TN AFL-CIO Labor Council
TN AFL-CIO Labor Council
January 29, 2016
Now that the bill filing deadline has passed, we're finally starting to get a better idea of some of the new legislation that we'll be facing this session. Listed below are most (if not all) of the new bills that we'll be tracking in 2016. For a recap of the bills that we're still watching from last year, click here. 

While very few of these are on the agenda for next week, we wanted to draw your attention to them now in the event you have questions or concerns. As always, if you'd like to read the whole bill, simply click on the bill number. 

If you have questions about any of the bills listed below, please call our office at (615) 269-7111. We will be happy to explain as much as we know at this point! 

Tracked Legislation 

HB 2416/SB 2582 (Lynn/Norris): This is a bad workers' comp bill that, apart from several other things, decreases the time that a person has to report an injury from 30 days to three days.

HB 2229/SB 1707 (Spivey/Gresham): This piece of legislation goes after the Tennessee Education Association (TEA). It would ban dues deduction for employees of school districts and state special schools. 

HB 294/SB 151 (Spivey/Gardenhire): If you've been following the news this week, you may remember that this bill passed on the Senate floor on Monday. While the caption originally dealt with bicycle helmet safety, Senator Gardenhire introduced an amendment that completely changed the bill. Much like the previous bill, this would ban dues deductions for members of organizations that engage in political activity. In short, this has the potential to wipe out the TEA. The House version will be heard on Wednesday. 

HB 1838/SB 1691 (Durham/Bell): Similar to legislation that got hung up on the Senate floor last year, this is another picketing bill that specifically target employees. However, this would also have a negative effect on some right-wing groups, so many of them are committed to stopping it, too. 

SJR 88 (Green): This is being billed as an "alternative" to Insure Tennessee, but it will not helping the working poor. This resolution asks the federal government to allow the state to "opt out" of TennCare and enact a "catastrophic benefits health insurance program." Even if this passes both the House and Senate, we do not expect the federal government to allow it. You can read more by clicking here.

HJR 508 (Mitchell): One of our two pieces of legislation, this simply encourages the Tennessee General Assembly to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP.) 

HB 1904/SB 1726 (Windle/Crowe): Another AFL-CIO bill, this encourages employers to give employees who are veterans pad or unpaid leave on Veterans Day. We have bipartisan sponsorship of this bill. 

HB 1952/SB 2099 (Hazlewood/Ketron): As of right now, this could be the worst bill that we're facing. We are still talking with other lobbyists and our attorneys to really understand what it does. In short, it is another (worse) attack on collective bargaining. Once we receive talking points, we will be happy to provide you with them.  

HB 1632/SB 1636 (Casada/Haile): This bill would ban local governments from mandating that a portion of any newly-constructed homes, apartments, etc. be designated as "affordable housing."

HB 1049/SB 999 (Dunn/Gardenhire): This piece of legislation is the school voucher bill, which has already passed in the Senate. It's a bad bill that we strongly oppose. As of right now, it will most likely be heard on the House floor next week. 

HB 1674/SB 1621 (Marsh/Johnson): An attack on Amendment 3, which was approved by Nashville voters in August, this bill "prohibits the state or any local government from requiring a company bidding on a state or local construction project to employ individuals who reside within the jurisdiction of the state or local government." 

HB 1637/SB 1486 (Johnson/Green): This bill would enact the "Tennessee Workers Protection Act." We still need to pull the code, but from first glance, this deals with illegal immigrants working in Tennessee. 

HB 2348/SB 2338 (Calfee/McNally): A piece of legislation that we saw a couple of years ago, this is the infamous "30-minute meal break bill." 

HB 483/SB 653 (Stewart/Kyle): This good bill would increase certain penalties for OSHA violations.