The 113th Tennessee General Assembly began on Tuesday, January 10, 2023. This year we are pursuing initiatives to: 

  • Advocate for reproductive justice and defend against any new abortion restrictions, 
  • Eliminate fees and fines imposed on families with youth in the justice system, 
  • Support re-enfranchisement of the 470,000 voting-age Tennesseans who lost their right to vote because of felony convictions, 
  • Defend against bans and restrictions on drag performances, 
  • Oppose restrictions on health care access for trans Tennesseans - especially trans youth. 

ACLU-TN's Legislative Session Priority Issue Areas

  • Criminal Legal Reform
  • Freedom of Speech
  • Reproductive Freedom
  • Trans Justice
  • Voting Rights

We also anticipate working to defeat dangerous legislation that harms immigrants and refugees, undermines racial justice, bans books and otherwise restricts freedom of speech, and discriminates against LGBTQ individuals and religious minorities. 

ACLU of Tennessee's Bills to Watch

As the session progresses and additional legislation is filed, we will post more specific details on bills we are monitoring and lobbying here. 

Criminal Law Reform 

  • SUPPORT | SB 15/HB 22 – As introduced, requires an audiovisual recording to be made of any interrogation of a child who has been taken into custody on suspicion that the child committed a delinquent act or unruly conduct unless a technical issue with the equipment or exigent circumstances prevent the recording. 
  • SUPPORT | SB 181/HB 134 – As introduced, deletes the criminal offense of aggravated prostitution and permits a person to have a prior conviction for aggravated prostitution that was the result of the person’s status as a human trafficking victim expunged if the person meets certain conditions.  
  • SUPPORT | SB 182/HB 1383 – As introduced, prohibits the arrest, charge, or prosecution of a person for prostitution if the evidence for the arrest, charge, or prosecution results solely from the person’s report of the criminal act; increases the penalty for patronizing prostitution from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class E felony.   
  • SUPPORT | SB 256/HB 75 – As introduced, extends criminal immunity to persons who are experiencing a drug overdose and who are seeking medical assistance, regardless of whether it is their first or subsequent overdose. 
  • SUPPORT | SB 284/HB 612 – As introduced, establishes the procedure for the administrative office of the courts to issue payment to an expert who makes a court-ordered determination of intellectual disability in a person who has been sentenced to death prior to May 11, 2021.
  • OPPOSE | HB 289/HB 1112 – As introduced, requires a sentence of death to be carried out within 30 business days of the conclusion of any appeals or post-conviction relief, if the jury unanimously determines that certain circumstances are met. 
  • SUPPORT | SB 1072/HB 309 – As introduced, decriminalizes the possession of certain amounts of marijuana by making such possession a civil violation punishable by a $25 fine or community service; makes other related changes. 
  • OPPOSE | SB 1113/HB372 – As introduced, enacts “Ed’s Law”; requires a juvenile accused of certain criminal offenses to be transferred from juvenile court to criminal court to be tried as an adult if the juvenile court finds probable cause that the juvenile committed the act.
  • OPPOSE | SB 1222/HB 267 – As introduced, authorizes a juvenile court to order a child who has requested the expunction of the child’s juvenile court records to undergo a mental health evaluation and use the evaluation results to assist in determining whether expunction would serve the best interest of the child and the community. 

Education Equity 

  • OPPOSE | SB 141/HB 127 – As introduced, allows a school resource officer, school security officer, or other law enforcement officer who is trained and certified for completing a behavior intervention training program to use a mechanical restraint on a student receiving special education services in an emergency situation. 

LGBTQ Rights 

  • OPPOSE | SB 1/HB 1 – As introduced, prohibits a healthcare provider from performing on a minor or administering to a minor a medical procedure if the performance or administration of the procedure is for the purpose of enabling a minor to identify with, or live as, a purported identity inconsistent with the minor’s sex. 
  • OPPOSE |SB 3/HB 9 – would prohibit drag entertainers (“male or female impersonators”) from performing on public property or anywhere, including a private function, where their performance may be viewed by a minor.    
  • OPPOSE| SB 5/HB 1378 – This bill enacts the “Youth Health Protection Act,” which generally prohibits certain medical practices as described below upon a minor to facilitate the minor’s desire to present or appear in a manner that is inconsistent with the minor’s sex. 
  • OPPOSE | SB 138/ HB 761 – This bill requires manufacturers of tablets and smart phones (“devices”) activated in this state to manufacture their devices in a manner such that a content filter is automatically enabled, which prevents the user from accessing or downloading material that is harmful to minors.   
  • OPPOSE | HB 239/HB 1440 – As introduced, adds “sex” as a defined term for statutory construction purposes. 
  • OPPOSE | HB 306/SB 1237 – As introduced, authorizes a private school to create a policy to regulate a student’s participation in the school’s athletic activities or events based upon a student’s biological sex. 
  • OPPOSE | SB 466/HB 1269 – As introduced, specifies that a teacher or other employee of a public school or LEA is not required to refer to a student using the student’s preferred pronoun if the pronoun is not consistent with the student’s biological sex; insulates a teacher or other employee of a public school or LEA from civil liability and adverse employment action for referring to a student using the pronoun that is consistent with the student’s biological sex. 
  • OPPOSE | SB 841/HB 30 – As introduced, requires a person to obtain a valid entertainer permit from the adult-oriented establishment board, in those jurisdictions with a board, prior to performing adult cabaret entertainment for compensation; prohibits public, private, and commercial establishments from allowing persons under the age of 18 to attend a performance featuring adult cabaret entertainment. 
  • OPPOSE | SB 1339/HB 1215 – As introduced, prohibits any managed care organization that contracts with the bureau of TennCare to provide medical assistance from providing reimbursement or coverage for a medical procedure if the performance or administration of the procedure is for the purpose of enabling a person to identify with, or live as, a purported identity inconsistent with the person’s sex, or treating purported discomfort or distress from a discordance between a person’s sex and asserted identity.  

Reproductive Rights 

  • OPPOSE | SB 600/HB 90 – As introduced, prohibits local governments from expending funds for the purposes of assisting a person in obtaining an abortion. 
  • SUPPORT| SB 762/HB 829 – As introduced, this bill would fully restore access to abortion in Tennessee.  

Voting Rights 

  • SUPPORT | SB 285/HB 303 – As introduced, authorizes the use of an identification card issued by an accredited institution of higher education in this state for purposes of voter identification at a polling place; requires the secretary of state to conduct studies on such use and file reports regarding such use. 


To learn how you can get involved in the fight to protect and expand civil liberties and civil rights join our Action Alert Email List.

To learn more about contacting your elected officials visit Lobbying 101.

To take actions on pending bills visit our Legislative Action Center.

Tennessee General Assembly (TGA) Website