Bills to Watch in the 2018 Session of the Tennessee General Assembly


As the second half of the 110th Tennessee General Assembly gets underway, many committees are in the hearing and organization meeting mode awaiting bills to review.

There were several interesting bills scheduled for the House Civil Justice Subcommittee Wednesday, but most were “taken off notice” by the respective bill sponsor, which means they will only come back for review by the subcommittee at the sponsors will.

Bills are listed below with the respective House and Senate sponsors as well as the bill abstract as published on the Tennessee General Assembly website.

HB0676 by Lynn. (SB1183 by Niceley.)
Statutes and Codification – As introduced, enacts the “Original Intent Act of 2017,” which requires the constitutions and laws of the United States and Tennessee to be interpreted in a manner to preserve their meaning at the time written. – Amends TCA Title 1.

HB0884 by Matheny. (SB1341 by Bailey.)
Handgun Permits – As introduced, permits a valid handgun carry permit holder to carry a firearm at any time and in all places in Tennessee unless the permit holder has been drinking alcohol, is in a judicial proceeding, or is on school grounds and does not tell the principal. – Amends TCA Section 39-17-1351(b).

HB0892 by Williams. (SB0752 by Pody.)
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.

HB1407 by Weaver. (SB0146 by Beavers.)
Firearms and Ammunition – As introduced, prohibits the expenditure of state or local funds or employees to implement, regulate, or enforce any federal law or executive order regulating the ownership or possession of firearms or firearm ammunition regardless of whether the expenditure of funds or use of employees would violate a state law or the state constitution. – Amends TCA Title 38, Chapter 3, Part 1.

Civil Justice Subcommittee Chairman Mike Carter (R-Ooltewah) advised that a calendar would be established for any bills regarding firearms and ammunition to be heard by the subcommittee, “which was done for several years under the leadership of others, sometimes being disadvantageous to the sponsor.”

There were bills where Carter said he “liked this portion, but not that portion.” Carter’s plan, with the approval of the committee, “is to have a firearms and ammunition calendar where one day all of those cases will come together.” Carter explained further, “But, we’re going to do that fairly quickly so we can find the bills we like and don’t like and pass the bills or give time for some working between those various sponsors to come to a better bill rather than save it to the last of the year when everybody’s rushed.”

Two bills scheduled for review Wednesday in the Civil Justice Subcommittee, HB0884 and HB1407, will both be moved to the subcommittee’s upcoming firearms and ammunition calendar.

HB0108 by VanHuss. (SB0244 by Beavers.)
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.

The Heartbeat Bill, HB0108, was on the calendar of the House Health Subcommittee, but the transfer to a new Senate sponsor in place of Mae Beavers who resigned to run as a Republican gubernatorial candidate was not completed in time, according to Chairman Bryan Terry (R-Murfreesboro), to be heard at Wednesday’s meeting.

HJR0109 by Miller.
Constitutional Amendments – Proposes amendment to Article XI, Section 5 to allow the legislature to authorize casinos and games of chance associated with casinos to be operated in Tennessee.

Wednesday’s meeting of the House State Government Subcommittee, which was scheduled to hear HJR0109, was cancelled.

Additional information on the bills, including the bill’s history and meeting videos, can be found on the Tennessee General Assembly website by clicking on the bill number.

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