A Rough Week

  Between voting to keep the current Department of Corrections work schedule in place, to both chambers voting to nullify Amendment 3, it was a difficult week at the Capitol. We saw a handful of good bills die and some bad ones advance. While it's not an ideal situation, we're still very grateful for the legislative session that we've had thus far. Things may not be all sunshine and rainbows, but they could definitely be much worse! That being said, we always encourage you to contact your state representative and senator if you ever have a specific concern about a piece of legislation. Whether they act like it or not, they are elected to represent all of us, and we need to let them know that all of their constituents matter! 

  A condensed version of our upcoming agenda is listed below. We've got some good bills on our radar this week, which is always welcome news! Once again, please don't hesitate to contact a member of our legislative team if you would like to join us up at the Capitol. If you are not doing so already, we encourage you to share our weekly updates with your membership who may not receive our e-mails. The more knowledge that we have, the more united and stronger we can be! 

Monday, February 29th

Senate Floor Session, 1 p.m.

Senate Bill 1607 (HB 2042): This bill specifies that if a person pays for certain political communications with their personal money, they do not have to disclose that information. 

Senate Bill 1758 (HB 1720): This bill requires the bureau of workers' compensation to set a penalty for violations concerning rental and assignment of PPO network rights.

Senate Transportation & Safety Committee, 4:30 p.m., LP 12

Senate Bill 2093 (HB 2407): This piece of legislation enacts the "Public-Private Transportation Act of 2016." Some of our ATU brothers have concerns about this bill, which are outlined here.
Tuesday, March 1st

Senate Finance, Ways & Means Committee, 8:45 a.m., LP 12

Senate Bill 2556 (HB 1552): This piece of legislation deals with seasonal employment practices. 
Note: This bill will also be heard in the House Consumer & Human Resources Committee on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.

Senate Bill 1953 (HB 2022): This bill authorizes the Department of Transportation to build and run a mass transit system on the side of a state interstate or highway. 
Note: This bill will also be heard in the House Transportation Committee at 1:30 p.m.

House Civil Justice Committee, 9:00 a.m., LP 31

House Bill 2234 (SB 2062): This bill enacts the "Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Claims Transparency Act." Many community groups and some of our affiliates have raised concerns about this bill. 
Note: This bill will also be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee at 3:30 p.m.

House Local Government Committee, 9:00 a.m., LP 16

House Bill 985 (SB 466): This piece of legislation says that county government employees can't serve as a member of the county legislative body.

House Bill 1632 (SB 1636): According to this bill, a local government cannot enact zoning regulations that require a certain percentage of existing or newly built homes or apartments to be considered affordable or workforce housing. 

Senate State & Local Government Committee, 10:30 a.m., LP 12

Senate Bill 1837 (HB 2253): This bill prohibits the commissioner of human resources for setting minimum qualifications for any position in preferred service that requires applicants to be current state employees.

Senate Bill 1945 (HB 1939): This piece of legislation makes changes to election laws, including when a deficient voter registration may be correct ed. 

Senate Bill 1959 (HB 1842): This bill calls for at least one secondary early voting site for a county with a population of 130,000 or more. 
Note: This bill will also be heard in the House Local Government Subcommittee on Wednesday  at 1:30 p.m.

Senate Bill 2101 (HB 2125): According to this bill, Rutherford County would be allowed to participate in a pilot project for establishing convenient election day voting centers.

House State Government Committee, 12 p.m., LP 29

House Bill 2226 (SB 2210): This bill creates a three-year volunteer firefighter training incentive pilot program.

House Bill 2442 (SB 2440): 
This is a good bill that prohibits a state employer from asking about a potential employee's criminal history on an initial application.

House Criminal Justice Subcommittee, 1:30 p.m., LP 31

House Bill 2370 (SB 2424): A good piece of legislation, this bill increases the penalties for assault against correctional officers.

Senate Commerce & Labor Committee, 1:30 p.m., LP 12

Senate Bill 1706 (HB 1869): This bill allows attorneys' fees to be recovered in a workers' comp claim when the employer denies a claim.

Senate Bill 1486 (HB 1637):  This bill would enact the "Tennessee Workers Protection Act," which deals with illegal immigration. 

Senate Bill 2037 (HB 2334): This good bill encourages the study and development of a program that provides financial incentives to businesses who hire and employ people who have been convicted of a felony.
Note: This bill will also be heard in the House Consumer & Human Resources Committee on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.

Senate Bill 2582 (HB 2416):
Among other things, this is the bill that would decrease the amount of time that a person has to report an injury from 30 days to three days. It is our understanding, however, that a compromise of 15 days has supposedly been reached. 
Note: This bill will also be heard in the House Consumer & Human Resources Subcommittee on Wednesday at 3 p.m.
Wednesday, March 2nd

House Consumer & Human Resources Committee, 10:30 a.m., LP 30

Please see the notes above for details about HB 1552/SB 2556 and HB 2334/SB 2037

House Finance Subcommittee, 10:30 a.m., LP 29

House Bill 1494 (SB 1656): Under this piece of legislation, any teacher who is a part of the TCRS program must forfeit his or her retirement benefits if convicted of any misdemeanor sexual offense related to employment.

House State Government Subcommittee, 12 p.m., LP 29

House Bill 2536 (SB 2408): This bill provides an annual one-day leave from work for full-time state employees to participate in community service.

House Bill 2369 (SB 2423): One of several corrections bills, this piece of legislation directs the Department of Correction to set work period and
compensation practices that agree with certain standards. 

House Bill 2368 (SB 1592): This bill reestablishes the select over sight committee on corrections. 

House Bill 2210 (SB 2469): This piece of legislation enacts the "Right to Earn a Living Act."

House Bill 2554 (SB 2496): According to this piece of legislation, businesses that employ illegal immigrants would be subject to increased fines and penalties. 

House Bill 2555 (SB 1904): This bill removes the current exemption for private employers with less than six employees from employment verification requirements.

House Consumer & Human Resources Subcommittee, 3 p.m., LP 29

Please see the notes above for details about HB 2416/SB 2582

House Bill 1559 (SB 2563): This piece of legislation makes various "clean up" changes to the Workers' Compensation law. It was heard in the Workers' Compensation Advisory Council and came out with a "favorable" recommendation.

House Bill 2212 (SB 2450): A good bill, this piece of legislation requires the economic council on women to report on wage gaps between men and women and minorities and non-minorities.

House Bill 2556 (SB 2066): This bill requires the department of labor and workforce development to submit an annual report of the total number of final orders issued related to the Tennessee Lawful Employment Act. 
Alyssa Hansen, Communications Director
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