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! 
Monday, April 24th
Senate Floor Session, 3 p.m.

Senate Bill 512 (HB 625):  This piece of legislation would prohibit implying that a non-incumbent candidate is an incumbent.   
Tuesday, April 25th

Senate Finance, Ways & Means Committee, 8:30 a.m., LP 12

Senate Bill 161 (HB 126):  This is a bad bill that would create a school voucher program for Shelby County Schools.
Note: This bill will also be heard in the House Finance, Ways & Means Subcommittee on Wednesday at 10 a.m. in LP 16. 

House Government Operations Committee, 1:30 p.m., LP 30

House Bill 395 (SB 381):  This piece of legislation would mandate that any school buses ordered or purchased after July 1st of next year be equipped with a seat belt system. Any buses currently in operation would have to have seat belts installed by July 1st, 2023. 
Wednesday, April 26th

Senate Commerce & Labor Committee, 8:30 a.m., LP 12

Senate Bill 332 (HB 419): This is a caption bill that appears to deal with wages and compensation for employees in the private sector. After a sponsor change, the House Consumer & Human Resources full and subcommittee were reopened last week so that this bill could be heard.  
Note: This bill will also be heard on the House floor on Thursday at 9 a.m.

House Finance, Ways & Means Subcommittee, 10 a.m., LP 16

House Bill 1040 (SB 517):  This bill deals with the use of cell phones and other devices at polling places.
Alyssa Hansen, Communications Director
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