2019 Legislative Watch List

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The 111th Tennessee General Assembly convened its first year in mid-January. This year we are pursuing pro-active initiatives that advance criminal justice reform and access to the ballot box. We are also working to defeat dangerous legislation that harms immigrants and refugees, religious and racial minorities, LGBT individuals and women. Click on the issue areas below to see highlights of legislation we are monitoring and/or lobbying in 2019. Please note that this list will continue to evolve as the session progresses.


Position Bill Number Description Status
Support SB 0062/HB 0499 Education, Dept. of – As introduced, requires the department to develop rules, to be adopted by the state board of education, that include procedures for providing instruction to students incarcerated in juvenile detention centers for a minimum of four hours each instructional day. – Amends TCA Title 37 and Title 49. Current Status
Support SB 0170/HB 0405 Local Education Agencies – As introduced, requires each local board of education to adopt a policy requiring schools within the LEA to perform an adverse childhood experiences assessment before suspending or expelling a student or requiring a student to attend in-school suspension or alternative school. – Amends TCA Title 49. Current Status
Support SB 0256/HB 0235 Criminal Offenses – As introduced, decriminalizes the possession of less than one ounce of marijuana. – Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 4 and Title 40. Current Status
Support SB 0353/HB 0321 Law Enforcement – As introduced, requires law enforcement officers to satisfactorily complete a diversity training program created by the peace officer standards and training commission by July 1, 2021, or within six months of the officer’s date of employment. – Amends TCA Section 38-8-107. Current Status
Support SB 0354/HB 0323 Correction, Dept. of – As introduced, requires the commissioner to conduct a study of programs to reduce recidivism for persons formerly incarcerated. – Amends TCA Title 4; Title 41 and Title 71. Current Status
Support SB 0362/HB 0340 Forfeiture of Assets – As introduced, makes various changes to civil forfeiture procedure, including requiring the district attorney general to review the underlying circumstances of a seizure to determine if probable cause exists to justify forfeiture and, when appropriate, file a motion to dismiss the application for forfeiture warrant, upon which the court shall dismiss the application and return the seized property. – Amends TCA Title 40, Chapter 33. Current Status
Support SB 0405/HB 0873  Appeal and Review – As introduced, allows petitions for post-conviction relief based on new non-scientific evidence establishing that the petitioner is actually innocent of the offense for which the petitioner was convicted; establishes certain requirements for evidence on which such petitions are based. – Amends TCA Title 40, Chapter 30, Part 1. Current Status
Support SB 0409/HB 1131 Bail, Bail Bonds – As introduced, creates a rebuttable presumption that a person charged with a bailable offense will not violate the conditions of their release if the offense is expungeable and the person has not been previously convicted of an offense that is ineligible for expunction. – Amends TCA Title 40, Chapter 11 and Title 40, Chapter 7. Current Status
Support SB 0505/HB 0587 Expunction – As introduced, permits expunction of certain nonviolent felonies after 10 years have elapsed since the completion of the sentence imposed for the most recent offense. – Amends TCA Title 39 and Title 40. Current Status
Support SB 0506/HB 0560 Expunction – As introduced, permits the expunction of certain misdemeanor offenses not eligible under current law. – Amends TCA Title 40. Current Status
Support SB 0589/HB 0547 Criminal Procedure – As introduced, restores the voting rights of persons convicted of certain infamous crimes upon receipt of a pardon or completion of any sentence of incarceration, parole, or probation. – Amends TCA Section 2-2-102 and Title 40, Chapter 29. Current Status
Support SB 0655/HB 1185 Juvenile Offenders – As introduced, enacts the “Juvenile Justice Stop Solitary Confinement Act.” – Amends TCA Title 37 and Title 41, Chapter 4. Current Status
Oppose SB 0659/HB 1168 Criminal Offenses – As introduced, authorizes prosecution of a woman for assault based on the woman’s illegal use of a narcotic drug while pregnant if the child is born addicted to or harmed by the narcotic drug and the addiction or harm is a result of the woman’s use of a narcotic drug while pregnant; provides enrollment in an addiction recovery program while pregnant and successful completion of the program is an affirmative defense. – Amends TCA Title 39. Current Status
Support SB 0778/HB 0226 Expunction – As introduced, requires a court to automatically dismiss a misdemeanor charge if prosecution of the charge is not commenced within three years of the offense and the defendant is not charged with any subsequent offenses during the three-year period; requires the automatic expunction of a nonviolent misdemeanor charge or conviction if the defendant is not charged with any subsequent offenses within three years of the initial charge. – Amends TCA Title 40. Current Status
Support SB 0816/HB 1414 Indigents – As introduced, prohibits a court from removing a person’s constitutional rights for failure to pay court costs, fines, or any other monetary amount in a civil proceeding, if the person is unable to pay due to the person’s indigency. – Amends TCA Title 20; Title 39; Title 40 and Title 55. Current Status
Support SB 0820/HB 0767 Education, Dept. of – As introduced, requires in-service training in restorative justice discipline practices for all employees of an LEA; requires the course of instruction in all public schools to include content designed to educate children on restorative justice discipline practices. – Amends TCA Title 49, Chapter 6. Current Status
Support SB 0842/HB 0876 Sentencing – As introduced, establishes parole eligibility after 30 years for persons who committed crimes as juveniles and who were sentenced to greater than 30 years; authorizes parole eligibility after 20 years for such persons if certain conditions met; prohibits sentencing persons to life without parole for crimes committed when a juvenile. – Amends TCA Title 37, Chapter 1, Part 1; Title 39, Chapter 13, Part 2 and Title 40, Chapter 35. Current Status
Support SB 0931/HB 1110 Immigration – As introduced, excludes certain state and local governmental entities from the prohibition on adopting or enacting sanctuary policies. – Amends TCA Title 4; Title 7; Title 8; Title 9; Title 38; Title 39 and Title 40. Current Status
Support SB 0958/HB 1184 Prisons and Reformatory Institutions – As introduced, prohibits the removal of pregnant prisoners to a state penitentiary or branch prison for safekeeping; prohibits solitary confinement of pregnant prisoners. – Amends TCA Title 39; Title 40 and Title 41. Current Status
Support SB 0985/HB 1449 Criminal Procedure – As introduced, allows a court to sentence a person to an individually assessed sentence based on community rehabilitation with a focus on parent-child unity and support, if the person has been convicted of a nonviolent offense and is the primary caretaker of a dependent child. – Amends TCA Title 40 and Title 41. Current Status
Support SB 1026/HB 1216 Correction, Dept. of – As introduced, requires the commissioner to conduct a study of programs to integrate persons formerly incarcerated into the workforce and community. – Amends TCA Title 4; Title 41; Title 49; Title 50 and Title 71. Current Status
Support SB 1124/HB 1455 Criminal Offenses – As introduced, prohibits a court from sentencing a defendant convicted of first degree murder to death if the defendant proves by a preponderance of the evidence that, at the time of the offense, the defendant had a severe mental illness. – Amends TCA Title 39 and Title 40. Current Status
Support SB 1150/HB 1240 Prisons and Reformatory Institutions – As introduced, restricts the use of physical restraints on pregnant inmates; requires regular prenatal and postpartum medical care for pregnant inmates; prohibits the use of solitary confinement for pregnant inmates and inmates who have given birth within the past eight weeks. – Amends TCA Title 39; Title 40; Title 41 and Title 68. Current Status
Oppose SB 1407/HB 0658 Law Enforcement – As introduced, limits the authority of a community oversight board to the review and consideration of matters reported to it and the issuance of advisory reports and recommendations to agencies involved in public safety and the administration of justice. – Amends TCA Title 10, Chapter 7, Part 5; Title 38; Title 39 and Title 40. Current Status
Support SJR 0159 Constitutional Amendments – As introduced, proposes an amendment to Article I, Section 33 of the Constitution of Tennessee removing the criminal punishment exception from slavery and involuntary servitude prohibition. Current Status





 

Position Bill Number Description Status
Support SB 0507/HB 0558 Immigration – As introduced, requires the attorney general and reporter and state and local law enforcement agencies to pursue federal money to reimburse the state and local governments for moneys spent complying with federal immigration laws; requires the state to reimburse local entities if the federal reimbursement is not sufficient to cover moneys spent complying with federal immigration laws. – Amends TCA Title 4 and Title 7. Current Status
Support SB 0931/HB 1110 Immigration – As introduced, excludes certain state and local governmental entities from the prohibition on adopting or enacting sanctuary policies. – Amends TCA Title 4; Title 7; Title 8; Title 9; Title 38; Title 39 and Title 40. Current Status
Oppose HJR 0047 General Assembly, Statement of Intent or Position – Commends the initiative of President Donald J. Trump to re-establish the original intent, purpose, and limits of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution as it pertains to the citizenship of persons born within the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof. Current Status



 

Position Bill Number Description Status
Support SB 0969/HB 1060 Telecommunications – As introduced, enacts the “Tennessee Neutrality and Internet Consumer Protection Act.” – Amends TCA Title 4; Title 5; Title 6; Title 7; Title 10; Title 12; Title 65; Title 67 and Title 68. Current Status
Support SB 1097/HB 0777 Civil Procedure – As introduced, creates a process by which a person may petition a court to dismiss a legal action that is based on the person’s exercise of the right to free speech, right to petition, or right of association. – Amends TCA Title 20. Current Status



 

Position Bill Number Description Status
Oppose SB 0364/HB 0563 Business and Commerce – As introduced, prohibits state and local governmental entities from taking discriminatory action against a business based on that business’s internal policies. – Amends TCA Title 4; Title 5; Title 6; Title 7; Title 48; Title 61; Title 62 and Title 67. Current Status
Oppose SB 0848/HB 1152 Adoption – As introduced, specifies that a child-placing agency shall not be required to provide adoption services that conflict with the agency’s sincerely held religious beliefs; prohibits adverse action by an agency of state or local government against a child-placing agency for declining to provide services that conflict with the agency’s sincerely held religious beliefs. – Amends TCA Section 4-1-407 and Title 36. Current Status
Oppose SB 1282/HB 1369 Marriage – As introduced, enacts the “Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act,” which states the policy of Tennessee to defend natural marriage between one man and one woman regardless of any court decision to the contrary. – Amends TCA Title 36. Current Status
 Oppose SB 1297/HB 1151 Criminal Offenses – As introduced, expands the offense of indecent exposure to include incidents occurring in a restroom, locker room, dressing room, or shower, designated for single-sex, multi-person use, if the offender is a member of the opposite sex than the sex designated for use. – Amends TCA Title 39 and Title 40. Current Status
 Oppose SB 1304/HB 0836 Adoption – As introduced, prohibits a private licensed child-placing agency from being required to perform, assist, consent to, refer, or participate in any child placement for foster care or adoption that would violate the agency’s written religious or moral convictions. – Amends TCA Title 36, Chapter 1, Part 1. Current Status
 Oppose SB 1499/HB 1274 Attorney General and Reporter – As introduced, expands the attorney general and reporter’s duties to include representation of an LEA or certain LEA employees in a court or administrative tribunal arising out of the adoption of a policy requiring students, faculty, and staff to utilize the restroom, locker room, or other facility that corresponds to that individual’s biological sex. – Amends TCA Title 8, Chapter 6. Current Status



 

Position Bill Number Description Status
Oppose SB 0848/HB 1152 Adoption – As introduced, specifies that a child-placing agency shall not be required to provide adoption services that conflict with the agency’s sincerely held religious beliefs; prohibits adverse action by an agency of state or local government against a child-placing agency for declining to provide services that conflict with the agency’s sincerely held religious beliefs. – Amends TCA Section 4-1-407 and Title 36. Current Status
Oppose HJR 17 Constitutional Amendments – Proposes an amendment to the Constitution of Tennessee recognizing that our liberties do not come from government, but from Almighty God. Current Status



 

Position Bill Number Description Status
Support SB 0057/HB 0978 Public Employees – As introduced, prohibits public employers from discriminating against applicants for employment and employees with pregnancy-related conditions by not providing the applicants and employees with reasonable accommodations. – Amends TCA Title 4 and Title 8. Current Status
Oppose SB 0224/HB 0232 Tennessee Housing Development Agency – As introduced, directs the agency to create a registry of tenants who have been evicted through the execution of a writ of possession. – Amends TCA Title 13, Chapter 23. Current Status
Support SB 0255/HB 0216 Sex Discrimination – As introduced, enacts the “Tennessee Pay Equality Act.” – Amends TCA Title 50. Current Status
Oppose SB 0659/HB 1168 Criminal Offenses – As introduced, authorizes prosecution of a woman for assault based on the woman’s illegal use of a narcotic drug while pregnant if the child is born addicted to or harmed by the narcotic drug and the addiction or harm is a result of the woman’s use of a narcotic drug while pregnant; provides enrollment in an addiction recovery program while pregnant and successful completion of the program is an affirmative defense. – Amends TCA Title 39. Current Status
Support SB 0758/HB 0986 Employees, Employers – As introduced, enacts the “Tennessee Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.” – Amends TCA Title 4 and Title 50. Current Status
Support SB 0958/HB 1184 Prisons and Reformatory Institutions – As introduced, prohibits the removal of pregnant prisoners to a state penitentiary or branch prison for safekeeping; prohibits solitary confinement of pregnant prisoners. – Amends TCA Title 39; Title 40 and Title 41. Current Status
Support SB 1150/HB 1240 Prisons and Reformatory Institutions – As introduced, restricts the use of physical restraints on pregnant inmates; requires regular prenatal and postpartum medical care for pregnant inmates; prohibits the use of solitary confinement for pregnant inmates and inmates who have given birth within the past eight weeks. – Amends TCA Title 39; Title 40; Title 41 and Title 68. Current Status
Oppose SB 1236/HB 0077 Abortion – As introduced, prohibits abortions from the point a fetal heartbeat is detected; requires fetal heartbeat testing prior to an abortion; creates exceptions. – Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 15, Part 2 and Title 68, Chapter 11, Part 2. Current Status
Oppose SB 1257/HB 1029 Abortion – As introduced, enacts the “Human Life Protection Act,” which bans abortion in this state effective upon the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade or amending the U.S. Constitution to allow states to prohibit abortion; creates exception for situations where the abortion is necessary to prevent the death of pregnant woman or prevent serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of major bodily function; prohibits prosecution of a woman upon whom an abortion is performed or attempted. – Amends TCA Section 9-4-5116; Title 37, Chapter 10, Part 3; Title 39, Chapter 13, Part 2; Title 39, Chapter 15, Part 2; Title 39, Chapter 13, Part 1; Title 63, Chapter 9; Title 63, Chapter 6; Title 68 and Title 71, Chapter 5. Current Status
Oppose SB 1418/HB 1490 Abortion – As introduced, enacts the “Life Appropriation Act.” – Amends TCA Title 9, Chapter 4, Part 51; Title 67 and Title 68. Current Status



 

Position Bill Number Description Status
Support SB 0090/HB 0133 Election Laws – As introduced, authorizes the use of a driver license from another state to establish a person’s identity for the purposes of being issued a photo identification license by the department of safety for the purposes of voting. – Amends TCA Title 2 and Title 55, Chapter 50. Current Status
Support SB 0240/HB 0312 Election Laws – As introduced, authorizes a qualified person to register and vote on election day; authorizes a person to update the person’s voter information and vote on election day; requires the state election commission to promulgate rules for such purposes. – Amends TCA Title 2. Current Status
Support SB 0589/HB 0547 Criminal Procedure – As introduced, restores the voting rights of persons convicted of certain infamous crimes upon receipt of a pardon or completion of any sentence of incarceration, parole, or probation. – Amends TCA Section 2-2-102 and Title 40, Chapter 29. Current Status
Support SB 0761/HB 0046 Election Laws – As introduced, requires a county election commission to maintain certain office hours on Sundays for purposes of early voting. – Amends TCA Title 2. Current Status
Support SB 0762/HB 0214 Election Laws – As introduced, permits any registered Tennessee voter to vote absentee for any reason after providing a certification as to the identity of the voter in the application for a ballot; requires an absentee ballot to be counted for the election in which the ballot is cast; deletes the requirement that a voter who registers by mail must vote the first time in person. – Amends TCA Title 2. Current Status
Support SB 0822/HB 0553 Election Laws – As introduced, revises provisions governing voter registration applications through the department of safety. – Amends TCA Title 2, Chapter 2. Current Status
Support SB 0837/HB 1002 Election Laws – As introduced, requires every applicant for a driver license or photo identification card to be automatically registered to vote upon the applicant’s 18th birthday; makes other related revisions. – Amends TCA Title 55. Current Status
Support SB 0875/HB 1258 Criminal Procedure – As introduced, makes various changes to the process for restoration of voting rights, including consolidating the process for the issuance of a certificate of voting rights restoration through the secretary of state’s office. – Amends TCA Title 40, Chapter 29. Current Status
Support SB 1092/HB 1260 Election Laws – As introduced, revises provisional voting process; authorizes person who registers to vote by mail to cast the person’s first vote by absentee ballot. – Amends TCA Title 2. Current Status
Support SB 1093/HB 0965 Election Laws – As introduced, authorizes person who registers to vote by mail to cast the person’s first vote by absentee ballot. – Amends TCA Title 2, Chapter 2. Current Status
Support SJR 0169 Constitutional Amendments – Proposes amendment of Article II, Section 4 to establish an independent redistricting commission for senatorial and representative districts. Current Status



Position Bill Number Description Status
Support SB 0064/HB 0402 Teachers, Principals and School Personnel – As introduced, requires each local board of education to adopt a policy requiring all K-12 teachers, principals, and assistant principals employed by the LEA to participate in adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) training on an annual basis. – Amends TCA Title 49. Current Status
Support SB 0604/HB 0664 Education – As introduced, requires students expelled in grades seven through 12 to attend alternative school; requires a governing body of a public charter school to establish an alternative educational setting for students suspended from the regular school program; prohibits a charter school from expelling a student from school attendance until after the student has been placed in an alternative educational setting. – Amends TCA Title 49, Chapter 13 and Title 49, Chapter 6. Current Status
Support SB 0820/HB 0767 Education, Dept. of – As introduced, requires in-service training in restorative justice discipline practices for all employees of an LEA; requires the course of instruction in all public schools to include content designed to educate children on restorative justice discipline practices. – Amends TCA Title 49, Chapter 6. Current Status
 Oppose SB 0848/HB 1152 Adoption – As introduced, specifies that a child-placing agency shall not be required to provide adoption services that conflict with the agency’s sincerely held religious beliefs; prohibits adverse action by an agency of state or local government against a child-placing agency for declining to provide services that conflict with the agency’s sincerely held religious beliefs. – Amends TCA Section 4-1-407 and Title 36. Current Status
Support SB 1153/HB 1255 Teachers, Principals and School Personnel – As introduced, prohibits local boards of education and school administrators from suspending students in pre-kindergarten through grade two from attending school as a form of discipline. – Amends TCA Title 49. Current Status
 Oppose SB 1297/HB 1151 Criminal Offenses – As introduced, expands the offense of indecent exposure to include incidents occurring in a restroom, locker room, dressing room, or shower, designated for single-sex, multi-person use, if the offender is a member of the opposite sex than the sex designated for use. – Amends TCA Title 39 and Title 40. Current Status


2019-02-21T22:53:32+00:00 February 14th, 2019|Categories: Take Action|