As of April 3, 2015
Counseling Students (SB 397/HB 566) – The bill was delayed until the next legislative session because of changes in the ethics guidelines passed late last year by the American Counseling Association that would have rendered an amendment we were working on meaningless. Read more.
Assisted Reproductive Technology Bio-ethics (SB 809/HB 580) – The bill was delayed until next year. Currently, efforts are underway to have the Chairs of the House and Senate Health Committee send a letter to the Tennessee Medical Association requesting certain information by the end of summer that can be used to evaluate the legislation during the next legislative session.
Abortion (SB 1280/HB 1368) – The bill requires state licensure and inspection of abortion facilities in Tennessee, including doctor’s offices if the office does more than 50 abortions in a year. It passed the state House Health committee yesterday. It should go to the House floor next week.
Abortion (SB 1222/HB 977) – The bill requires a 48-hour waiting period and informed consent before an abortion can be performed. The bill will be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee next Tuesday (7th) and by the full House Health Committee on Wednesday (8th).
Promoting Adoption (SB 0046/ HB 0040) – This bill requires that adoption be promoted as a positive option in family life curriculum. It passed the Senate and House unanimously and is headed to the Governor for action.
Common Core (SB 1163 /HB 1035) – This is the only bill dealing with Common Core and future curriculum standards that has a chance of passing. According to the House sponsor, Rep. Spivey, “The legislation establishes a process by which the state will formally replace the controversial Common Core education standards with a new set of standards crafted solely by Tennesseans.” You can read the amendment that will become the entire bill at this link. The bill will be heard by the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday (7th) and by the House Finance Committee on Wednesday (8th).
Opportunity Scholarships (SB 999/HB 1049) – The opportunity scholarship bill hit a setback March 31st when an amendment was added in the House Government Operations committee. The Amendment will delay the start of the program for a year, giving more opportunity for opponents to bring lawsuits before students can be enrolled in the program. The bill is expected to be heard in the House Finance Committee next week. However, the bill passed the full Senate on Monday by a vote of 22-9. The vote can be found at this link.
Parental Access to Student Tests (SB 0439/ HB 1089) – This bill allows a student’s parent or the student’s teacher to view a state-required standardized summative assessment and the student’s answers after the student has taken it, subject to certain conditions. On Tuesday it was approved by the House Education Instruction and Programs Committee and referred to the Senate Finance Committee. On Wednesday it was approved by the Senate Education Committee and referred to the Senate Finance Committee.
Release Time in Public Schools (SB 1246/ HB 834) – The bill requires local school boards to create a policy that excuses students to attend a released time course in religious moral instruction taught by a sponsoring entity off school property. On Tuesday it was approved on a voice vote by the House Education Instruction and Programs Committee and referred to the House Government Operations Committee. On Wednesday the bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee with 6 members voting for it and 2 members present and not voting. The votes are not yet available on the state website.
Protecting Teachers Who Report Curriculum Issues (SB 1105/ HB 0429) – This bill prohibits supervisors from disciplining or discouraging teachers and other educators for reporting inaccuracies, errors, or potentially inflammatory material in textbooks or other educational materials to supervisors, elected officials, or parents; prohibits making agreement not to report such findings a condition of teacher’s employment. It passed the full Senate Monday night by a vote of 28-3. It previously passed the full House 94-0. The votes for the House and Senate can be found at this link.
Insure Tennessee (SJR 0093) – This Resolution would have authorized the Administration to proceed with Insure Tennessee to proceed under certain terms and conditions. It failed in Senate Commerce March 31st 6-2. Voting for the bill were Ken Yager and Reginald Tate. Voting against the bill were Jack Johnson, Todd Gardenhire, Bo Watson, Jim Tracy, Dolores Gresham, and Steve Southerland. Mark Green abstained because of a financial conflict of interest.
Assisted Suicide (SB 1362/HB 1040) – A surprise amendment to the bill by Rep. Judd Matheny which would have authorized assisted suicide was deferred for study by the committee over the summer. The Senate Health and Welfare Committee is set to take up the bill, with the amendment, next Wednesday (8th).