January 11, 2018 | Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry
January 11, 2018
Photo Credit: Sen. Paul Bailey‏  @PaulBaileyforTN  - Here we go with the 2nd session of the 110th TN General Assembly.
Committee Changes Announced, New Members Sworn In
What a difference a year makes.

With several new members added to the State Senate and another arriving soon, the Lt. Governor had to reassign several members on committees to account for the absence of former Senators Doug Overbey, Jim Tracy and Mae Beavers. Overbey and Tracy resigned to assume positions in the Trump administration, Beavers did so to focus on her run for Governor.  Art Swann was appointed to the Senate by the Blount County Commission to fill out the remainder of Sen. Overbey’s term.  Mark Pody narrowly won a special election to complete Sen. Beaver’s spot. For Tracy’s seat a special election is underway to determine who will replace him. As part of the maneuvering Sen. Frank Niceley joins the Commerce Committee and Sen. John Lundberg joins the Education Committee .

Speaker Harwell had a similar challenge, namely that two of her house members (Pody & Swann) joined the upper chamber. Swann’s absence created a vacancy in a consequential chairmanship. Harwell chose to elevate St. Rep. John Hosclaw to Chairman of the critically important Business and Utilities subcommittee. As before Blount County chose to appoint Jerome Moon to fill the remainder of the House term. Wilson County also took the opportunity to appoint Clark Boyd Wednesday evening to fill the remainder of Mark Pody’s term. Boyd was at the Capitol the following day and was sworn in by the Justice Roger Page. There is one other new face in the St. House, Kevin Vaughn (R-Collierville) who was elected shortly after the last session concluded. Vaughn will be the most senior midterm freshman in the General Assembly.

Many Say Response to Opioid Crisis Will Be a Top Priority

Tennessee lawmakers in recent years have been focused on things like economic growth and keeping taxes low, but this year they have something else to worry about.   Hank Hayes has a well-informed article on the legislature’s top priorities, including the opioid crisis. Mr. Hayes’s reporting is always top notch. 

  • Adding 25 agents to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation in the next year
  • More limits on the number of controlled drugs prescribed in emergency rooms and by healthcare professionals. Currently there is a 30-day pill limit.
  • Establishing a Tennessee Commission to Combat Drug Abuse.
  • Urging the White House to renew funding to combat opioid addiction. Under the Obama Administration, Tennessee was awarded $13.8 million
  • Encouraging the Department of Health, law enforcement and medical examiners to develop consistent approaches to determining overdose deaths.
Lawmakers Start 2018 In New Location: Cordell Hull Building
If you come to Nashville, New Offices are 2 blocks north of the entrance to the former Legislative Plaza

The start of the new session also marks the first opportunity for elected officials, state employees and government affairs professionals to really get acquainted with the Legislative branch’s new office space. While legislators physically moved offices in November, this has been the first full week to actually, see the “traffic flow”. Wonder what legislators are saying or interested in a quick recap of the history of legislative office?  Chas Sisk of Nashville Public Radio has a quick read (or listen).  

Note: room assignments are subject to change. But the curious can click here to view a multi-page directory and floorplan of the Cordell Hull Legislative Offices. 
The Week Ahead...
Legislators are mainly getting organized, updated and oriented, however there are few items of legislation scheduled to be heard January 16th and 17th. 

Tennessee General Assembly: Weekly Calendars
Senate’s weekly calendar click  HERE .
House of Representative’s weekly committee calendar click  HERE
House of Representative’s weekly subcommittee calendar click HERE

Attn: Economic Developers
Tuesday, January 16 – 1:00pm Central Time (2:00pm Eastern)
There will a Mega Site Hearing in Senate Commerce and Labor Committee with a presentation from the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development.

Location : Senate Hearing Room I, Cordell Hull Building

U.S. Chamber President: Double Down on Growth in 2018
Donohue Urges Leaders to Pursue Stronger, Sustained, Shared Economic Growth

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue, in his annual “State of American Business”  address  this week, reflected on 2017 as a breakthrough year for economic growth as he outlined a forward-looking policy agenda to build on gains and put America on a path toward meaningful, long-term prosperity. Donohue used the  speech  to urge lawmakers in Washington, D.C., to focus their efforts on advancing policies that will strengthen, sustain, and share growth—and he warned against policies that would undermine those goals. 
Recent successes on tax reform and regulatory relief have helped usher in a “new era of growth,” Donohue said. To strengthen and sustain that growth, Donohue called for immediate action to modernize the nation’s infrastructure, and he made the case for corporate governance reforms to lift impediments currently dissuading businesses from going public and staying public.
Donohue also cautioned that wrong moves on trade policy pose a serious risk to economic growth. He reasserted the business community’s strong support for modernizing and improving trade agreements like NAFTA and KORUS—not withdrawing from them. “If we aren’t leading on trade, we’re falling behind,” said Donohue. “The bottom line is that growth will be weakened, not strengthened or sustained, if we pull back from trade.”
To ensure that gains from economic growth are shared more broadly across American households and communities, Donohue pledged the U.S. Chamber’s commitment to policies that support and expand the new American workforce, as well as those that enable a smart and comprehensive embrace of technology.
Donohue also discussed the upcoming midterm elections, casting this political cycle as one with significant implications for keeping America on a pro-growth path. Throughout the  speech , Donohue called upon the business community to take leadership in the effort to find solutions for ongoing economic challenges.
Donohue’s full remarks are available here . To watch the 2018 “State of American Business” address, please visit our website
Important Political Dates (2018)

  • January 9 – TN Legislature, second session begins.
  • January 29 – Gov. Haslam Addresses Joint Session of General Assembly (State of the State)
  • January 31 – PAC 2017 Year End Supplemental is due
  • February 13 – TN Chamber Annual Meeting (Lunch and Reception)
  • February 15 – County Primary: Candidate Qualifying Deadline
  • April 1 – Easter Sunday
  • April 5 – Candidate Qualifying Deadline
  • April 10 – PAC 2018 1st Quarter campaign financial report is due
  • May 1 – County Primary Election Day
  • July 10 – PAC 2018 2nd Quarter campaign financial report is due
  • July 26 – PAC 2018 Pre Primary campaign financial report is due
  • August 2 – State Primary Election Day (County General Election)
  • October 10 - PAC 2018 3rd Quarter campaign financial report is due
  • October 30 - PAC 2018 Pre-General campaign financial report is due
  • November 1 – State General Election Day
  • January 25, 2019 - PAC 2018 4th Quarter campaign financial report is due

*For more election related calendar information, visit the Secretary of State .
Report: Deregulation driving U.S. economic expansion'

DailyCaller.com reports , "A new attitude is emerging among America's economic leaders, causing increased investments in factories, equipment and manufacturing plants, while simultaneously spurring job creation and increased wages, The New York Times reported Tuesday." While this "newfound confidence" has been aided by the federal tax relief recently signed into law by President Trump, "it's the deregulation carried out by the administration that has restored confidence to the business community, according to Times." The article notes that the American Action Forum recently published an analysis of deregulation under President Trump "and found that his administration's policies "have saved the government $378 million in total costs." Meanwhile, "confidence among businesses have climbed to record highs during Trump's first year in office."
Harwell Enforces Mandatory Workplace Harassment Training

Finally, the St. House also completed an historic and mandatory workplace harassment training workshop. The YWCA of Nashville provided the training designed to meet Speaker’s Harwell’s directive to make sure staff and House members know what behavior isn't allowed.

Many Legislators shared their thoughts on the process. 
Even the best of us need little reminders.
Labor and Employment Law Update:
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

The  Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry  and  Bass, Berry & Sims invite you to join us for a complimentary seminar focused on addressing, reducing and preventing sexual harassment claims in the workplace.

Harassment Law Refresher: A high-level review of harassment law.  Conducting Effective Internal Investigations: A discussion of best practices for conducting internal investigations into harassment claims.   The "Company Culture" Issue - How to Reduce Harassment in the Workplace:Strategies for reducing harassment in the workplace and developing a safe culture.
Thursday, January 25
7:30 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. Registration and Breakfast 
8:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Program 

Bass, Berry & Sims PLC
The Pinnacle at Symphony Place
150 Third Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37201
Parking in the Pinnacle garage will be validated**

Cost? Free

Please REGISTER ONLINE HERE by Friday, January 19
HRCI and Tennessee CLE credit (2.25 hours)
Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry | www.tnchamber.org
(615) 256-5141 | info@tnchamber.org