Legislative Update March 18 2023

Tennessee General Assembly information, click HERE. For information on State Senators, including phone numbers and email addresses, click HERE; for House members, click HERE. For information on legislation, click HERE.
Don't forget that you can now watch the Senate committee meetings and floor sessions online by going HERE; House committee meetings and floor sessions online HERE.
Phone calls can go to the legislative Switchboard at 615-741-3011 or to the Toll Free number 1-800-449-8366+1 last four digits of office phone number (available online).

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.........Theodore Roosevelt


For many reasons, this has been one of the most intense sessions I can remember.  It started with a bang and has been the 'gift that keeps on giving.' That intensity has continued especially with recent incidences.  In addition, it is that time in the session when proposed legislation is being dropped, amended, postponed, and defeated at a break-neck speed. If ever prayer was needed for the legislature and for our state, that time is now!

This week was a blessing. We were able to meet with some wonderful people and have some meaningful discussions. This far into the session, the stakes are higher and the clock ticks faster. All that means is our job becomes more important. This week definitely had its tense moments but it was exiting nonetheless.




This journey has been very dramatic, but hopefully we are now at an agreeable conclusion.

This week an acceptable amendment (#5051) was developed and intended for HB778. Later, a decision was made to run it with HB883, so this language was put into Amendment #5706, with another Amendment added (#5763) that would require that quarterly reports by the Department of Health be submitted to the Speakers of the House and Senate and to the respective health committees.

SB 0745 by *Briggs - HB 0883 by *Helton-Haynes Hazlewood, Farmer, Whitson, Moody, Littleton, McCalmon, Raper, Eldridge, Martin B, Bulso, Moon, Powers, Bricken, Gant
Abortion - As introduced, requires the state capitol commission to be responsible, through funds appropriated to the commission, after funds from the construction and placement have been exhausted, for the upkeep and maintenance of a monument on the capitol campus that is in memory of the victims of abortion.

STATUS:  HB883 was heard in the House Health Committee on Wednesday.   Rep. Esther Helton-Haynes did a great job presenting the bill and answering questions. The bill was heard, the amendments added, and it was overwhelmingly voted out of committee and will be on the House floor on Monday evening. 
Please go HERE, find your house member and urge him or her to support HB883 AS AMENDED.

Companion bill SB745 is scheduled in Senate Judiciary on Tuesday. 

ACTION: Please contact these members, noting that SB745 is acceptable  ONLY IF THE TWO AMENDMENTS ADOPTED IN THE HOUSE ARE ADOPTED IN THE SENATE.
Sen. Todd Gardenhire sen.todd.gardenhire@capitol.tn.gov
Sen. Dawn White sen.dawn.white@capitol.tn.gov
Sen. Paul Rose sen.paul.rose@capitol.tn.gov
Sen. Jon  Lundberg sen.jon.lundberg@capitol.tn.gov
Sen. Kerry Roberts sen.kerry.roberts@capitol.tn.gov 
Sen. John Stevens sen.john.stevens@capitol.tn.gov 
Sen. Brent Taylor sen.brent.taylor@capitol.tn.gov

SB 0983 by *Yager - HB 0778 by *Helton-Haynes
Abortion - As introduced, limits the offense of criminal abortion to only apply to elective abortions; defines elective abortion as any abortion that is not medically necessary to prevent the death of the pregnant woman or to prevent serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman
SB983 is scheduled in Senate Judiciary Tuesday afternoon.
HB778 is scheduled in House Population Health Subcommittee Tuesday.
We don't know if either of these bills will be run next week but BOTH are unacceptable without the amendments adopted on HB883.



SB 1194 by *McNally , Lundberg - HB 1214 by Sexton , WHITE
Local Education Agencies - As introduced, changes, from five days to five business days, the amount of notice a local board of education member must give the board before a scheduled meeting of the member's intent to participate in the meeting electronically because the member is or will be out of the county at the time of the meeting.

TN - Oppose HB 1214 as Amended!
Amendment 1 to HB 1214

A proposed amendment (HA112) to HB 1214 would make significant changes to the homeschool law.  Most significantly, it threatens to significantly blur the lines between public charter schools and home schools.

As amended, HB 1214 would create in the law an option for a combined "home school" and hybrid public charter school:

   1.Students would be "enrolled" with the hybrid public charter school
   parents would associate with this same school
   2. The hybrid public charter school is paid for with public, government funds
   3. Students attend the public school no less than 3 days and no more than 4 days per week!
   4. A parent who elects to teach their child in lieu of sending them for in-person instruction likely will be required to consent to daily visual, verbal or written confirmation to the public school of the students participation
   5. This amendment actually calls this a "public charter home school!"
   6. Parental instruction must "align with the academic standards adopted by the state board of education...."
As can be readily seen, this amendment substantially blurs the line between homeschool and public charter schools and threatens the freedom that Tennessee homeschoolers currently enjoy!

SB1194 is scheduled in Senate Education on Wednesday. Ask the members to OPPOSE any amendments to SB 1194 that are similar to HB 1214 
Sen. Jon  Lundberg sen.jon.lundberg@capitol.tn.gov
Sen. Bill Powers sen.bill.powers@capitol.tn.gov
Sen. Rusty Crowe sen.rusty.crowe@capitol.tn.gov
Sen. Ferrell Haile sen.ferrell.haile@capitol.tn.gov
Sen. Joey Hensley sen.joey.hensley@capitol.tn.gov 
Sen. Mark Pody sen.mark.pody@capitol.tn.gov
Sen. Dawn White sen.dawn.white@capitol.tn.gov
HB1214 is scheduled in House Education Administration on Wednesday. Please contact these members to OPPOSE this bill as amended:
Rep. William Slater  rep.william.slater@capitol.tn.gov
Rep. Charlie Baum rep.charlie.baum@capitol.tn.gov
Rep. Ed Butler rep.ed.butler@capitol.tn.gov
Rep. Monty Fritts  rep.monty.fritts@capitol.tn.gov
Rep. Ron Gant rep.ron.gant@capitol.tn.gov
Rep. John Ragan rep.john.ragan@capitol.tn.gov
Rep, Bryan Richey rep.bryan.richey@capitol.tn.gov


HJR 0005 by *Todd , Sparks, Warner, Zachary
Constitutional Conventions - Makes application to Congress for the purpose of calling an Article V convention to propose an amendment to the United States Constitution to set a limit on the number of terms to which a person may be elected as a member of the Congress of the United States.
Please review these articles on this very important issue:
1. The Problems with ARTIFICIAL Term Limits
2. States Likely Could Not Control Constitutional Convention on Balanced Budget Amendment or Other Issues
3. Term Limits Don't Work 
STATUS: HJR005 passed the State Government Committee and is scheduled on the House floor next Thursday.
ACTION: PLEASE go HERE, find your House member, asking him or her to OPPOSE the Resolution.  The articles above will help you understand the potential problems with something that sounds attractive.


SB 1111 by *Bowling - HB 1380 by *Ragan , FRITTS
Public Health - As introduced, enacts the "Mature Minor Doctrine Clarification Act.
This bill prohibits a healthcare provider from providing a vaccination to a minor unless the healthcare provider first receives written informed consent from a parent or legal guardian of the minor. This bill requires the healthcare provider to document receipt of, and include in the minor's medical record proof of, such consent
STATUS: HB1380 has now been re-worked and will be in House Health Subcommittee on Tuesday.  SB1111 is in Senate Judiciary on Tuesday.
ACTION: Please contact these legislators and urge them to SUPPORT this parental rights bill.
Rep. David Hawk rep.david.hawk@capitol.tn.gov
Rep. Tim Hicks rep.tim.hicks@capitol.tn.gov
Rep. Tom Leatherwood rep.tom.leatherwood@capitol.tn.gov
Rep. Brock Martin  rep.brock.martin@capitol.tn.gov
Rep. Paul Sherrell rep.paul.sherrell@capitol.tn.gov 
Rep. Bryan Terry rep.bryan.terry@capitol.tn.gov
Rep. Ryan Williams rep.ryan.williams@capitol.tn.gov

SB1111 Please contact these members and urge their support:
Sen. Todd Gardenhire sen.todd.gardenhire@capitol.tn.gov
Sen. Dawn White sen.dawn.white@capitol.tn.gov
Sen. Paul Rose sen.paul.rose@capitol.tn.gov
Sen. Jon  Lundberg sen.jon.lundberg@capitol.tn.gov
Sen. Kerry Roberts sen.kerry.roberts@capitol.tn.gov 
Sen. John Stevens sen.john.stevens@capitol.tn.gov 
Sen. Brent Taylor sen.brent.taylor@capitol.tn.gov


Taxes, Exemption and Credits - As introduced, enacts the "Pregnancy Resource Tax Credit Act," which authorizes business, excise, and franchise tax credits for businesses that make monetary contributions to eligible nonprofit organizations that provide certain pregnancy-related services

This bill enacts the pregnancy resource tax credit, which will be available only to a taxpayer that is a business enterprise engaged in commercial, industrial, or professional activities and operating as a corporation, limited liability company, partnership, or sole proprietorship. The credit is equal to monetary contributions made by the taxpayer during a taxable year to an eligible charitable organization; provided, that the amount of credit that may be utilized by the taxpayer in a taxable year is limited to 50 percent of the total tax liability of the taxpayer for business, excise, and franchise taxes. Any unused credit may be carried forward in any tax period until the credit is taken; however, the credit must not be carried forward for more than five years. The credit allowed is for taxes only and is not allowed for penalty and interest.

STATUS: HB1019 is scheduled in House Finance Ways and Means Subcommittee on Wednesday. ACTION: Please contact these members and urge them to support this unique bill. 
Rep. Gary Hicks rep.gary.hicks@capitol.tn.gov
Rep. Charlie Baum rep.charlie.baum@capitol.tn.gov
Rep. Mark Cochran rep.mark.cochran@capitol.tn.gov
Rep. Jeremy Faison rep.jeremy.faison@capitol.tn.gov
Rep. Johnny Garrett rep.johnny.garrett@capitol.tn.gov
Rep. David Hawk rep.david.hawk@capitol.tn.gov
Rep. Patsy Hazelwood rep.patsy.hazlewood@capitol.tn.gov
Rep. Jerome Moon rep.jerome.moon@capitol.tn.gov
Rep. Sam Whitson rep.sam.whitson@capitol.tn.gov
Rep. Ryan Williams rep.ryan.williams@capitol.tn.gov


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