Bills Sponsored by Mark

Senator Mark Green

New laws sponsored during term of office in Senate (108th General Assembly – 110th General Assembly / 2013-2018)

 

Tax Relief

2016 Hall Income Tax Relief – Legislation that phases out the Hall Income tax was approved during the 2016 legislative session.  The Hall Income Tax levies six percent on earnings from stocks and bonds, with 3/8 of the revenue going to cities and counties.  Since enactment of the tax in 1929, the use of investment savings has grown as a primary source of retirement income making it less palatable as a source of revenue to many members of the General Assembly.   The legislation calls for an annual reduction of at least one percent until the tax is eliminated.  Furthermore, the new law provides that by January 1, 2022, the Hall Income Tax will no longer be collected and eliminated as a legal means of taxation in Tennessee.  Public Chapter 1064

2018 Veterans / Elderly Property Tax Relief – Legislation was approved during the 2018 legislative session that ensures that disabled veterans can continue to qualify for property tax relief if they are hospitalized or temporarily placed in a nursing home. Essentially, when veterans went into a nursing home for a couple of months, post-hip surgery and rehabilitation, they lost their property tax advantage upon returning home. The purpose of this bill is to fix that injustice. It also applies to elderly homeowners who qualify for the property tax relief and who are temporarily out of their home as well.  Public Chapter 710

2018 Exempts Disabled Veterans from Sales Tax on VA Vehicle – A new law passed in 2018 which exempts disabled veterans who receive a modified vehicle from the Veteran’s Administration (VA) due to a severe disability from having to pay sales tax or a registration fee on such a vehicle. Disabled veterans shouldn’t have to pay sales tax or a fee on a modified vehicle gifted to them under the Disabled Veterans’ and Servicemen’s Automobile Assistance Act of 1970.   Public Chapter 541

 

Business

2016 Business / Licensing and Regulations -- Legislation to reassess some of the barriers of entry to the workforce was approved during the 2016 legislative session.  The new law compels various licensing authorities to review their entry regulations in various occupations and report such to the Senate Government Operations Committee.  Once reviewed, the committee can make recommendations to remove some of the unnecessary restrictions and demands.  The “Right to Earn a Living Act” will help relieve the burden of excessive regulation on the right of an individual to pursue a chosen business or profession.  Public Chapter 1053

2016 Unemployment Claims – A new law was passed during the 2016 legislative session which requires the Department of Labor and Workforce Development to audit all unemployment claims.   This will be done electronically with the department’s new software and is an update of the current requirement of 1,500 departmental audits per week.  The purpose of the legislation is to ensure that those receiving benefits are applying to a minimum of three places of employment per week or visiting a qualifying career center.   Public Chapter 1063

 

Healthcare and Healthcare Providers / and the elderly 

2013 Assault Against Healthcare Providers -- A law passed in 2013 stiffens penalties against those who assault healthcare providers who are discharging their duties.  The legislation adds nurses, physicians and other health care providers to the list of persons where, if an assault or an aggravated assault is committed while acting in the discharge of the provider's duty, the maximum fine is increased.   The measure doubles fines for convictions on assault charges from $2,500 to $5,000 and triples them in convictions on aggravated assault against affected providers from $5,000 to $15,000. The rate of violence against healthcare workers is more than three times that of those employed in other professions.  Public Chapter 325

2013 Meth / Tracking -- In order to better track meth arrests and convictions, the General Assembly approved legislation in 2013 to subdivide methamphetamine from other Schedule II drugs in charging offenders with possession.  The bill delineates meth from cocaine, crack and other Schedule II drugs so law enforcement can track it.   Public Chapter 904

2014 Healthcare Consumers / Insurance -- Legislation to help ensure that physicians and their patients have more information regarding what their health insurance covers and the protocols necessary to receive preauthorization approval has been approved by the State Legislature.  The new law amends the state’s “Utilization Review Act” by requiring that healthcare insurers, or third party payers, publish or post on the Internet at least the non-proprietary portion of the standards so physicians can know the rules of the game beforehand. 

The bill establishes a set of evidence-based rules based on nationally recognized protocol standards. In addition, the legislation ensures that the utilization review is done by a physician who is licensed to practice the procedure which has been requested to be performed, rather than an insurance administrator who lacks that medical expertise.  Public Chapter 731

2014 Healthcare Consumers / Cost of Obamacare -- The General Assembly approved a bill giving consumers information regarding any increase in cost of their insurance passed along to them as a result of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.  Insurance brokers who are selling healthcare insurance must tell the consumer of any increases or decreases associated with the federal healthcare plan.  Public Chapter 839

2014 Healthcare / Nurse Practitioners -- The legislature passed a new law to add nurse practitioners to a list of deponents who are exempt from being subpoenaed to trial, but are still susceptible to being subpoenaed to deposition. Currently, physicians and physicians’ assistants are exempt from being subpoenaed to trial due to the fact that a trial hearing could interrupt daily business at a private clinic. This bill extends that exemption to nurse practitioners who might also work in private clinics so patient care will not be interrupted.   Public Chapter 590

2015 Fees / Physician Assistants – The General Assembly approved a bill which aims to ensure that patients seeking care from physician assistants are not penalized by insurance companies through higher co-payment fees.  Physician Assistants provide thousands of Tennesseans with access to cost-effective healthcare services.   The new law prohibits a health insurance company from charging a higher co-payment fee for services rendered by a physician assistant than that charged for similar services rendered by a physician.  Public Chapter 157

2016 TennCare Opt Out -- The Tennessee Senate and House of Representatives passed a resolution in 2016 that encourages Governor Bill Haslam to seek an “appropriate waiver in order to implement the TennCare Opt Out program as a pilot program” based on consumer control and choice of healthcare spending within the Medicaid-eligible patient population.  The pilot program would enroll volunteer participants whose income qualifies them for temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) in the TennCare flexible savings account initiative.  

Under the resolution, enrollees would receive an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card funded by premiums paid by TennCare to purchase primary care services and medications on an annual basis.  Electronic payment is made immediately to treating physicians which reduces administrative costs and encourages provider participation.  Patients in the demonstration program with funds remaining in the health savings account at the year’s end keep those dollars as a reward for their healthier choices that have maintained wellness and their effective budgeting of spending.  

A 2011 study done on similar programs found a decrease in the consumption of healthcare by eleven percent.  Should this pilot program achieve similar savings, the dollars made available would allow expanding coverage to hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans who currently are without healthcare.   Senate Joint Resolution 88

2016 EpiPens / Restaurants -- Legislation to allow health care prescribers to prescribe epinephrine auto-injectors to a wide variety of entities, including restaurants, passed legislative approval.  The purpose of the new law is to make the injectors, more commonly referred to as EpiPens, readily available in locations where an emergency is most likely to occur.  Restaurants are among them as food is generally the most common cause of anaphylaxis, a condition which can be deadly if not treated immediately.  Wasp or bee stings are also common causes of anaphylaxis. 

The new statute defines the entities that voluntarily agree to receive the prescription as including but not limited to recreation camps, colleges, universities, places of worship, youth sports leagues, amusement parks, restaurants, places of employment and sports arenas.  It also calls for one or more employees to be trained in how to properly use and store the injectors.  The entity or person who uses the injector in response to an emergency are given immunity from liability when the medication is used in compliance with the law.  Public Chapter 805

2016 Care Alert – The General Assembly approved legislation creating a “Care Alert” system that enables local law enforcement agencies to enter a report to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and alert media outlets to promote the safe recovery of a missing person over the age of 18 with an intellectual, developmental or physical disability.  The new law extends the definition of a “missing citizen” from a missing person over the age of 60 with dementia or physical impairment to include those over the age of 18 with an intellectual, developmental or physical disability.  The system works like the Amber Alert for missing or endangered children and the Silver Alert for seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.  Public Chapter 682

2018 Proton Therapy – Legislation passed in 2018 which allows state employees diagnosed with cancer to receive hypofractionated proton therapy if their radiation oncologist believes that it would be more beneficial to their treatment plan.  It would equate the cost of the proton therapy to that of traditional radiation (IMRT) when it is the paid-for method.  Senate Bill 367

2018 Pharmacy Prescriptions for Refugees of Disasters – In 2018, legislation passed that authorizes a pharmacist in Tennessee, in good faith, to dispense prescription medication for up to 20 days to a patient who is displaced by a declared disaster.  It allows prescription information to be obtained from a prescription label, verbal medical order, verbal prescription order, or any other means determined to be legitimate by the pharmacist.  The new law would not apply to narcotics. This legislation would immensely simplify the process when we do have refugees of a natural disaster, like we did after Hurricane Katrina.  Public Chapter 615

 

Courts / Crime

2013 DNA Profile -- The General Assembly has approved legislation that will give Tennessee prosecutors a new weapon in rape cases where the statute of limitations is about to expire.  Under the measure, prosecutors will soon be able to obtain a “John Doe” arrest warrant based on the perpetrator’s DNA profile, saving the case from dismissal on grounds that too much time has passed. 

Approximately 90,000 women are raped every year in the United States, with only 25% of these attacks resulting in arrests.  Courts at all levels have recognized the validity of DNA tests in identifying suspects and establishing guilt.

This legislation ensures that Tennessee law keeps pace with emerging DNA science so that prosecutions will be kept alive even when the perpetrator can’t be brought to justice within the time allowed by the statute of limitations.  Public Chapter 205   

2014 Meth / Housing – A new law approved in 2014 requires a person who makes a profit from housing to report to law enforcement when they know that methamphetamines have been manufactured there.   The measure prescribes a Class B misdemeanor for property owners or caretakers that do not notify law enforcement within 24 hours of discovering that methamphetamine has been or is being manufactured in order to protect the public.  Public Chapter 640

2014 Sex Offenders / Restrictions -- The legislature voted to help ensure Tennessee is not a destination for sex offenders as a result of having weaker laws than other states regarding work and residential restrictions.  Tennessee law already has such restrictions for child sex offenders.   This legislation prohibits any sexual offender, whose victim was an adult, from knowingly establishing a residence or to accept employment within 1,000 feet of any public, private or parochial school, licensed day care center, other child care facility, public park, playground, recreation center or athletic field available for use by the general public.  Public Chapter 992

2014 Crime / Domestic Violence / Order of Protection -- Legislation providing more timely protection to victims of domestic violence when the perpetrator lives across county lines has been approved on final consideration. Current law requires notification for an order of protection to be mailed to law enforcement if it is in another county so it can be served on the person perpetrating the domestic violence.  The new law allows the order of protection to be faxed from one county to another so it can be served as soon as possible, protecting the victim.  Public Chapter 993

2016 Severe Child Abuse / Statute of Limitations -- Legislation passed in 2016 which extends the statutes of limitations for some of the more severe cases of child abuse. The law extends the statute of limitations to 10 years after the child reaches 18 years of age for aggravated child abuse, child neglect and endangerment.  Public Chapter 1032

2016 Sheriffs / Subpoenas -- Legislation was approved to allow sheriffs and constables to collect the same fee payment for a good faith attempt at serving a subpoena, as for a successful serving.  Previous law dictated that, if after three unsuccessful attempts were made to serve a subpoena, the sheriff must return the entire fund except for nine dollars.  This did not fully cover the expenses used and caused paperwork issues.  The new law allows the full forty dollars to remain in the sheriff’s funds.  Public Chapter 582

2017 Crime / Terrorism / Reporting -- Legislation was approved which confers civil and criminal immunity to a person who in good faith makes a report to law enforcement or another appropriate authority of the behavior or activity of another person, if the report is made with the articulable belief that the behavior or activity constitutes or is in furtherance of an act of terrorism.  Public Chapter 208

 

Education

2013 EpiPens / Student Health -- Legislation to ensure that every public school in the state has epinephrine injector pens on hand, or EpiPens, was passed by Tennessee lawmakers in the 2013 legislative session.  This new state statute helps to ensure that public schools in Tennessee keep at least two epinephrine injector pens on campus in case of a life-threatening allergic reaction when the student does not have one available.

This legislation authorizes the school nurse or other trained school staff to administer the epinephrine auto-injectors to respond to an anaphylactic reaction using protocols from a physician.   The bill would absolve trained school administrators from liability for giving the medication.  Public Chapter 294

2015 Students / Cystic Fibrosis – State lawmakers voted to approve a new law that allows students with Cystic Fibrosis, with a care plan, to take their medications in the classroom and at meal time.  Children with the disease are typically very susceptible to infections and may have to take certain enzymes to aid in digestion. The students must currently go to the nurses’ station to have these enzymes administered, where they could be exposed to children with contagious conditions.  The association that helps families of Cystic Fibrosis children claims that these children are completely competent to take their medications on their own.  Public Chapter 321

2017 Teachers / Rights – Legislation providing a list of rights and protections for Tennessee teachers passed during the 2017 session.  It gives educators the right to:

  1. Be treated with civility and respect;
  2. Have his or her professional judgment and discretion respected;
  3. Report any errant, offensive, or abusive content or behavior of students to school officials or appropriate agencies;
  4. Provide students with a classroom and school in which the educators, students, the property of the educator and students, and peers will be safe;
  5. Defend themselves and their students from physical violence or physical harm;
  6. Share information regarding a student's educational experience, health, or safety with the student's parent or legal guardian unless otherwise prohibited by state law or the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA);
  7. Review all instructional material or curriculum prior to those materials being utilized for instruction of students; and,
  8. Not be required to use their personal money to appropriately equip a classroom.

Under the new statute, the term “educator” applies to any teacher, principal, supervisor, or other individual required by law to hold a valid license of qualification for employment in the public schools of this state.  Public Chapter 360

2017 Retired Teachers / Substitutes – A bill which creates a solution for districts struggling to find competent substitute teachers has passed by allowing retired teachers to work as a substitute for 120 days, rather than the current 90 days.  The measure requires that the school district exhaust other resources available before opting to hire the retired teacher.  Public Chapter 287 

2018 School Security Officers – Legislation Enacting the School Safety Act of 2018 was approved which authorizes school districts to hire off-duty law enforcement officers as armed school security officers during regular school hours or during school-sponsored events conducted on the school’s premises.  The new law reduces the armed response time of low enforcement officers for report of armed intruders on school premises is vital to ensuring the safety of children teachers and school personnel.  Increasing the presence of properly trained, armed and certified officials on school premises will aid in protecting children, teachers and school personnelThe bill allows for grants established within the Tennessee School Safety Center to be used for funding armed school security officers.   Public Chapter 1008

2018 Parental Notice / Student Mental Health Screenings – Legislation requiring Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to notify parents or legal guardians prior to any student participation in mental health screenings passed during the 2018 legislative session.  The legislation requires notice to the parents regarding the “who, what, when and why” of such an evaluation so the student’s parents are fully informed.  Public Chapter 910

 

Veterans 

2013 Veterans / Truck Drivers -- State lawmakers passed legislation to make it easier for experienced military truck drivers to receive a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Tennessee.  The new law waives the state’s CDL skills test requirement if a veteran provides proof of a military license for the class of vehicle in which they are seeking licensure, as long as their driving record shows no accidents or citations over the past two years.

Currently, an active duty soldier who drives a commercial weight truck in Tennessee is exempt from any additional license due to their specialized military training.  However, after the soldier leaves the military, they must immediately take the CDL knowledge test and skills test in order to continue to drive a commercial vehicle of the same weight on state roads. 

The employment rate among veterans age 18 to 24 is approximately 33% for men and 39% for women.  Tennessee is one of only eleven states that still requires soldiers with experience, training and no accident history to take the skills test.   Public Chapter 62 / DOE:  July 1, 2013

2013 Military / Licenses --  The House and Senate have approved legislation to ease license requirements for members of the U.S. Armed Forces or National Guard.  As amended, the bill waives professional license fees for soldiers who are on active duty deployment and gives them a six-month grace period for renewal when they return.  The legislation also allows soldiers and their spouses who have professional licenses from a different state and who move to Tennessee to have their licenses expedited. 

The intent of this bill is to help active duty soldiers who have moved to Tennessee who hold, or whose spouse holds, a professional license in another state.  Oftentimes, those families depend on a second income of a spouse who is using a professional license and time is of the essence to help them with employment.  Public Chapter 122 

2014 Vets/ Wellness Credits -- A new law was passed giving high school physical education and wellness credits to Tennessee students who enlist in the military before graduation upon successful completion of basic training  (the bill allows the military student to substitute the credit for two elective courses if they so choose).  Public Chapter 487

2014 Children of Soldiers -- Lawmakers voted to help families of soldiers who were killed in the line of duty by adding their four-year-old children to the list of students who may attend the state’s voluntary Pre-K program and exempting them from the wait list at day care facilities (giving soldiers who have paid the ultimate price the same credits that are already provided to those who are deployed).  Public Chapter 972

A measure was also approved calling for school systems to add a special identifier in the current database that the student is the dependent of a military person in the effort to help meet the student’s education needs.  Public Chapter 925

2014 State Jobs -- Legislation was approved to help ensure that while a soldier is deployed that his or her state job cannot be given away, and if it is that he or she can pursue legal action under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994. Public Chapter 574 /

2014 Honoring Veterans -- A bill was passed designating the Honor and Remember Flag as the official state symbol of Tennessee’s concern and commitment for members of the United States Armed Forces who have lost their lives in service.  The Honor and Remember Flag is endorsed by veteran service organizations and is becoming a nationally accepted symbol of remembrance.  The flag serves as a visible reminder to all Americans of the lives lost in defense of freedom.  Public Chapter 539

2014 State Veterans Home -- The General Assembly approved a resolution to name the Tennessee State Veterans Home in Clarksville in honor of Brigadier General Wendell H. Gilbert.  Gilbert graduated from West Point and is a veteran of the Vietnam conflict.  During his service, Brigadier General Gilbert received the Legion of Merit with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster; Bronze Star with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster; Meritorious Service Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster; Air Medal; Army Commendation Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster; National Defense Service Medal; Vietnam Service Medal; Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Silver Star and with Bronze Star; and 4 Overseas Bars.          After retiring from the U.S. Army, General Gilbert served as Tennessee’s Commissioner of Veterans Affairs, Deputy to Governor Don Sundquist for Homeland Security, and Vice-President for Development and University Relations for 17 years at Austin Peay University. Public Chapter 613

2014 Automobile License Plates -- Legislation to provide free automobile license plates to soldiers and veterans who have received medals for valor was approved during the 2014 legislative session.  This bill clears up confusion regarding free plates for the highest honor awarded to veterans, which in the past did not cover all categories of valorous medals, while providing them to some selected honors given for meritorious service, while “grandfathering in” those who have received free plates in the past. Public Chapter 966

2015 Veterans Treatment Courts -- State lawmakers voted in 2015 to provide the state’s first sustainable support for both the establishment and maintenance of Tennessee’s Veterans Treatment Court programs.  The Criminal Justice Veterans Compensation Act of 2015 (CJVA) increases the assessment fee charged to convicted DUI offenders to expand a successful Veteran’s Treatment Court pilot program that has operated in Davidson, Shelby and Montgomery Counties.   Tennessee’s Veterans Courts are the first in the nation to have such support.  The program has given service members in Tennessee the option of pursuing treatment and recovery programs rather than incarceration.

Drug Courts around the state have also designated efforts and assistance to the military men and women seeking services to aid in their return to civilian society.  Services provided include but are not limited to group therapy, job coaching, mentoring by fellow veterans, and specialized treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and the substance abuse frequently used by sufferers to self-medicate.  The Veterans Courts are operated through the Tennessee Judicial System as a trial court with special emphasis on access to therapy and support services in a necessary partnership with mental health.  Public Chapter 453

2015 Veterans / Military Drivers – The full Senate and House of Representatives have approved a bill that gives non-resident veterans the same authorization as veterans who are Tennessee residents to use their experience as a military truck driver to receive a commercial driver’s license (CDL).  The new law allows experienced military drivers to waive the state’s CDL skills test requirement upon providing proof of a military license for the class of vehicle for which they are seeking licensure.  This would apply as long as their driving record shows no accidents or citations over the past two years.  Public Chapter 309 

2015 Resolution Opposes Troop Reduction at Fort Campbell -- The Tennessee Senate and House of Representatives adopted a resolution which was signed by Governor Bill Haslam on April 8, 2015 to oppose any measure that would reduce current troop levels at Fort Campbell.  The resolution comes after a recent U.S. Army Environmental Command report showed that a reduction of 140,000 troops, plus associated civilian reductions, would be needed in order to achieve the savings required by the Budget Control Act if sequester cuts to the defense budget are reinstated.  That action would affect approximately 7,000 troops at Fort Campbell, representing a 22 percent reduction, with a possible decrease of more than 15,000 active duty troops by 2020.  Senate Joint Resolution 23

2016 Specialty License Plate / PTSD Counseling -- Legislation which will support Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) counseling to combat veterans and their families passed this in 2016.  The new law creates a specialty license plate which can be customized with a sticker to represent the veteran’s specific branch with proceeds going to support these services.

Tennessee requires new specialty earmarked license plates are subject to a minimum order of at least 1,000 plates prior to initial issuance.  Any plate that does not meet the minimum order requirement within one year after passage of the authorizing act becomes invalid.

Under the measure, the money raised from these license plates are to be used exclusively in Tennessee to provide resources and support to veterans, service members and their families, being equally allocated to Centerstone Military Services and SAFE: Soldiers and Families Embraced.   Public Chapter 825

2016 Food Stamps / Soldiers – A new law was passed which prohibits the Department of Health, to the extent permitted under federal law, from including the basic allowance for subsistence (BAS) for applicant who are member of the U.S. Armed Services when calculating income for the purpose of determining eligibility for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).  Currently, if a soldier that is married and living off base they get their basic salary, plus a basic housing allowance, and a basic subsistence allowance, i.e. food stamps, while they are stationed at home.  When the soldier deploys to combat or training, the basic subsistence allowance is taken away, thereby leaving their families without food stamps. Once the soldier returns home, the allowance is returned to the family.  The legislation passed in 2016 fixes this inequity.   Public Chapter 950

2017 Veterans / Employment -- Legislation has passed which provides protections to employers if they give hiring preference to honorably discharged veterans, their spouses, in certain cases, or survivors.  It includes spouses of a veteran with a service-connected disability, unremarried widows or widowers of a veteran who died of a service-connected disability, and unremarried widows or widowers of a member of the military who died in the line of duty. 

The new law allows companies to give special consideration for hiring veterans.  Many companies want to give preference to veterans because of their unique skill sets, proven work ethic, and reliability, but may be hesitant to do so out of concern of being sued under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Title VII, Section 11 of the Civil Rights Act contains a carve-out that exempts veterans’ preference processes that are authorized by state statute.  Public Chapter 9

2017 Handgun Training / Military Personnel – A new law passed during the 2017 legislative session that exempts active-duty military service members and veterans who have specialties as military police, special operations, or Special Forces from handgun carry permit firing range requirements.  The specialties include military police, special operations, and Special Forces due to the intensive firearms training that is required of these soldiers.  Public Chapter 159

2017 Armed Forces / Veterans Hospitals – Two resolutions passed by the Tennessee General Assembly in 2017 urge the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs to establish VA hospitals in Knoxville and Clarksville.  Over 500,000 veterans of the United States Armed Forces live in Tennessee.  Clarksville in Montgomery County is the home of Fort Campbell and the 101st Airborne Division with about 28,000 veterans residing there and 8,000 living just across the state line in Kentucky.  Veterans from Clarksville must drive 80 miles or more to receive care, while those in East Tennessee may have to drive more than 150 miles.   Senate Joint Resolutions 4  / Senate Joint Resolution 5

2017 POW/MIA Flag – Legislation was approved which calls for flying the POW/MIA flag over the Legislative Plaza and the Vietnam Veterans Plaza all year to remember the sacrifices of soldiers who are prisoners of war or missing in action.  It will be displayed over the State Capitol during the month of September as the third Friday of September is National POW/MIA Recognition Day.  Public Chapter 437

2018 Stolen Valor Act – Safeguards the identities of Tennessee veterans who serve the state and nation by cracking down on instances of theft and fraud involving those who attempt to imitate them.  It creates a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 11 months and 29 days in jail, as well as a fine of up to $2,500, for anyone who impersonates a veteran or individuals who fraudulently represent their service with the intent of obtaining money, property, services, or any other tangible benefits.  Public Chapter 914

2018 Veterans / Elderly Property Tax Relief – Legislation was approved during the 2018 legislative session that ensures that disabled veterans can continue to qualify for property tax relief if they are hospitalized or temporarily placed in a nursing home. Essentially, when veterans went into a nursing home for a couple of months, post-hip surgery and rehabilitation, they lost their property tax advantage upon returning home. The purpose of this bill is to fix that injustice. It also applies to elderly homeowners who qualify for the property tax relief and who are temporarily out of their home as well.  Public Chapter 710  (Repeat from tax relief section)

2018 Exempts Disabled Veterans from Sales Tax on VA Vehicle – A new law passed in 2018 which exempts disabled veterans who receive a modified vehicle from the Veteran’s Administration (VA) due to a severe disability from having to pay sales tax or a registration fee on such a vehicle. Disabled veterans shouldn’t have to pay sales tax or a fee on a modified vehicle gifted to them under the Disabled Veterans’ and Servicemen’s Automobile Assistance Act of 1970.   Public Chapter 541  (Repeat from tax relief section)

 

Second Amendment Rights

2014 Second Amendment Rights / State Authority  -- Several Second Amendment rights bills were approved in 2014, including legislation giving the state all authority over the regulation of firearms.   The measure gives counties and municipalities authority over regulations regarding the discharge of a firearm.  The new law provides consistency across county lines and is in keeping with the State Constitution which says the state is responsible for the regulation and “wearing of arms.”  The legislation does not apply to local authority in regards to zoning for shooting ranges, the authority to carry a gun on an employer’s property and other exceptions that the General Assembly has delegated to local governments.    Public Chapter 822

2014 Second Amendment Rights / Safe Commute – Legislation was passed in 2014 cleaning up the 2013 “Safe Commute Act” which protects the Second Amendment rights of legal gun permit holders while traveling to and from their workplace.  The first statute redefines “motor vehicle” under Tennessee’s parking lot law to include all vehicles lawfully possessed by the permit holder with the exception of government or business owned vehicles.  This legislation ensures that incidental exposure of a firearm during the course of securing that firearm in a locked vehicle does not violate state law with regards to having a firearm in a locked vehicle on an employer’s parking lot.  

The second law declares that a handgun carry permit holder transporting or storing a firearm does not violate state law if the gun is observed by another person or security device during the ordinary course of the person securing the firearm in their automobile.  Public Chapter 498 / Public Chapter 505  

2014 Second Amendment Rights / Handgun Permits -- The General Assembly adopted legislation to allow for a handgun carry permit holder to change their address with the state online if they so choose to ease the process.  Public Chapter 816

2015 Storage of Weapon / Work -- A bill was approved in 2014 which gives employees legal standing to sue an employer if he or she is fired for the sole reason of having a gun stored in their vehicle at work.  Last year, the legislature passed a law that allowed legal gun permit holders to keep their weapon stored in their vehicle in the employer’s parking lot while they are working.  The 2015 legislation prohibits an employer from taking an adverse action against an employee who is a legal gun permit holder, solely for the reason of having their gun stored in their vehicle, if he or she is storing it in accordance to Tennessee law.  The employee will have one year to take action under the bill.  The measure also provides that the employee has the burden of proof that the sole reason for termination was the storage of a weapon in their vehicle.  Public Chapter 80

 

Other

2013 Financial Responsibility / Bodily Harm -- The General Assembly voted to increase the penalty for violation of the state’s financial responsibility law when an offender was at fault for an accident resulting in bodily injury or death.  Currently, the penalty is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $100.  This bill strengthens the law by elevating the offense to a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 11 months, 29 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.  Public Chapter 479  

2016 Autonomous Vehicles – The General Assembly passed legislation which defines key words when it comes to autonomous vehicles with the hope of keeping the state an attractive place for car manufacturers.  Autonomous vehicles are those in which at least some aspects of a safety-critical control function (e.g., steering, throttle, or braking) occur without direct driver input.  Automobile makers and technology companies are furiously developing autonomous technology for driving vehicles.  Complete automation, where one can drive from his or her home to the office while reading a book in the backseat, is still many years away, but several automakers have semi-autonomous driving.  The legislation specifically provides a new definition of autonomous technology that will help recruit the research, testing and manufacture of the vehicles in the Volunteer State.  Public Chapter 927

2016 Asian Carp / Study – Legislation was approved calling for a study of the newest invasive species to plague Tennessee, Asian carp.  The diet of Asian carp overlaps with the diet of native fish in the Tennessee, Cumberland, and Mississippi Rivers.  The commercial value of Asian carp is quite low and much less valuable than the native fish they replaced.  Due to their large size, this particular species has also been known to cause bodily harm and sometimes death when they come into contact with people fishing or water-skiing.  This measure creates a nine-person task force to research and report possible solutions to the General Assembly. Public Chapter 949  

2018 Banning Sanctuary Cities – Ensures that state and local government entities are prohibited from adopting or enacting sanctuary policies, whether they are in written form or not, which shield illegal aliens from state and federal immigration laws. It addresses a gap in previous law and puts teeth in it.  The legislation expands the definition of what a sanctuary city is beyond a written policy in order to ensure cooperation with federal authorities and to ensure no city ordinances hamper these efforts. It also creates a reporting mechanism for residents to make a complaint. In addition, the proposal puts teeth in the law by cutting off economic and community grant money to any Tennessee city that adopts policies which are in violation.  It states no law enforcement officer shall consider an individual’s race, color or national origin in complying with requirements of this act.  Public Chapter 973

2018 ID Cards  –  Prohibits local governments from issuing identification (ID) cards which can, in turn, be used as a government ID card.  This is a preemptive measure to ensure that abuses seen in other cities in the U.S. to issue government identification cards to illegal aliens are not implemented in Tennessee.  Public Chapter 1053

2018 Resolution Urging Action on President Trump’s Proposed Border Wall -- Urges the U.S. Congress to immediately take action to fund the construction of a secure border wall across the nation’s southern border as proposed by President Donald Trump. It states “the members of this General Assembly have consistently taken steps to address illegal immigration within the borders of our great state and now wish to urge the United States Congress to address illegal immigration by supporting President Trump's border wall proposal.”   House Joint Resolution 741