NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — In the wake of significant U.S. Supreme Court rulings and major legislative actions in Tennessee, several laws are scheduled to become effective soon. WATE’s sister station, WJHL, has compiled a list of standout bills.
SB2153 (Hensley) — Opens middle and high schools up to lawsuits from students and parents in the event that a trans woman who was identified as male at birth participates in female-designated sports programs as a female and “causes direct or indirect harm” to students in the program. Also bars trans women from participating in female-designated sports in public collegiate leagues or at private schools that compete with public teams and opens schools to lawsuits if they violate the bill’s provisions.
The bill does not mention trans men, or their participation in male-designated sports.
HB0978 (Williams) — Expands the enforcement of the Equal Access to Public Property Act of 2012 to all public land, meaning that camping on any public property is prosecutable as a Class E felony. Criticized as a bill to criminalize homelessness, felony convictions arising from the bill could lead to the loss of several rights within the state.
HB1018 (Halford) — Requires a criminal background check of all concealed carry handgun permits issued by the state every four years after it was issued. If the person holding the permit is found to be ineligible to possess a firearm, the state Department of Safety can revoke the individual’s permit. Also creates a $50 renewal fee for concealed carry permits.
HB2228 (Ramsey) — Outside of comfort care at the end of a patient’s life, health care providers are required to prescribe opioid overdose reversal drugs like Narcan alongside certain high-dosage opioid prescriptions. At lower doses, reversal prescriptions are also required for patients that also take benzodiazepine, are at high risk of overdoses or reside with others that are at risk for opioid abuse.
HB2270 (Ogles) — Known as “Nicholas’ Law,” the bill changes repeat offender guidelines for those convicted of boating under the influence. Those who lose their license due to intoxicated boating incidents must provide proof of negative intoxicant screenings to the Tennessee Department of Safety in order to regain their boating privileges.
HB2657 (Sexton) — The “Transparency in Sentencing For Victims Act” requires courts to place all factors influencing a criminal sentence on the record, and to outline the estimated time a person will serve before becoming eligible for release.
HB2783 (Alexander) — Allows retired Tennessee teachers to be rehired throughout the state as full-time and substitute teachers without losing all of their retirement benefits. Rehired teachers receive 70% of their retirement allowance alongside their new pay during 1-year periods, and school systems must demonstrate that no other qualified persons are able to fill the position.
HB0204 (Camper) — Known as the “CROWN” Act, which stands for “Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair,” the bill prohibits employers from preventing employee hair styles in braids, locs, twists or other styles that reflect ethnic or physical characteristics of employee ethnic groups. The bill does not allow the employee to sue the employer, complaints to the state’s labor commission could result in a warning.
SB0082 (Stevens) — For those charged with Driving Under the Influence, the court must require a defendant that has already been convicted on DUI or vehicular homicide/assault charges to face additional conditions in order to set bail. These conditions could be breathalyzer-locked ignition systems, rehabilitation residency or other monitoring systems. It the court to override the requirement if the action is deemed not “in the best interest of justice.”
The laws will go into effect starting July 1.