Approaching The Finish Line
As you can see, we are down to a bare minimum of bills that we're still watching in these final weeks of the legislative session. Fortunately, both chambers passed Governor Haslam's IMPROVE Act (also known as the gas tax bill) earlier this week, meaning that lawmakers are still likely to adjourn for the year some time in mid-May. While the House and Senate still need to agree on a few provisions of the bill, Wednesday's vote means that budget hearings will now begin in the very near future. Of course, we will remain at the Capitol until all business is officially finished for the year. Even if there aren't any labor-specific bills on the agenda, we'll be watching for any surprises that may drastically change that! The House and Senate are once again scheduled to meet for floor sessions on Wednesday, so we will be sure to send out any updates if there is a particularly good or bad bill to note.
Speaking of surprises, three committees that we watch closely were opened back up to hear one bill that hadn't moved all session. This past Tuesday, we discovered that the House Consumer & Human Resources full committee and subcommittee were meeting the following day to hear HB 419. On Wednesday, April 26th, the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee will also reopen to hear the companion bill. Even though this piece of legislation doesn't seem to have a major impact on us, it's a good example of how things can change at a moment's notice during this hectic time on the Hill. If you have any remaining questions about the bills that we're still watching or are curious about what happened to one that you might have had an interest in, please let us know!