Bills, Bills & More Bills
We'll keep the introduction to this week's update short, because we've got a LOT of bills to share with you. Because much of our tracked legislation is now moving through committees in both chambers, the upcoming days at the legislature are likely to be fairly long. Don't forget, we'll post live updates on Twitter when particularly good or bad bills are being heard. You can also watch the committee meetings at home by
Some of you have asked where we stand on particular pieces of legislation, so we've updated our main tracked bill list to reflect that. To access the information that's current as of today,
We are happy to update this list weekly to reflect whether or not our position on a particular bill has changed. Once again, there is an important note on any workers' comp bills that are listed below. While the advisory council did convene this past Monday, nearly all of the bills on the agenda were rolled to the next meeting, which will likely take place later this month. Therefore, we are still waiting on more specific details for most (or all) of those bills. As always, if you have questions about anything that we've listed below, please don't hesitate to contact our office!
On another note, the United Campus Workers will be holding their Day of Action against Governor Haslam's privatization plans on Thursday, March 9th. As of right now, the group will hold a rally at noon and have discussions with legislators about why outsourcing is not a good choice for Tennesseans. For more details about Thursday's action,
Tuesday, March 7th
House Local Government Committee, 9 a.m., LP 31
House Bill 686 (SB 645):
This bill would require courts to impose a $5,000 fine for a conviction of voter fraud and would provide a $5,000 reward for any information that leads to that conviction.
Senate State & Local Government Committee, 10:30 a.m., LP 12
Senate Bill 155 (HB 271): This bad piece of legislation prohibits state and local governments from adopting sanctuary policies.
Senate Bill 262 (HB 180): Another bad piece of legislation dealing with local control, this bill prohibits local governments from adopting or enforcing an ordinance, regulation, etc. that regulates an employer when it comes to employee scheduling.
Note: This bill will also be heard in the House Consumer & Human Resources Subcommittee on Wednesday at 3 p.m. in LP 29.
Senate Bill 772 (HB 887): This bill would require a person to declare a statewide political party affiliation before voting in a primary election.
House State Government Committee, 12 p.m., LP 29
This committee will hear a presentation from TSEA Executive Director Randy Stamps.
Senate Commerce & Labor Committee, 1:30 p.m., LP 12
Senate Bill 209 (HB 165): This is a good bill that authorizes private employers to give hiring preference to honorably discharged veterans.
Senate Bill 1214 (HB 325): This is a workers' compensation bill that has been introduced by the administration. It was deferred by the advisory council until its next meeting.
Senate Bill 473 (HB 979): Similar to last year's "Right to Earn a Living Act," this enacts the "Freedom to Prosper Act," which limits how local governments may regulate occupations.
Note: This bill will also be heard in the House Business & Utilities Subcommittee at 3 p.m. in LP 30.
House Education Administration & Planning Subcommittee, 3 p.m., LP 29
House Bill 356 (SB 404):
Among other things, this bill adds language that allows a local board of education to provide payroll deduction for dues of professional employees' organizations, but does not require an LEA to do so. This is one of our top bad bills from this year.
House Local Government Subcommittee, 3 p.m., LP 31
House Bill 1039 (SB 582):
This piece of legislation requires partisan elections in municipalities with a population greater than 100,000 and in all school board elections.
House Bill 429 (SB 1296): This piece of legislation would allow voters to take a picture of their own marked ballot at a polling place.
House Bill 858 (SB 1128):
A good bill, this prohibits local governments from reducing the post-employment benefits of retired employees without the written consent of the employee.
Wednesday, March 8th
Senate Government Operations Committee, 8:30 a.m., LP 12
Senate Bill 240 (HB 817): This bill would authorize the governor to appoint people to fill positions on certain boards from lists submitted by interested groups. In short, this could jeopardize the positions that some of our brothers and sister hold (or could hold) on certain boards.
Senate Health & Welfare Committee, 9:30 a.m., LP 12
Senate Bill 7 (HB 632):
This bad piece of legislation would require a system for capping the total amount of public assistance benefits for a household at the median household income for the state.
Senate Finance, Ways & Means Investigations & Oversight Subcommittee, 1 p.m., LP 12
Presentations on outsourcing will be given by the Office of Customer F
ocused Government, the Tennessee State Employees Association and the United Campus Workers.
House Civil Justice Subcommittee, 1:30 p.m., LP 31
House Bill 1355 (SB 879):
Filed in response to a bad bill that was passed last year, this would delete the requirement that a court must award attorneys' fees and costs to the prevailing state or local government employee sued in an individual capacity.
House State Government Subcommittee, 1:30 p.m., LP 29
House Bill 394 (SB 815):
This bill would prohibit state employees from lobbying for 12 months after leaving office or employment.
House Bill 358 (SB 638):
One of our top bad bills this year, this would pro
hibit TSEA members from having their dues automatically deducted from their paychecks. While the bill specifically targets one group, it has the potential to be amended to target public employees.
House Bill 790 (SB 765):
This piece of legislation would restore longevity pay for executive branch employees hired after June 30th, 2015.
Senate Education Committee, 3 p.m., LP 12
There are four specific bills dealing with school vouches on the calendar that we are watching (Senate Bill 161, Senate Bill 380, Senate Bill 395 and Senate Bill 573)
Senate Bill 771 (HB 888):
Making a return appearance from last year, this is the infamous "bathroom bill" that requires students in public schools to use restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to the sex on their birth certificates.
Note: This bill will also be heard in the House Education Administration & Planning Subcommittee on Tuesday at 3 p.m. in LP 29.