Tennessee General Assembly’s Legal Counsel Considers Next Step Now that Judge Dismisses Appeal to End Refugee Resettlement Program

  The Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday rejected the State of Tennessee’s appeal in which the General Assembly sought to ban the federal government from forcing Tennessee to accept and fund a refugee resettlement program. A copy of the court’s ruling is available here. A federal judge…

Read More

‘Hands-Free’ Driving, Gas Tax Increase and Other Tennessee Laws That Go Into Effect Today

  The state legislature passed 513 Public Acts in the first half of the 111th General Assembly, many of which go into effect on July 1, 2019, and impact the general public like the “hands-free” driving law. The new “hands-free” law, as previously reported by The Tennessee Star, defines what…

Read More

State Reps. Ryan Williams, Cameron Sexton Join Race to Succeed Glen Casada as House Speaker

  The pieces are falling into place for the Tennessee GOP House Caucus to select the new speaker, with a couple of new faces entering the race this week. The caucus will meet July 24 to pick a nominee to replace disgraced outgoing Speaker and Rep. Glen Casada (R-TN-63) of…

Read More

Tennessee General Assembly Approves Legislation Eliminating Professional Privilege Tax

The Tennessee General Assembly this week passed major tax cut legislation, eliminating the $400 professional privilege tax levied on licensed individuals annually in 15 professions in Tennessee. This, according to a press release legislators sent out this week. Senate Bill 398, sponsored by Senator Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, repeals the tax…

Read More

New Law Will Make Tennessee Completely ‘Hands-Free’ While Driving Effective July 1

  Both houses of the General Assembly have passed a bill that will allow only hands-free usage of a mobile telephone or personal digital assistant on any road or highway in the state of Tennessee. HB 0165 sponsored by Representative John Holsclaw (R-Elizabethton) and SB 0173 sponsored by Senator Swann…

Read More

Tennessee Bill to Regulate 911 Calls Reportedly Held Up for Summer Study

The sponsor of legislation that would make 911 calls and transmissions confidential reportedly wants more time to work on the bill, specifically this summer. This, according to the Tennessee General Assembly’s website and the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government. That bill is HB 335. According to the Tennessee Coalition for…

Read More

Tennessee House Says No to Holding Phone While Driving But Says Yes to Voice Use

The Tennessee House on Wednesday passed bill HB0164 banning drivers from using handheld phones. The bill tracking information is available here. The Senate companion bill, SB0173, was deferred on Tuesday in the Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee and now has a scheduled hearing date of April 23. The House…

Read More

Public School Principal May Have Violated Tennessee Law By Pressuring Teachers to Lobby Against School Vouchers

A Tennessee public school principal recently sent an email to teachers and staff at their school and urged them to lobby against the school vouchers’ bill currently up for consideration in the Tennessee General Assembly. According to the language of the Tennessee Hatch Act, such activity violates state law. The…

Read More