2022 Legislative Watchlist

We've sorted through the bills and are excited to announce our 2022 Legislative Watchlist! This list covers a variety of bills proposed this year, but we do have a few notes: (1) This list is not exhaustive. Sign up for our emails for a more comprehensive weekly list of bills we're watching move through the legislature. (2) Remember legislative session lasts two years, so check out our 2021 watchlist for bills that might come back up. (3) We are watching a bunch of caption bills (basically surprise bills that we won't know what they do until they are heard in committee). We'll be adding those as soon as we know what they are actually doing. (4) Be sure to check out other lists as well. We didn't want to duplicate work already being done, so be sure to check out the Tennessee Equality Project (LGBTQ-focused) and the Disability Rights Tennessee (disability-focused) for additional bills of note. 

Questions? Confusion? Want more information? Email Nina at N[email protected] or Heather at [email protected]

Last Updated: Friday, May 13

Defensive Priorities:

SB2582/HB2779: Bans abortion at any stage of gestation and deputizes any citizen to sue the provider or loved one of a person experiencing pregnancy loss.
Position: Oppose
Sponsors: Sen. Mark Pody, Rep. Rebecca Alexander
Status: Action deferred in Senate Judiciary Committee (not currently on the calendar), taken off notice in House Health Committee

SB2281/HB2416: Enacts criminal penalties for providers who prescribe medication abortion via telehealth.
Position: Oppose
Sponsors: Sen. Mike Bell, Rep. Debra Moody
Status: Signed by Governor, effective 5/5/22

SB2300/HB2314: Changes the definition of child in the child abuse statute to include a fertilized embryo. 
Position: Oppose
Sponsors: Sen. Mark Pody, Rep. Bruce Griffey
Status: Action deferred in Senate Judiciary Committee, no action taken in House Health Subcommittee

SB2233/HB2236: Expands the definition of child abuse to include witnessing abuse or trauma.
Position: Oppose: This bill allows DCS to take kids away from survivors of domestic violence and people experiencing poverty.
Sponsors: Sen. Ed Jackson, Rep. Mary Littleton
Status: Re-referred to Senate Calendar Committee, passed House

SB2354/HB2579: Requires all devices sold in the state install filters to prevent content that “harms children.”
Position: Oppose - this bill is an attack on sex workers and members of the LGBTQ community
Sponsors: Sen. Ferrell Haile, Rep. Rick Eldridge
Status: Assigned to Senate Commerce and Labor Committee, assigned to Banking & Consumer Affairs Subcommittee

SB2162/HB2649: Allows medical facilities to hire and deputize police officers.
Position: Oppose
Sponsors: Sen. Bo Watson, Rep. Ryan Williams
Status: Signed by Governor, effective 5/4/22

The Right to Choose to Have (or Not Have) A Child

SB2398/HB2145: Introduces a program to compensate relative caregivers for kids in foster care. 
Position: Neutral: While we absolutely support compensation for relative caregivers, this proposal is much lower than previous bills and includes antiquated requirements (some required by federal government) around relatives seeking child support and not housing the child’s parent.
Sponsors: Sen. Jack Johnson, Rep. William Lamberth
Status: Signed by Governor, effective 4/8/22

SB2444/HB2466: Prohibits a local government from providing funds to organizations that perform abortions. 
Position: Oppose
Sponsors: Sen. Mike Bell, Rep. Tom Leatherwood
Status: Assigned to General Subcommittee of Senate State and Local Government Committee, passed House

SB2476/HB2575: Prohibits the Department of Children’s Services (DCS) from acting on anonymous reports of child abuse.
Position: Support
Sponsors: Sen. Janice Bowling; Rep. Clay Doggett
Status: Signed by Governor, effective 4/20/22

SB1806/HB1866: Gives cause to terminate parental rights for failure to pay child support. 
Position: Oppose
Sponsors: Sen. Dawn White; Rep. Glen Casada
Status: Signed by Governor, effective date 3/18/22

SB2016/HB1847: Grants limited immunity to private companies and organizations that contract with DCS.
Position: Oppose
Sponsors: Sen. Mike Bell; Rep. Mary Littleton
Status: Signed by Governor, effective date 7/1/22

SB2331/HB2590: Allows DCS to take custody of a child if found responsible for a misdemeanor after a qualifying offense. 
Position: Oppose
Sponsors: Sen. Joey Hensley; Rep. Iris Rudder
Status: Re-referred to Senate Calendar Committee, referred to House Finance, Ways & Means Committee

The Right to Raise A Child in Safe and Healthy Communities:

Childcare:

SB2599/HB2280: Allows candidates to use campaign funds to pay for childcare. Campaign funds already cover food, travel, lodging, etc. This bill will make it easier for people with children to run for office.
Position: Support
Sponsors: Sen. Brenda Gilmore, Rep. Jason Powell
Status: Assigned to General Subcommittee of Senate State and Local Government Committee, failed in Elections & Campaign Finance Subcommittee
[See also SB2519/HB2642]

SB2672/HB2723: Grants government employees 5 days of paid leave if a child tests positive for COVID-19 or their daycare closes due to an outbreak.
Position: Support
Sponsors: Sen. Sara Kyle; Rep. Larry Miller
Status: Failed to pass House

Healthcare:

SB2046/HB2051: Expands TennCare to a year postpartum permanently (beyond the 5 year pilot program that was approved last year). 
Position: Support
Sponsors: Sen. Jeff Yarbro, Rep. Harold Love
Status: Passed Senate, taken off notice in House Finance, Ways, and Means Subcommittee 

SB1906/HB1973: Requires TennCare to implement a three-year pilot program to provide remote patient monitoring services for maternal health
Position: Support
Sponsors: Sen. Heidi Campbell, Rep. Karen Camper
Status: Assigned to General Subcommittee of Senate Finance, Ways, and Means Committee, taken off notice in House Finance, Ways, & Means Subcommittee calendar for 4/26

SB1930/HB1971: Establishes a grant program to provide support to new mothers
Position: Support
Sponsors: Sen. Heidi Campbell, Rep. Vincent Dixie
Status: Assigned to General Subcommittee of Senate Health and Welfare Committee, taken off notice in House Health Subcommittee 

SB2427/HB2177: Removes some testing strips from the criminal definition of drug paraphernalia. 
Position: Support
Sponsors: Sen. Jack Johnson, Rep. William Lamberth
Status: Signed by Governor, effective date 3/31/22

SB2572/HB2465: Removes barriers to getting a Naloxone prescription and allows local governments to authorize prescriptions. 
Position: Support
Sponsors: Sen. Rusty Crowe; Rep. Tom Leatherwood
Status: Signed by Governor, effective date 7/1/22

SB2543/HB2788: Increases the ratio of school nurses to students from 1 nurse per 3,000 students to 1 nurse per 750 students.
Position: Support
Sponsors: Sen. Jeff Yarbro; Rep. Johnny Shaw
Status: Assigned to General Subcommittee of Senate Education Committee, taken off notice in House K-12 Subcommittee

SB1891/HB1905: Requires health care providers who treat someone experiencing a drug overdose to report the overdose to police.
Position: Oppose
Sponsors: Sen. Joey Hensley, Rep. Clay Doggett
Status: Passed Senate, passed House

Education:

SB2283/HB2417: Prohibits public higher education institutions from teaching topics about racism, sexism, things that make students uncomfortable, etc.
Position: Oppose
Sponsors: Sen. Mike Bell, Rep. Robin Smith
Status: Referred to Senate Education Committee, taken off notice in House Higher Education Subcommittee 

SB2290/HB2670: Forbids public institutions from requiring trainings on “divisive” subjects and more
Position: Oppose
Sponsors: Sen. Mike Bell, Rep. Cameron Sexton
Status: Signed by Governor, effective 4/8/22

Environmental Justice:

SB2649/HB2672: Prohibits the state from using a state bank or association that had a policy refusing to invest in fossil fuels. 
Position: Oppose
Sponsors: Sen. Todd Gardenhire; Rep. Bryan Terry
Status: Signed by Governor, effective 7/1/22

Economic Justice:

SB2071/HB2096: Prevents TennCare from providing discretionary exemptions/waivers from work requirements under the SNAP program.
Position: Oppose
Sponsors: Sen. Jack Johnson; Rep. William Lamberth
Status: Signed by Governor, effective 5/3/22

Youth:

SB2696/HB2835: Criminalizes providing gender affirming care; carves out exceptions for surgeries on intersex children unable to consent; requires mandatory reporting to parents/guardian if young person expresses gender dysphoria to a government employee (i.e. teacher, counselor, school nurse); and civil liability for failure to follow the law. 
Position: Oppose
Sponsors: Sen. Janice Bowling; Rep. John Ragan
Status: Assigned to Senate General Subcommittee of Senate Health and Welfare Committee, taken off notice in House Health Subcommittee


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