A Hectic Week on the Hill

  To say that we had our hands full at the Capitol this week would be an understatement. Between some political posturing to derail one of our own bills, to an unexpected hiccup in the fight against the "opt out" legislation, we are glad that the past few days are behind us and are ready to move forward! As a friendly reminder, legislators will not be meeting on Monday due to Presidents' Day. 

  We would like to provide more details concerning the current situation with the "opt out" bill. This piece of legislation was placed on the House Consumer & Human Resources Subcommittee to be officially taken off notice. However, we found out minutes before the committee met from some of our allies that proponents of the legislation had been working the bill all day with visitors from Texas, who have been pushing this concept in other states. Fortunately, our panic was short-lived, and the bill was taken off notice. This just goes to show that you can never truly announce that a bill is dead! While we are not expecting this legislation to come up for a vote this year, we are confident that we have enough support in that committee to either kill it or keep it there. This has bipartisan opposition, which works strongly in our favor. We'll continue to be on our toes with this bill and pass along any information immediately!

  Our upcoming legislative agenda is listed below. Once again, if there is a particular bill that you would like for us to keep an eye on or lobby for/against, please let us know! We are happy to provide this service for all of our affiliates!
Tuesday, February 16th

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

House Bill 1475 (SB 1671): This bill would eliminate early voting for a special general election if there is no opposition for any office in that election.

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

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. 
Note: This bill will also be heard in the House Local Government Subcommittee on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.

Senate Bill 1959 (HB 1842): This piece of legislation calls for more early voting sites for counties with a population that's greater than 62,000.

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.

Senate Bill 1446 (HB 1426): This bill gives Davidson County the authority to issue bonds for affordable housing projects.
Note: This bill will also be heard in the House Finance Committee at 3 p.m. in LP 16.

Senate Bill 2440 (HB 2442):  This is a good bill that prohibits a state employer from asking about a potential employee's criminal history on an initial application.
Note: This bill will also be heard in the House State Government Subcommittee on Wednesday at noon.

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

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.

House Education Administration & Planning Subcommittee, 3 p.m., LP 30

House Bill 2229 (SB 1707):  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. 
Wednesday, February 17th

Senate Floor Session, 9 a.m.

SJR 88: This resolution asks the federal government to allow the state to "opt out" of TennCare and enact a "catastrophic benefits health insurance program." 

Senate Bill 1621 (HB 1674): 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." 

House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee, 12 p.m., LP 30

HJR 521: This resolution urges Governor Haslam to take whatever steps are necessary to enact Insure Tennessee. 

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

House Bill 2062 (SB 2064): This bill requires that all local EMA personnel be considered first responders, including all of the rights, benefits, privileges, and protections that are currently available. 

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 i f convicted of any misdemeanor sexual offense related to employment.
Note: This bill has already passed in the Senate. 

House Bill 1969 (SB 2267):  Similar to the "Tennessee Workers Protection Act," this bill would enact the "Protect Tennessee Citizens and Workers Act."

House Bill 2372 (SB 2358): This bill expands the Tennessee Disability Act.  

House Transportation Subcommittee, 12 p.m., LP 16

House Bill 2022 (SB 1953): 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 Senate Transportation & Safety Committee at 1 p.m. in LP 12

House Local Government Subcommittee, 1:30 p.m., LP 30

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

House Bill 1552 (SB 2556):  This piece of legislation deals with seasonal employment practices. 

House Bill 1869 (SB 1706): This bill changes the instances in which "a court of workers' compensation may award attorneys' fees and requires a refund to employers or their insurers if benefits were paid and subsequently a court finds that the employee was not entitled to the benefits."

House Bill 483 (SB 653): This good bill would increase certain penalties for OSHA violations.

House Bill 2334 (SB 2037): Another good bill, this piece of legislation 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.
Alyssa Hansen, Communications Director
1901 Lindell Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203  |  615.269.7111