New Tennessee state laws and bills on the horizon for 2014

New Tennessee state laws and bills on the horizon for 2014

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"There's going to be a big debate as to whether or not we allow the state to grant school systems whether or not to have charter schools rather than the local school boards," said Rep. Ryan Haynes. "There's going to be a big debate as to whether or not we allow the state to grant school systems whether or not to have charter schools rather than the local school boards," said Rep. Ryan Haynes.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - New Year's Eve is just a few days away and with the New Year, new laws go into effect. Also in 2014, more controversial bills will be debated.

The Affordable Care Act's individual mandate goes into effect in January, meaning if you don't have insurance, you'll have to get it or face fines. The fines for the first year are $95 per adult and $47.50 per child. Those fines are expected to increase each year.

State Representative Ryan Haynes says under the ACA, states were supposed to expand Medicaid, but courts ruled it unconstitutional, making the expansion optional for the states. Last session Tennessee did not expand Medicaid coverage.

"That's a big issue facing the Tennessee General Assembly is whether or not we should expand Medicaid. By doing that, it would potentially help the hospitals ease a lot of the hemorrhaging that they are doing because of the Affordable Care Act," said Rep. Haynes.

Representative Haynes says a big change in the workers' compensation law is going into effect in July 2014. The goal is to save companies money in worker's compensation cases.

"It's going through the department of labor workforce. You'll now have your cases, when there's a workers comp. case, it will be heard through the administrative agency rather than the court system," said Rep. Haynes.

While many laws go into effect in January 2014, state law makers will be busy again debating many bills. One item on the agenda is education.

Rep. Haynes told 6 News he feels there is going to be a big debate on whether to grant school systems the ability to decide whether to have charter schools instead of local school boards.

He also said this session, lawmakers also have to revisit the guns in trunks law. He says some people were displeased with the law saying it does not address businesses setting a no-gun policy for employees.

"People feel like we need to come back and readdress that issue and make sure employees are allowed to carry their personal fire arms in their cars while at work. Obviously the debate still remains, it's a property rights issue," said Rep. Haynes.

Representative Haynes believes this session the wine in grocery stores bill will likely pass.

The Tennessee General Assembly reconvenes on January 14.

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