chain of custody” from the procedure until the disposal of the remains; •expand the Abuse Registry to include an abuse hotline for the reporting of illegal activity at abortion clinics; and •authorize an investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation into whether and to what extent abortion clinics are engaged in activities that violate Tennessee state law.

Further, the Senators pledged to file legislation giving the Attorney General investigative and prosecutorial authority over illegal selling of aborted fetal parts, organs and tissues.

“Safeguards need to be in place at all abortion clinics so the immoral and illegal practice of selling organs and tissues cannot and will not occur in Tennessee,” Senator Bowling said.

Senator Dolores Gresham said, “It is easy to say that the abhorrent practices shown in the Planned Parenthood videos are not happening here, but that is a terribly naive belief given the history of Planned Parenthood. We must investigate.”

“The disturbing videos cannot be ignored. The fact is that illegal activity could be taking place in Tennessee so we are calling upon the Governor to take action,” Senator Bailey concluded.

Note: Text of the letter to Gov. Haslam available by clicking this link: pphoodletter

Abortion waiting period, other new state laws, take effect today

By Lucas Johnson, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A mandate for a 48-hour waiting period before an abortion is one of many new Tennessee laws taking effect Wednesday.

The abortion measure affects all seven of the state’s abortion clinics. Another law will require abortion facilities performing more than 50 abortions a year be held to the same health and safety standards as other outpatient surgical facilities.

The 48-hour requirement would be waived if there’s a medical emergency.

Both measures aim to restore abortion laws that were struck down by a state Supreme Court decision in 2000.

In that ruling, the justices threw out the waiting period, along with requirements that clinics provide detailed information about the procedure and that all but first-term abortions be performed in hospitals.

The latest abortion measures came after voters approved a constitutional amendment in November giving state lawmakers more power to regulate abortions.
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TBA says new law didn’t make corporation directors liable for debts

The Tennessee Bar Association says contentions that a new state law makes corporate directors personally liable for corporate actions is “way off base,” reports the Times-Free Press.

TBA members who drafted the bill in question, make a similar assertion in the Nashville Business Journal, which initially posted a blog item by Nashville attorney Keith Dennen making the assertion. (Note: Previous post HERE.)

Excerpt from the TFP:
“He’s wrong,” said TBA Executive Director Allan Ramsaur in an interview this week. “The bill only applies to dissolved corporations. We’ve been tracking this and been trying to get in touch” with Dennen.

Ramsaur said the proposal came from the bar association as part of a multi-faceted update to state corporation laws and “came through a very careful process at TBA.

“It was vetted by this whole group of corporate lawyers” based on the Model Business Corporation Act, Ramsaur added.

…Dennen’s column spread through business circles prompting any number of concerned calls, attorneys said.

B. Riney Green, a partner at the Nashville-based law firm Bass, Berry and Sims and who specializes in corporate law, served as head of the state bar association’s revision committee making the recommendation.

“Unfortunately, he is mistaken, has a misunderstanding of what the bill did,” Green said of Dennen. “All the 2015 act did with respect to this this issue is Tennessee just incorporated into its corporate busines act the same provision that’s in 10 other states.”
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Abortion bills signed into law

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has signed a bill into law creating a mandatory waiting period before getting an abortion in Tennessee.

Under the new law signed Monday, women would need to wait at least 48 hours before undergoing the procedure.

The House approved the measure on a 79-18 vote, while the Senate passed its version 24-2.

The governor previously signed into law another bill that requires facilities or physician offices to be licensed as ambulatory surgical treatment centers if they perform more than 50 abortions in a year.

The legislation came after voters in November approved a constitutional amendment giving state lawmakers more power to regulate abortions. The ballot measure overturned a 2000 Supreme Court ruling that had thrown out laws imposing similar restrictions.

Note: Right to Life press release is below.
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Bills signed by Gov. Haslam, April 23, 2015

Here is a list of bills signed into law on April 23 by Gov. Bill Haslam, as provided by his communications office:

April 23

SB1172: Passed House 95-0-1; Passed Senate as amended 31-0
This bill establishes units of measurement for selling natural gas motor fuels.

SB598: Passed House 96-0; Passed Senate as amended 30-0
This bill prohibits local governments from banning the use of motor vehicles equipped with autonomous technology if it otherwise complies with all safety regulations.

SB428: Passed House 80-14-1; Passed Senate as amended 33-0
This bill expands the scope of aggravated assault with respect to injury by strangulation or attempted strangulation.

SB363: Passed House 94-0; Passed Senate 31-0
This bill changes the requirements regarding retention of printed acts by the Secretary of State.

SB341: Passed House 96-0; Passed Senate 31-0
This bill authorizes the State Board of Education to make policies concerning the revocation of licenses and certificates for misconduct.
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Bill mandating high school citizenship test clears committee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee students would have to pass the U.S. citizenship and immigration services’ civic test before getting a high school diploma under legislation advancing in the state House.

The measure sponsored by Republican House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick of Chattanooga (HB10) was approved on a voice vote in a House education subcommittee on Wednesday.

The legislation is similar to other measures being proposed across the country.

In order to pass, the Tennessee bill requires students to answer at least 60 percent of the questions correctly. They will be allowed to take the test as many times as necessary to pass.

The companion bill is awaiting a vote in the Senate Education Committee.

Note: For more detail, see previous post HERE

House votes to ban DUI on ‘any street or alley’ as well as ‘public roads and highways’

The House has unanimously approved and sent to the Senate a Haslam administration bill that makes “technical corrections” the state’s DUI law.

Lifted from a Commercial Appeal report on some advancing legislation:

Present law declares that it’s unlawful to drive or be in physical control of any motor vehicle “on any of the public roads and highways of the state, any shopping center, trailer park, apartment house complex or any other location which is generally frequented by the public at large while under the influence” of any intoxicant.

HB 99 by House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, adds “any street or alley” to public roads and highways and the other places where driving under the influence is unlawful.

Also under present law, a person driving a commercial motor vehicle is considered driving under the influence if his or her blood alcohol content is 0.04 percent. The bill clarifies that it’s 0.04 or more. (For driving a non-commercial vehicle, it’s 0.08 percent or more.)

Similarly, current law requires a person with first-time conviction for DUI with a blood alcohol content of 0.20 percent to serve a minimum of seven consecutive days and, as a condition of probation, remove litter from public property or roads for 24 hours. The bill clarifies that this provision applies to a person whose blood alcohol content is 0.20 percent or more.

Democrats accuse Republican Rep. Sanderson of pushing self-serving legislation

News release from Tennessee Democratic Party:
Nashville, Tenn. (March 23, 2015) — In what can only be described as a very good week for him, Rep. Bill Sanderson (R-Kenton) passed two bills out of sub committees that would directly benefit his number one constituent – himself.

The first of Rep. Sanderson’s bills, HB0029, protects landlord right over those of the tenants. His second bill, HB0760, benefits winery owners.

Rep. Sanderson owns multiple rental properties across his district and recently had a ribbon cutting ceremony last fall for the opening of his own White Squirrel Winery.

“For Tennessee’s Republican legislators like Rep. Sanderson, it’s business as usual on Capitol Hill,” said Mary Mancini, Chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party. “Instead of tending to the people’s business, Rep. Sanderson was able to pass two bills out of committee this week directly benefitting both of his businesses. He and his fellow Republicans continue to serve only themselves without a care for Tennessee’s children, families, and communities.

Two other bills sponsored by Sanderson would also directly impact his winery. HB0635 allows wineries to put on festivals that last longer than the 72 hours the current statute permits. HB0633 exempts wine from sales tax if the wine is manufactured from grapes grown on the same farm.