The Final Month of Session...Or Not?

 With almost all of the House subcommittees closed or preparing to close this upcoming week, it's typically a sign that the legislative session will soon be nearing its end. However, that may not necessarily be the case this year. As you might have read yesterday, the Senate is considering taking a one-week recess at the end of the month because it is moving at a much faster pace than the House. If you missed the article, you can click here to access it. At this point, the legislature is not likely to adjourn until some time in May, potentially even early June if Governor Haslam's gas tax proposal or the budget cause extended debate between lawmakers. Regardless of when business is officially finished for 2017, it appears that the session will last a bit longer than it has in recent years. As we did last week, we will keep you updated on any new developments on this front. 

  While the bulk of our legislative agenda is settled for the year, there are still a few more items that we are watching. To see the current status of our target bills, click here. Please note that while all of the bills we are monitoring may not be on our "main" labor list, we have separate tracks that help us manage legislation according to the subject (elections, education, etc.) This is simply what we feel would have the biggest impact on the labor movement as a whole. As we mentioned previously, if you would like to see the bills that we are tracking in one of those other areas, please let us know and we will send you a current list.       
Tuesday, April 11th
House Local Government Committee, 9 a.m., LP 31

House Bill 1040 (SB 517): This bill deals with the use of cell phones and other devices at polling places.
Note: This bill will also be heard on the Senate floor on Thursday. 

House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee, 10:30 a.m., LP 31

House Bill 1208 (SB 1110): This bill prohibits the outsourcing of maintenance, operation and preservation of state parks.

House Finance, Ways & Means Committee, 1:30 p.m., LP 16

House Bill 174 (SB 14): This piece of legislation creates a list of rights and protections given to teachers.  

Senate State & Local Government Committee, 2 p.m., LP 12

Senate Bill 641 (HB 943): Making a return appearance from last year, this is the bill that authorizes deannexation of an area within a municipality.

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

Senate Bill 765 (HB 790): This bill would restore longevity pay for executive branch employees hired after June 30th, 2015.  

Senate Bill 851 (HB 618): This caption bill is part of the campaign to stop the governor's outsourcing plan and begin taking back legislative oversight from the executive branch.  
Note: This bill will also be heard in the House State Government Subcommittee on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in LP 29. 

Senate Bill 403 (HB 609): This is a dangerous piece of legislation that would exempt churches and religious groups from filing campaign finance disclosures when they are spending money advocating for or against various issues.

House Local Government Subcommittee, 3 p.m., LP 31

House Bill 787 (SB 592): A good bill, this calls for people to be automatically registered to vote when they apply for a driver's license or photo ID card. 
Note: This bill will also be heard in the Senate State & Local Government Committee at 2 p.m. in LP 12. 

House Bill 1354 (SB 1290): Another good bill, this would allow for a person between the ages of 15 and 18 to be automatically registered to vote after his or her 18th birthday when they apply for a driver's permit, license or photo ID card.
Note: This bill will also be heard in the Senate State & Local Government Committee at 2 p.m. in LP 12. 

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. 
Wednesday, April 12th

Senate Government Operations Committee, 8:30 a.m., LP 12

Senate Bill 559 (HB 1374):  This bill would create a state office that helps local governments with public-private initiatives dealing with transportation facilities.
Note: This bill will also be heard in the House Finance, Ways & Means Subcommittee on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. in LP 16. 

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

House Bill 666 (SB 297): One of several moving through the legislature this year, this is a "clean-up" bill related to the workers' compensation system. 
No te: This bill will also be heard on the Senate floor on Monday. 

House Bill 451 (SB 1237):  This is another workers' compensation bill that has b een introduced by the administration. However, we have some concerns about this legislation and feel that it is not in the best interests of employees.

House Finance, Ways & Means Subcommittee, 10:30 a.m., LP 16

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 Bill 325 (SB 1214): This is another "clean-up" workers' compensation bill that has been introduced by the administration. We have read the legislation and do not have any issues with this bill. 

House Bill 979 (SB 473): 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.

House Government Operations Committee, 12 p.m., LP 30

House Bill 126 (SB 161):  This is a bad bill that would create a school voucher program for Shelby County Schools.

House State Government Subcommittee, 1:30 p.m., LP 29

House Bill 281 (SB 277):  This bill deals with the scheduling and pay of correctional employees. 

House Bill 271 (SB 155): This bad piece of legislation prohibits state and local governments from adopting sanctuary policies.

House Bill 1391 (SB 1313): Among other things, this is a good bill that would create the office of apprenticeship and work-study programs. 

House Bill 944 (SB 1047): This piece of legislation would increase the comptroller's oversight of public contracts in Tennessee. 
Note: This bill will also be heard in the Senate State & Local Government Committee on Tuesday at 2 p.m. in LP 12. 
Alyssa Hansen, Communications Director
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